Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

A Great Tip For Saving Money

While everyone usually remembers to change their AC and Heater filters, no one thinks about cleaning the heating or cooling outdoor coil. If you have an outdoor unit for heating or cooling, those coils need to be clean too!!

The principle of an HVAC unit is to remove heat or cold from your home to make sure you have a comfortable temperature inside.

If you have a gas furnace, your good to go in the winter. Make sure you change your filter every month and you should be able to keep your home at an nice temperature for you and your family. BUT, if you have an air conditioning unit hooked up to cool your house in the spring and summer, you need to do a little maintenance every spring to make sure you get the most out of your unit and save money. The same principle works for a heat pump, so i'll break it down for each unit.

1. An air conditioning unit that has a gas heater works just like it sounds. In the winter, your thermostat will tell the heater to turn on. You will have your burner running until the fan switch in the heat exchanger gets to the right temperature to turn the fan on. This is so you don't have cold air circulating through the house. Cooling on the other hand works a little different. If your thermostat calls for cooling, your fan will turn on right away and your condensing unit outside will turn on. What you AC is doing is removing heat inside the house and putting it somewhere else. That;s where your condensing unit comes in. The heat you removed inside the house is transferred outside where it is compressed and cooled through the use of the outdoor fan.

Now, imagine if this outdoor unit has dirty coil. You are no longer able to remove the heat from the house because it's not able to be removed because of a dirty coil. This means a huge loss in cooling capacity, higher running amperage on the compressor, and your electric bill being alot larger than it needs to be. I'll have the solution after I address the heat pump.

2. Now, the heat pump. It is basically an air conditioning unit that can reverse. In the summer, the outdoor unit will blow hot because of the heat it removed in the house. In the winter, the outdoor unit will be blowing cold because it is using the heat outdoors to add heat into your house. While this sounds weird, it's engineering at it's best. In the winter, heat is able to be removed from very low temperatures and your able to transfer heat into the house because you have a compressor in your unit. It does what it says. It takes a low pressure-low temperature refrigerant and compresses it into a high pressure-high temperature refrigerant.

Now, getting to the coils of both units. You need to clean the outdoor coil on both units every spring to make sure you have a clean coil. In the long run, this will allow the unit to expell the heat gained from the house and in the long run will add life to your compressor and save you money.

On the heat pump, you'll also need to clean the coil every fall. This is because if you don't, you could have a problem with freezing your outdoor coil. If you can't remove the heat from indoors, you will slowly turn your outdoor coil into an icemaker!!

So, based on what you have, turn the power off to your outdoor unit. Spray very good with a degreaser such as simple green and let it sit for about a half an hour. Then, grab your hose and wash out the coil. You'll be amazed what comes out. Let it sit for a coup0le hours to dry out, then turn the unit on.

This will not only extend the life of your compressor, it will also save you money in the long run!!

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My Carrier wall unit, AC/Heater, doesn't heat. It's old, 220, the AC worked in warm weather, the heat worked a little, on and off. I took the cover off, and cleaned the filter, it had 1/8" of **** (very fine dust, packed) sitting on it. There is a copper tube, with 2 bulging things on it, a larger one that is closer to origin, and a smaller one at the end, I assume these things are AC and Heat respectively (which is which?), that was lying on the floor after I took the filter out. I put it back in between the case and filter. It showed signs of being bent and twisted by previous people who'd messed with it. Where do I find model #, and can you offer any advice beside, 'replace the whole thing'. (I can't replace it, nor can I call a tech).


Hi, these pieces of copper that you have found are freon filter driers for window/wall units that have been changed out in the past. This unit is a heat-pump, anytime a wall unit has both heat and cooling. Its good you cleaned the filter, make sure the coil behind it is also clean. Sounds like the filter caught most of it. Now, go to the outdoor coil. Take a garden hose, and you can use a good soap solution for cleaning in a spray bottle and spray down this coil. They make a coil cleaner that has a strong acid in it, but its only sold to contractors. Use liquid dish soap, or a good liquid car wash solution will work. Let it soak in, wet it down first. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse it very good. Get all of the soap out. Don't worry about the parts inside as this unit is made for the outdoors. Be careful not to bend down the fins on the coil as they are aluminum and have to be open to let air through to remove heat. If you do or see any that have been flattened, take a comb and try to open them the best you can. If this coil is dirty, it will cause this unit many problems. It should be cleaned at least 2 times a year, as it is a heat-pump. This should help it heat much better. You should notice a big difference in the heat and cooling. Please rate me on this, and keep me posted on the out come. I hope the best for you. Contact me if you need me.
Sincerely,
Shastalaker7
A/C, & Heating Contractor

Nov 21, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Why your unit is freezing up.


Electric heat strips are not for heat pumps only this is a form of heating in conventional systems also.

Dec 25, 2008 | Carrier XHB123D X/Y Series Heat/Cool Air...

1 Answer

I have a Panasonic CS/CU-W18DKR - on cooling it works fine, auto aswell as fan, but on heating when it is on manual fan control it used to blow all the time, but not for some reason it only blows intermitantly as if it is on some sort of auto setting - please help


When the unit heats inside, the outdoor unit cools, and if the outdoor cooling coil gets too cold the system turns off indoor fan, and changes gas flow direction to de-ice the outdoor coil. Ensure both coils, and the filters are clean and if there is still a problem check system gas pressure for leaks.

Apr 18, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

ac freezing outside not inside


If its in the cooling mode the ice is in both places. It freezes up inside first then works its way outside just usually not easy to see the inside ice because its incased in the coil box. This could be due to a lack of airflow ie dirty filter coil or closed dampers or low on freon. If its a heat pump and in the heating mode it could be a bad defrost control, lack of airflow across the outdoor coil or low on freon.

Sep 12, 2009 | Honeywell Electronic Programmable...

1 Answer

Can an AC run without the filter leading to the compressor


I would think. If there is a filter somewhere in any mechanical device, its there for a reason. Car, ac, water etc. if it has a filter it has a purpose. Sorry for the bad news, but good luck trying to get your ac to front the bill.

Aug 02, 2009 | Friedrich ES12L33 12100/11900-10700/8900...

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