The condenser fan motor is responsible for pulling air through coils of the condenser. The are also call air conditioner fan motor or heat pump fan motor but they all serve the same purpose. They pull air through the condenser coils. The condenser fan motor runs the gamut in horsepower ratings from low fractional horsepower in small residential units all the way up to 1 horsepower (and larger) 3 phase motors in large commercial HVAC units. The condenser fan motor is usually direct drive to a propeller blade which creates the air flow.
In straight air conditioners the air conditioner fan motor is used mainly in the summer or when the air conditioner is running. During the winter this motor sits idle until the air conditioner is turned back on in the spring when temperatures begin to rise.This can be a problem for the air conditioner fan motor. Sitting all winter without any motion the bearings and shaft in the air conditioner fan motor can seize up or rust. It is important that the air conditioner motor be checked to ensure it is running especially when it is first turned on after sitting idle all winter. This is a good reason to have air conditioning spring maintenance performed by a professional. Continue reading “Condenser Fan Motor – Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps” »
Always follow the thermostat manufacturers instructions whenever changing the thermostat. Always turn the power off at the air handler and the condenser and make sure there is no voltage at the transformer before proceeding. The colors below are the most likely colors used for most installations however your thermostat wire colors may be different than what is indicated here. There is no official standard for thermostat wire colors. Thermostat wiring colors are not standardized but these are the most wiring methods used based on my years of experience in the HVAC field where I successfully wired a lot of thermostats. For instructions on how to wire a thermostat please see our how to wire a thermostat page.
Air Conditioning Units & Heat Pumps Condensing Unit Basics
Air Conditioning & Heat Pump condensing unit is a simple yet technical piece of HVAC equipment. It sits out in the back (or side) of your house and kicks on and off almost by itself. At least it seems that way to most people. In this box made of sheet metal, is the heart of your HVAC cooling system. Or for those with heat pumps, it is the heart of your HVAC heating and cooling.
A heat pump condensing unit will look similar to an air conditioning condenser. There are differences inside the the heat pump condenser and air conditioning condenser equipment. A heat pump condenser has a reversing valve and an air conditioner condenser does not have a reversing valve. A heat pump will provide heating and cooling and an air conditioner will only cool your home or business. Both systems are common in the fact that both types of condensers have condenser coils, a compressor, controls, and a condenser fan motor. Unless you have a water to air heat pump system you probably do not have a heat pump if you live North of the Mid-Atlantic region (North of Maryland).
Every electrical-mechanical piece of equipment has a sequence of operation and while some manufacturers of heat pumps vary slightly with their heat pump sequence of operation but overall the sequence of operation for a heat pump is the same for most manufacturers. So unless you have a special type of heat pump (they are out there – the Acadia heat pump is designed for extreme cold weather temperatures up North like Canada) the sequence of operation for your heat pump should be very similar to what I described here. This is the basic heat pump sequence of operation like you will find in conventional heat pumps.
Heat Pumps are very popular especially in the South where air source heat pumps are mostly favored over straight air conditioners with a gas furnace for heating. With a heat pump one system can do it all especially in the mild winters of the South. In the North some people rely on a geothermal heat pump system or a water source heat pump where the heat is extracted from the ground instead of the air like an air source heat pump works. While air source heat pumps are cheaper to install the geothermal heat pump systems will save a lot of money over the life of the heat pump in operating costs so as far as efficiency is concerned the geothermal heat pump rules the day. There may be a time when your heat pump will begin giving you problems so we decided to post an article to help some people diagnose the heat pump problem in an effort to better understand the system. Some minor repairs can be done by someone with advanced do it yourself skills however we always recommend you call an HVAC contractor to repair the heat pump problem if you have a problem with your heat pump. Before you get started you may want to take a look at the articles, “How Heat Pumps Work” , “Heat Pump Components” and “heat pump sequence of operation“. To solve heat pump problems you at least need to be familiar with a heat pump and the heat pump components so those two pages will help you.
Delay Timers and the Air Conditioner Condenser or Heat Pump Condensing Unit
Air Conditioners are big HVAC refrigerators. Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps use the HVAC refrigeration cycle to transfer heat from a place where it is not wanted (inside absorbing heat with the evaporator coil) to a place that makes no difference (outside using the condensing unit)(in the cooling cycle). The heart of any HVAC air conditioning, heat pump, or refrigeration system is the compressor which pumps the refrigerant through the HVAC air conditioning system. When the refrigerant leaves the compressor it is compressed and therefore a higher pressure than it was before it entered the compressor inside the condensing unit. This pressure remains constant (give or take under certain conditions) until it passes through the metering device where the pressure and temperature are reduced. This low pressure remains constant (again give or take under certain conditions) until it again reaches the compressor inside the condensing unit and is compressed again. Continue reading “Condensing Units 2” »
The main connection between the air conditioning and heating system and the end user is the thermostat. Beyond the air conditioning and heating thermostat many people know nothing about their systems that keep them comfortable year round. There comes a time when the thermostat has a problem or the end user wants to replace the thermostat because they think it is a broken thermostat. It is not uncommon for a person to call an HVAC contractor and tell the secretary that they think the thermostat is broken because their air conditioner or heating system does not work. In some instances this is the case while in others the thermostat is not broken but something is wrong with the air conditioning and heating equipment that needs to be repaired. In either case it is usually best to call an HVAC professional to look at the problem especially if you want to replace the thermostat. There are a few things you can check with your thermostat before you call an HVAC professional. A little thermostat troubleshooting is in order.
Gas Furnace Troubleshooting or Any Furnace Repair should only be done by a qualified HVAC Technician
Aside from understanding the basics of electrical, Electronics and controls to troubleshoot a furnace one needs to understand the components of the furnace and the gas furnace sequence of operation. Therefore repair techniques for various furnaces will be different from furnace to furnace depending on what type of furnace you are repairing. This is a basic gas furnace repair article that simply covers the basics. If you want to learn more about repairing furnaces you can check out the recommended reading and get a book on HVAC or Furnaces or another option is to take a repair class at your local community college or trade school. Of course you can’t learn it all in a book nor taking a repair class but you can learn the basics of repairing furnaces by learning the basics of HVAC. After all, nothing beats experience especially educated experience.
Troubleshooting boiler problems will depend on what the problem is with boiler. The scope of this article will cover the basic boiler problems that can occur with a boiler and troubleshooting the basic problems with the boiler. Many of these problems will require the attention of a professional boiler technician many of which are available at either your local plumbing contractor or HVAC contractor. Boiler systems from one boiler to another are usually unique and various boilers systems can be very complex all the way from the boiler itself all the way through the near boiler piping and the boiler water loop. We will break down the boiler problems and boiler troubleshooting into sections from the boiler itself all the way to the loop and into groups from hot water boilers to steam boilers. This article for troubleshooting boiler problems is not comprehensive but covers the basics. Other articles here in the boiler category of High Performance HVAC covers other problems that can occur with boilers so check our other articles for boiler troubleshooting and information.
Your thermostat or programmable thermostat is an integral part of your comfort system. These thermostats, whichever type of thermostat or thermostats you have, require little maintenance. Often, I find that the only thing people know about their AC and Heating systems is how to turn the thermostat on and off and change the temperature setting. The purpose of this site is to help people go beyond the thermostat and learn more about their system as a whole, not just a dial on the wall that adjusts the temperature when they are not comfortable. However, we’ll delve into the world of thermostats on this page and hopefully this will help many people.