Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling
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!!
Posted by Michael... on
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