Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fixed it myself.

Cleaned the coils of inside and outside units. Outside was easy. Inside was a pain in the ass (and, my skin being tissue-thin these days, I cut up my hands and arms something fierce on the sharp metal edges). But, I'm only out thirty bucks or so for the coil cleaner, brushes and a light to illuminate the work area inside the inner unit. Not bad. Maybe God's trying to tell me to be self-reliant.


Herschel Smith said...

Mike, there is a caustic solution for use on the outdoor coil (i.e., the condenser unit), while the indoor coil (evaporator unit) can usually be cleaned with water. Since it has fins you have to be gentle with it because you can lose efficiency forever with your unit. My outdoor unit gets dirty often due to a cottonwood tree nearby (that I want to kill but it's in my neighbor's yard). I use a hose on a regular basis with my outdoor unit.

Also, the word from people who don't know better is that expensive filters (you know, the ones you have to pay close to $20 for) are a scam and you don't need to buy them.

Take it from an engineer. Buy the expensive filters - you will thank me in the long run for that counsel. Engineers design components with margin, but the high efficiency units have less than we would like. So the high SEER rated units ASSUME a relatively clean indoor coil. Without it, you may as well hang it up.

Next step. The indoor coil is where the conditioning of the air happens. This means that the cool coil drags the dry bulb air temperature down until it reaches saturation, and water comes out as condensation as the coil drags the temperature down the saturation line of the psycrhometric chart. The coil is wet, stays wet, and will virtually never be dry from the time it is installed until you remove it from the home.

Thus, when particulates cross the wet evaporator unit, they stick. Good Lord, do they stick. It is said by smart technicians who clean coils regularly that once an evaporator unit gets dirty it never really gets clean again, leading to permanent loss of efficiency, regardless of using that caustic solution.

Get expensive filters, clean your running trap of your condensate drain line with clorox about every month or two, clean the outdoor unit with a hose once per month, and pray for the best.

But don't skimp on air filters. It bugs me about as much as people who skimp on engine oil as if there is no difference between the good and the cheap crap. Or people who skimp on guns as if there is no difference.

Chris Powell said...

Glad it went well, Mike.

Paul X said...

I just troubleshot and replaced the dead motor on mine. Turned what would be at least a $500 job (along with a lot of aggravation getting them out here) into a $100 job. We tend to rely on "experts" too much. That's very un-American.

Anonymous said...

be careful of the cuts on your hands, that evaporator coil has an unbelievable amount of germs on it.