How the Refrigeration Cycle Powers Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioning is a modern luxury that many of us take for granted, especially during hot summer days. But have you ever wondered how your air conditioner is able to cool your home effectively? The answer lies in the fascinating science behind the refrigeration cycle. In this article, we will delve into the inner workings of air conditioners and explore the refrigeration cycle that keeps us cool and comfortable.

Understanding the Basics

Air conditioners are designed to remove heat from the inside of your home and release it outside, thereby cooling the indoor environment. This is achieved through a complex process called the refrigeration cycle, which relies on a special substance known as a refrigerant. The refrigerant plays a pivotal role in transferring heat and facilitating the cooling process.

The Refrigeration Cycle

Compression
The refrigeration cycle starts with the compressor, a vital component of the air conditioning system. This unit pressurizes the refrigerant gas, causing its temperature to rise significantly. As a result, the refrigerant transforms from a low-pressure, low-temperature gas into a high-pressure, high-temperature gas.

Condensation
The high-pressure, high-temperature gas flows into the condenser coil, usually located in the outdoor unit of the air conditioner. In the condenser, the refrigerant releases its heat to the surrounding air, cooling down and transforming into a high-pressure liquid. This process effectively removes the heat from the indoor air and transfers it outdoors.

Expansion
Once the refrigerant has been condensed into a high-pressure liquid, it passes through an expansion valve or an evaporator coil, typically situated in the indoor unit of the air conditioner. The expansion valve allows the refrigerant to rapidly expand, reducing its pressure and temperature.

Evaporation
As the refrigerant flows through the evaporator coil, it absorbs heat from the indoor air, causing the air to cool down. This cooling effect occurs because the low-pressure liquid is rapidly evaporating, turning into a low-pressure, low-temperature gas. This chilled air is then distributed throughout your home via the air handler or blower.

Return to Compression
After absorbing heat from the indoor air, the refrigerant returns to the compressor to begin the cycle anew. This continuous process keeps the indoor environment cool and comfortable.

Key Takeaways

The refrigeration cycle in air conditioners is a dynamic and highly efficient process that relies on the properties of the refrigerant to move heat from inside to outside. Here are some key takeaways:

The refrigeration cycle consists of four main stages: compression, condensation, expansion, and evaporation.

The refrigerant transitions between high-pressure, high-temperature and low-pressure, low-temperature states to facilitate heat transfer.

The compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator coil are essential components of the air conditioning system that work in harmony to create the cooling effect.

Regular maintenance and the correct type of refrigerant are crucial to ensure the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioner.

Understanding the refrigeration cycle in air conditioners provides insight into the remarkable technology that keeps us cool during sweltering summer days. By removing heat from inside and releasing it outside, air conditioners transform our living spaces into comfortable oases. So, the next time you enjoy a refreshing blast of cool air, you’ll have a better appreciation for the intricate science behind your air conditioner’s operation.




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A Guide to Cleaning Your Dryer Vent: Tips and Tools

A clean dryer vent not only helps your dryer operate efficiently but also reduces the risk of a potentially dangerous fire hazard. Lint buildup in the dryer vent is a common problem that many homeowners face, and it’s essential to know how to clean it properly. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to clean your dryer vent, along with various tips and essential tools to make the process safe and effective.

Why Cleaning Your Dryer Vent is Important

Cleaning your dryer vent is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Safety: Lint buildup can become a fire hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, dryer fires are a real threat, causing thousands of fires, injuries, and even deaths annually.

  2. Efficiency: A clogged dryer vent can cause your dryer to work harder, resulting in higher energy bills. By keeping the vent clean, your dryer will operate more efficiently, saving you money in the long run.

  3. Appliance Longevity: A clean dryer vent can extend the lifespan of your dryer. When the vent is blocked, the appliance can overheat, causing premature wear and tear.

Now, let’s dive into the steps and tools you’ll need to clean your dryer vent.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials

Before you start cleaning your dryer vent, make sure you have the following tools and materials:

  • Screwdriver
  • Vent brush or dryer lint brush
  • Vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment
  • Extension rod (if needed)
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Dust mask

Step 2: Unplug the Dryer

For safety reasons, always unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet or turn off the gas supply if your dryer is gas-powered.

Step 3: Disconnect the Dryer Vent

Using a screwdriver, loosen the clamp that connects the vent hose to the dryer. Gently pull the vent hose off the dryer’s exhaust.

Step 4: Clean the Vent Hose

Attach the vent brush or lint brush to an extension rod if necessary, and carefully feed it into the vent hose. Move the brush back and forth to dislodge lint and debris from the walls of the hose. Repeat this process until the brush comes out clean.

Step 5: Clean the Vent Opening

With the vent hose still disconnected, use the vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to clean the opening on the back of the dryer. Remove any lint or debris that may have accumulated.

Step 6: Clean the Vent Duct

Next, move to the exterior end of the vent where it exits your home. Using the vent brush or lint brush, feed it into the duct from the outside. Again, move the brush back and forth to dislodge any lint and debris. Be thorough in this step, as it’s where most lint accumulates.

Step 7: Reconnect and Test

Reattach the vent hose to the dryer and secure it with the clamp. Plug in the dryer or turn on the gas supply. Run the dryer for a few minutes to ensure the vent is clear and airflow is unrestricted.

Step 8: Regular Maintenance

To prevent future lint buildup, make it a habit to clean the lint screen after every load of laundry. Additionally, clean your dryer vent at least once a year or more often if you notice reduced drying efficiency.

Regularly cleaning your dryer vent is a simple yet vital task that can keep your home safe, save you money, and extend the life of your dryer. By following these steps and using the recommended tools, you can maintain a clean and safe dryer vent system. Don’t wait until it becomes a problem – take action now to keep your dryer operating at its best while reducing the risk of fire hazards. Your family and wallet will thank you for it.

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How to change your garbage disposal

Nothing is worse than a broken garbage disposal. It seems that they break at the most inopportune times. Usually leaving you with a smelly mess in your sink. In this article I will discuss the best ways to repair your garbage disposal problems, and at the end I will explain how to change your garbage disposal with a new one. 

There are a variety of problems you may encounter with your garbage disposal.

Sink Won’t Drain:

This is the most common first sign that your garbage disposal isn’t working properly. There’s a few things you will need to check in order to repair the correct item. If you operate the disposal, and it sounds normal. Than you probably have a clog at your P Trap at the bottom of the drain. It is the U looking piece of pipe. A lot of debris gets accumulated at this point in the pipe. Get a small bucket, and place it under the P Trap. Remove the P Trap connections, and ensure the P Trap is clear. If you have a clog farther in the line you can either call a plumber, or read about drain augers in my other article.  

Disposal not turning on:

If you activate the disposal, and it doesn’t make a sound. I would check the reset button located on the bottom of the garbage disposal. These reset buttons should reset when clicked in. If it continues to trip, than you probably have an internal short within the disposal. I would recommend replacing the garbage disposal.

Slight hum coming from garbage disposal when activated:

If you hear a slight hum coming from the disposal when activated. You probably have a blade that is stuck. I have found that long screwdrivers can help get the disposal unjammed. You will want to rotate the blade in a circular motion to try to get the blades dislodged from what is jamming it. If the items that are stopping the disposal are metal or glass. Then you will want to remove these items from inside the disposal. If you unplug the electrical cord coming from the garbage disposal to the wall receptacle. You should be fine to put your hand inside the disposal to retrieve the unwanted items. Make sure you test the garbage disposal before sticking your hand in. Ensure the power is off!

How to change your garbage disposal.

Removing old garbage disposal:

Once you unplug the electrical cord coming from the bottom of the disposal you have successfully disconnected the electrical. Next step is to remove the piping coming from the side of the disposal. Sometime it uses 2 screws with a O ring behind a metal plate, and sometimes they are threaded in. Remove the piping connections so the only connection is the top part of the disposal. The basket connects the disposal to the bottom of the sink. Most garbage disposals will drop off the basket once rotated. Be ready to catch the disposal when doing this.

Installing new garbage disposal: 

Depending on the replacement garbage disposal you picked. You may need to replace the basket that connects the disposal with the sink. If you replace this item make sure you clean the sink completely of the old plumber’s putty that was used. Apply a new ring of plumber’s putty around the basket where it connects to the sink. This will ensure it is water tight. Once the basket is attached you can see if you need to attach the power cord to the bottom of the disposal. If the power cord is missing. You can remove the power cord from the old disposal. It is usually attached with wire nuts underneath the metal plate. Reattach the power cord to the new disposal underneath the metal plate with wire nuts.

Dishwasher Hose:

If you have a dishwasher hose attached. Make sure you knock out the plastic stopper inside the tube where the dishwasher hose attaches to the the garbage disposal. You can do this with a screwdriver and hammer. Take out the plastic piece from inside the disposal after you dislocated it from the tube. They put they plastic plugs in there if you don’t have a dishwasher installed. 

Next you will need to reattach the disposal to the basket that connected to the bottom of the sink. Make sure you attach the disposal in the proper direction of the piping. Reattach the piping to the p trap, and ensure all connections are snug to prevent water leaks. Reattach the dishwasher hose. Make sure you direct the dishwasher hose up to create an air gap. The best way to describe this is to direct the hose the opposite way of the P Trap. An air gap in the dishwasher hose is crucial to prevent garbage disposal water to from draining into the dishwasher hose. This will cause unexpected water to be in your dishwasher even when not using it. 

Test it:

Once everything is reattached and snug. Turn on the sink to run some water through the pipes to ensure the pipes are all water tight. Reattach the electrical cord of the garbage disposal to the electrical receptacle that controls it. Turn on the disposal to ensure it is running properly.

Refer to the installation manuals for all installation directions if they differ from what I have been telling you. My goal is to help you save a few dollars while being a homeowner.

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How to flush a water heater

Many people are not aware that there is preventative maintenance involved when it comes to water heaters. In this article I will discuss how to flush a water heater. It is important to do this at least once a year to help extend the life of your water heater. Flushing a water heater will help remove the sediment that builds up in in the bottom of the tanks. It is important to know that water heaters were designed to be housed indoors. Although I have seen a few water heaters mounted outside over the years, and it’s not recommended by any manufacturers. They usually are not covered by warranty if they are installed outdoors. Most water heaters will leak enough to destroy the burner. Some people opt to have a drain pain under the water heater to help catch that water that might rust through or leak. Just be warned that a filled water heater contains a lot of water. A little tray will not be able to contain everything if the whole water heater ruptured. An aftermarket water alarm is a handy device that will alert you if it becomes wet. They can be placed inside the drain pan to help monitor if the water heater were to start leaking.

In order to properly flush a water heater. You will need to turn off the heat source. That means you will need to turn off the gas valve or turn off the breaker if it is electric. Your water heater will ruin if you don’t turn it off before emptying it. Next step is to turn off the water fill valve on the inlet pipe. If you don’t have a shut off valve on the water inlet. Then you will need to locate a water main valve that feeds that area or the entire building. You will need to attach a garden hose to the bottom of the water tank. Make sure your hose has the proper seal to prevent leaks and is adequate in length. Direct the hose to a location that will not damage from rusty water and sediment. Open the valve on top of the hose with a screwdriver or pair of pliers.

Once the water heater has emptied. You can close the hose valve, and open the water inlet valve again. Once the water heater is filled again. Then you can light the pilot light, and let water heater resume it’s normal job. Most gas water heaters are difficult to relight once the pilot light is extinguished. It usually takes a few minutes to relight the to pilot light. If you can’t get the water heater back to normal operation or smell gas then you should stop immediately and contact a professional to assist you. I hope this article has helped explain to you what is needed to flush a water heater. Please contact us with any questions or comments at brooksdollar@gmail.com

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How to change your engine oil

In this this article, I will discuss how to change your engine oil in order to keep your ride running smoothly. It is important to maintain your engine oil while running up the miles on your odometer. There are a few important things that you will need to know when replacing the engine oil.

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First thing I like to do when changing the engine oil is to gather the required materials. You can call your local auto parts store with your year, make, model, and engine size. They will be able to set you up with the proper supplies for your vehicle. You should ask the part employee to check the engine oil capacity specification if you need to know how much oil is required. Most scenarios I will opt for a deal that the store will have with 5 quarts of oil and a oil filter. They will ask you if you would like conventional or synthetic oil. Conventional oil needs to be changed more frequently due to the viscosity breaking down from engine wear and tear. Synthetic oil is changed less frequently due the fact that it does not break down from engine wear. You still need to change your synthetic oil due to the fact of it getting dirty. Once you make the change and fill your engine with synthetic oil. Then I personally would not put conventional oil back in. Some Oil brands sell a synthetic blend oil.

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If you have a vehicle that is low to the ground then you will need to jack up the vehicle to a acceptable height. I will always recommend putting a jack stand underneath the vehicle and wheel chocks for a safety perspective. You don’t want to have a mishap where the car falls on you or someone else. Next you should position the drain pan and remove the oil drain plug. Collect the oil into a container with a lid to bring back to the store. The auto parts stores usually have a used engine oil collection tank. I recommend replacing the engine oil drain plug after the oil is fully drained so you don’t forget to put it back in later. Remember to not over tighten the plug, or you will strip out the threads in the oil pan. Next you need to remove and replace the engine oil filter. I will always dip my finger in the used engine oil and pre lubricate the O Rings on the oil filter to ensure a snug fit. Only use your hand to tighten the oil filter back on to ensure you will be able to remove it next time.  You are now ready to put fresh engine oil back in to your engine with a funnel. Please refer to the engine oil capacity specification that you asked the auto parts store employee to know how much oil you need to put in the engine.

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How to install security cameras

With technology prices dropping and crime always present. I recommend everyone installing some security cameras to the exterior of your home to provide some piece of mind. In this article I will write about how to install security cameras.

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The first thing I like to take into consideration when setting up cameras is knowing how many cameras you would like, and if they will need to be wireless or wired. Wireless cameras will need a 120v power outlet next to where you mount the camera. It is important to remember that wireless cameras have a maximum distance for effective broadcasting, and their picture quality diminishes the farther away they get. Wired cameras will need a run of wire from where the camera is mounted to the DVR. I prefer homes with attics or businesses with drop ceilings when putting in wired systems. It is also smart to locate the DVR next to where the router will be located in order to be hardwired in. My three favorite brands to set up are Swann, Night Owl, and Zmodo.

Night Owl WM-8HD10L-4720 8CH W/4CAMERASNight Owl WM-8HD10L-4720 8CH W/4CAMERASNight Owl WM-8HD10L-4720 8CH W/4CAMERASNight Owl Security HD201-86P-B Video Security Camera DVR with 1 TB HDD & 6 x 1080p Wired Infrared, WhiteNight Owl Security HD201-86P-B Video Security Camera DVR with 1 TB HDD & 6 x 1080p Wired Infrared, WhiteNight Owl Security HD201-86P-B Video Security Camera DVR with 1 TB HDD & 6 x 1080p Wired Infrared, WhiteNight Owl Security, 8 Channel 1080 Lite HD Analog Video Security System with 1 TB HDD and 8 x 1080p HD Wired Cameras (White)Night Owl Security, 8 Channel 1080 Lite HD Analog Video Security System with 1 TB HDD and 8 x 1080p HD Wired Cameras (White)Night Owl Security, 8 Channel 1080 Lite HD Analog Video Security System with 1 TB HDD and 8 x 1080p HD Wired Cameras (White)Night Owl CL-HDA30-161022P-B 16 Channel 3MP Extreme HD Video Security System with 2 TB HDD & 8x3MP Bullet Cameras, WhiteNight Owl CL-HDA30-161022P-B 16 Channel 3MP Extreme HD Video Security System with 2 TB HDD & 8x3MP Bullet Cameras, WhiteNight Owl CL-HDA30-161022P-B 16 Channel 3MP Extreme HD Video Security System with 2 TB HDD & 8x3MP Bullet Cameras, WhiteNight Owl Security WMBF-445-720 4 Channel 720p HD Video System Indoor/Outdoor (White)Night Owl Security WMBF-445-720 4 Channel 720p HD Video System Indoor/Outdoor (White)Night Owl Security WMBF-445-720 4 Channel 720p HD Video System Indoor/Outdoor (White)Night Owl 16-Channel 1080p Security System with 1 TB Hard Drive, 8x 1080p Bullet Cameras, and 100 Night VisionNight Owl 16-Channel 1080p Security System with 1 TB Hard Drive, 8x 1080p Bullet Cameras, and 100 Night VisionNight Owl 16-Channel 1080p Security System with 1 TB Hard Drive, 8x 1080p Bullet Cameras, and 100 Night Vision

Although there are numerous advantages of the newer camera systems then the older ones. I think the best feature of the newer security camera systems is that they give you the ability to view your cameras on your smartphone or tablet through their respective apps.  Some of the systems have the ability to notify you when their is motion.  The systems will start recording when there is motion for later viewing. You can go back in the archives of the DVR, and view the cameras whenever there was motion present.

Zmodo 8CH HDMI NVR Simplified PoE Surveillance Video Security Camera System With 8x720p HD Weatherproof Cameras 1TB HD Remote Access Motion DetectionZmodo 8CH HDMI NVR Simplified PoE Surveillance Video Security Camera System With 8x720p HD Weatherproof Cameras 1TB HD Remote Access Motion DetectionZmodo 8CH HDMI NVR Simplified PoE Surveillance Video Security Camera System With 8x720p HD Weatherproof Cameras 1TB HD Remote Access Motion DetectionZmodo Full HD 1080p Simplified PoE Security Camera System w/Repeater, 8 x 2.0 Megapixel IP Outdoor Surveillance Camera, 8CH HDMI NVR and 1TB Hard DriveZmodo Full HD 1080p Simplified PoE Security Camera System w/Repeater, 8 x 2.0 Megapixel IP Outdoor Surveillance Camera, 8CH HDMI NVR and 1TB Hard DriveZmodo Full HD 1080p Simplified PoE Security Camera System w/Repeater, 8 x 2.0 Megapixel IP Outdoor Surveillance Camera, 8CH HDMI NVR and 1TB Hard DriveZmodo 1080p HD NVR WiFi System 4 HD Outdoor and 4 HD Indoor 1.0 Megapixel Wide Angle Wireless Security Camera with 500GB Hard Drive, Intelligent Recording, Smart Motion Detection, Web AccessZmodo 1080p HD NVR WiFi System 4 HD Outdoor and 4 HD Indoor 1.0 Megapixel Wide Angle Wireless Security Camera with 500GB Hard Drive, Intelligent Recording, Smart Motion Detection, Web AccessZmodo 1080p HD NVR WiFi System 4 HD Outdoor and 4 HD Indoor 1.0 Megapixel Wide Angle Wireless Security Camera with 500GB Hard Drive, Intelligent Recording, Smart Motion Detection, Web AccessZmodo 8CH Wireless Security Camera System - 1080P HDMI NVR with 500GB Hard Drive, 4 x 720P HD Wireless Cameras Night Vision - WiFi Easy Installation No Video Cables Needed (Certified Refurbished)Zmodo 8CH Wireless Security Camera System – 1080P HDMI NVR with 500GB Hard Drive, 4 x 720P HD Wireless Cameras Night Vision – WiFi Easy Installation No Video Cables Needed (Certified Refurbished)Zmodo 8CH Wireless Security Camera System - 1080P HDMI NVR with 500GB Hard Drive, 4 x 720P HD Wireless Cameras Night Vision - WiFi Easy Installation No Video Cables Needed (Certified Refurbished)Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System (2 pack) Smart HD WiFi IP Cameras with Night VisionZmodo Wireless Security Camera System (2 pack) Smart HD WiFi IP Cameras with Night VisionZmodo Wireless Security Camera System (2 pack) Smart HD WiFi IP Cameras with Night Vision

It is important to remember that some of the corners of the attic may be hard to squeeze into when running wires for the cameras. I will drill a small hole in the eave of the house for the wire and push a fish tape through the hole to retrieve the wire in the hard to reach spots. This technique will make your life much easier when running the wires. Please email us if you have any questions or concerns, and we can update this article accordingly. dollarmech@gmail.com

How to wire a home AC thermostat

Many homeowners are handy, but tend to get confused when it comes to their home AC system. In this article I will go over how to wire a home AC thermostat. First you will have to choose a AC thermostat to satisfy your personal needs. Whether you decide on choosing a Programmable or Non Programmable thermostat. They are wired the same way. Some of the newer Smart thermostats have Wifi compatibility so you can control the units with your smartphone or computer while away from the house. These thermostats usually require a Common Wire. So it is smart to look at the existing thermostat wiring if you don’t want to rewire a thermostat wire from the unit to the thermostat. Common wire is usually black, but I have seen different colors used. Common wire is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

Thermostat wiring colors

Red – 24v POWER from transformer
Green – Fan
Yellow – Cooling (compressor/outdoor fan)
White – Heating (Gas Furnace or Electrical Heat Strips, Optional)
Orange – Heating (Heat Pump with a Reversing Valve, Optional)
Blue – Heating (Heating on Rheem and Ruud units)
Black – 24v Common from transformer

Nest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control for Every Room in Your House, Stainless Steel (Third Generation), Works with AlexaNest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control for Every Room in Your House, Stainless Steel (Third Generation), Works with AlexaNest (T3007ES) Learning Thermostat, Easy Temperature Control for Every Room in Your House, Stainless Steel (Third Generation), Works with Alexaecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexaecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexaecobee4 Alexa-Enabled Thermostat with Sensor, Works with Amazon Alexaecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat (2nd Gen), Works with Amazon Alexaecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat (2nd Gen), Works with Amazon Alexaecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat (2nd Gen), Works with Amazon AlexaHoneywell RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart 7 Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat with Geofencing, Requires C Wire, Works with AlexaHoneywell RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart 7 Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat with Geofencing, Requires C Wire, Works with AlexaHoneywell RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart 7 Day Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat with Geofencing, Requires C Wire, Works with AlexaHoneywell RTH9585WF1004/W Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable Thermostat, V. 2.0,Honeywell RTH9585WF1004/W Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable Thermostat, V. 2.0,Honeywell RTH9585WF1004/W Wi-Fi Smart Color Programmable Thermostat, V. 2.0,Honeywell TH9320WF5003 Wi-Fi 9000 Color Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat, 3.5 x 4.5 Inch, White, 'Requires C WireHoneywell TH9320WF5003 Wi-Fi 9000 Color Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat, 3.5 x 4.5 Inch, White, ‘Requires C WireHoneywell TH9320WF5003 Wi-Fi 9000 Color Touch Screen Programmable Thermostat, 3.5 x 4.5 Inch, White, 'Requires C WireHoneywell TH6210U2001/U T6 Pro Programmable Thermostat, 2 Heat/1 Cool Heat Pump Or 1 Heat/1 Cool ConventionalHoneywell TH6210U2001/U T6 Pro Programmable Thermostat, 2 Heat/1 Cool Heat Pump Or 1 Heat/1 Cool ConventionalHoneywell TH6210U2001/U T6 Pro Programmable Thermostat, 2 Heat/1 Cool Heat Pump Or 1 Heat/1 Cool ConventionalLux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen ThermostatLux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen ThermostatLux Products TX9600TS Universal 7-Day Programmable Touch Screen ThermostatEmerson UP310 Premium 7 Day Programmable ThermostatEmerson UP310 Premium 7 Day Programmable ThermostatEmerson UP310 Premium 7 Day Programmable ThermostatHoneywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital ThermostatHoneywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital ThermostatHoneywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital ThermostatHoneywell RTH221B1021/E1 RTH221B1021/A 1 Week Programmable ThermostatHoneywell RTH221B1021/E1 RTH221B1021/A 1 Week Programmable ThermostatHoneywell RTH221B1021/E1 RTH221B1021/A 1 Week Programmable ThermostatHoneywell CT87K The RoundHeat Only Manual ThermostatHoneywell CT87K The RoundHeat Only Manual ThermostatHoneywell CT87K The RoundHeat Only Manual Thermostat

When removing the cover of your old home AC thermostat you will see wires coming from the wall. Try to avoid breaking the wires when removing the old thermostat. REMEMBER THAT THE RED WIRE IS HOT!  I recommend disconnecting the power of the unit if you are a novice electrician. You could possibly burn out a small fuse or pop a micro circuit breaker on the transformer.  I tend to replace the thermostats really quickly without disconnecting power, but I have changed hundreds of thermostats and deal with different electrical wires daily. You just have to be careful with where the metal ends of the wire touch. I recommend installing the red wire first to get it out of the way. Going from one thermostat base directly into the other one. Green wire controls the indoor fan. Yellow wire controls the outdoor unit compressor and outdoor fan motor. White wire is usually used for gas furnaces or electrical heating. Orange wire is used for heat pump units, and it activates the reversing valve. Reversing valve changes the flow of the refrigerant. Blue wire is used on some units for heating. Black wire is almost always common. It is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

After attaching the wires and reattaching the face plate. It is important to finish the steps in the instructions that came with the home AC thermostat. The newer Smart thermostats will have a series of questions to answer. It is important to answer the questions to the best of your ability. After you are done with the set up questions. I recommend testing the unit in the different modes to ensure that the wiring is correct. I will always test in cooling and heating to prevent a call back.  If you have any questions about your home AC thermostat. Feel free to send us questions at dollarmech@gmail.com

Get your AC ready for summer!

Air conditioners are the most crucial part of the home or business during the summer months. It is imperative to get ready for the coming summer temperatures. In this article I will go over a few things to look at on your Air Conditioner to get your AC ready for summer.

Excelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFExcelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFExcelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV FunctionACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV FunctionACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV Function

Capacitors are one of the most common things that go bad during the summer temperatures. You can prevent this by testing the capacitor Microfarad level by using a multimeter that is equipped with the feature. I recommend testing the indoor fan capacitor and outdoor fan capacitor. You can test the capacitor by removing one side of the circuit on the capacitor. Put the test leads of the multimeter across the top prongs of the capacitor. It should give you a microfarad reading of what the capacitor is rated for. So for example if you have a 12.5 microfarad capacitor. It would be most likely rated for plus or minus 6%.

12.5 x .06 = .75 So the capacitor shouldn’t be lower then 11.75 microfarads. Let’s say you have a capacitor that tested 11.13 microfarads. Then you would want to replace the capacitor with one that is within the range.

MARS - Motors & Armatures 12905 370V Oval 5 Micro-Farads Motor Run CapacitorMARS – Motors & Armatures 12905 370V Oval 5 Micro-Farads Motor Run CapacitorMARS - Motors & Armatures 12905 370V Oval 5 Micro-Farads Motor Run CapacitorMotor Run Capacitor, 370 Volt, Oval, 10 Micro-FaradsMotor Run Capacitor, 370 Volt, Oval, 10 Micro-FaradsMotor Run Capacitor, 370 Volt, Oval, 10 Micro-FaradsPowerWell 35 + 5 MFD uf PW-35/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 35/5 micro faradPowerWell 35 + 5 MFD uf PW-35/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 35/5 micro faradPowerWell 35 + 5 MFD uf PW-35/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 35/5 micro faradPowerWell 40 + 5 MFD uf PW-40/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 40/5 micro faradPowerWell 40 + 5 MFD uf PW-40/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 40/5 micro faradPowerWell 40 + 5 MFD uf PW-40/5/R 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner 40/5 micro faradPowerWell 45+5 MFD 45/5 uf 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor PW-45/5/R for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air ConditionerPowerWell 45+5 MFD 45/5 uf 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor PW-45/5/R for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air ConditionerPowerWell 45+5 MFD 45/5 uf 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor PW-45/5/R for Condenser Straight Cool or Heat Pump Air Conditioner

Most home AC’s use Dual run capacitors. These are two capacitors that are built in one. One is used to run the Compressor, and the other is used to run the outdoor fan motor. Capacitors are used in a electrical circuit to boost the amperage. So they can hold a charge when removed from the circuit. It is important to discharge the capacitor by putting a piece of metal between the sets of prongs on the top of the capacitor. I like to use a screwdriver.

Fan motors should be working without any excessive vibrations or bearing sounds. It is important to be careful of bending fan blades.  It is hard to repair a fan blade when a fan blade gets damaged. It is easier to just replace the fan blade with the exact same model of blade.

Goodman B1086756S Fan BladeGoodman B1086756S Fan BladeGoodman B1086756S Fan BladeLomanco 003 Power Blade VentLomanco 003 Power Blade VentLomanco 003 Power Blade VentFAN BLADES FOR EVAPORATOR MOTORS- 8FAN BLADES FOR EVAPORATOR MOTORS- 8FAN BLADES FOR EVAPORATOR MOTORS- 8A95231 Metal Fan Blade 9A95231 Metal Fan Blade 9A95231 Metal Fan Blade 9

Condenser coils get dirty over the years with dust and other things. You can spray off the coils with a garden hose to help remove the dirt. I recommend using a condenser coil cleaner if the coils are really dirty. Most common spray on cleaners will require water for the condenser coils and no water required for the evaporator coils. Since there is a build of condensation on the evap coils during operation that will rinse the chemical cleaners off.

Drain Dawg Regulator, Blow Gun, and Accessory Fitting KitDrain Dawg Regulator, Blow Gun, and Accessory Fitting KitDrain Dawg Regulator, Blow Gun, and Accessory Fitting KitDiversitech AP-DD Accessory Pack Drain DawgDiversitech AP-DD Accessory Pack Drain DawgDiversitech AP-DD Accessory Pack Drain DawgDiversitech AP-06 Drain DawgDiversitech AP-06 Drain DawgDiversitech AP-06 Drain DawgAC-Safe Foam Coil Cleaner - 19 ounce spray aerosol can: Cleans Evaporator and Condesor Coils, Fan Blades, and Reusable Air FiltersAC-Safe Foam Coil Cleaner – 19 ounce spray aerosol can: Cleans Evaporator and Condesor Coils, Fan Blades, and Reusable Air FiltersAC-Safe Foam Coil Cleaner - 19 ounce spray aerosol can: Cleans Evaporator and Condesor Coils, Fan Blades, and Reusable Air FiltersComStar 90-100 Coil King Professional Grade Concentrated Alkaline External Condenser Coil Cleaner, 1 gal Container, YellowComStar 90-100 Coil King Professional Grade Concentrated Alkaline External Condenser Coil Cleaner, 1 gal Container, YellowComStar 90-100 Coil King Professional Grade Concentrated Alkaline External Condenser Coil Cleaner, 1 gal Container, YellowAir Conditioner Condenser Fin and Refrigerator Coil Cleaning Whisk BrushAir Conditioner Condenser Fin and Refrigerator Coil Cleaning Whisk BrushAir Conditioner Condenser Fin and Refrigerator Coil Cleaning Whisk BrushNu-Calgon 4291-08 Nu-Brite, 1-GallonNu-Calgon 4291-08 Nu-Brite, 1-GallonNu-Calgon 4291-08 Nu-Brite, 1-Gallon

Most drains will get clogged over time with dirt, animal hair, and a sludge build up. I recommend checking the drains coming off the evap coils. You should clear the piping with water or compressed nitrogen if there is a clog. I like to use the drain dawg kit that has a long hose attached to a nitrogen regulator and tank.

Steps to winterize

Winter is coming!!! Now is time to get your systems ready for the colder temperatures if you haven’t done so already. In this article I will show you steps to winterize your units.  Many people don’t really think about their AC or evaporative coolers much after the summer months, but if you continue to do necessary maintenance steps. Then you can help prolong the life of your units, and that will help you save a few bucks eventually.
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Most units in Arizona that I come across are heat pump units. Meaning that they are built a special way in which they have a reversing valve. That will cause the hot air to blow across your indoor (evap) coils as opposed to usually leaving your outdoor (condenser) coil. Heat pumps usually are enough here in the desert since we only near freezing temperatures in the winter. Some heat pump units will have electrical heater strips as an addition to the heat pump operation. I have attached some examples of reversing valves below.

Brothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonBrothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonBrothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonGoodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve CoilGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve CoilGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve Coil

There are many other types of heating systems. Another common set up is a gas furnace. They are sometimes built into package units. They are easily identifiable with their need for a gas line hooked up to the unit. You will want to make sure the units engage when you call for heating on your thermostat. If you have a gas system you will want to make sure the gas valve is open. The thermostat should engage the furnace. Which will cause gas to engage and get lit by the igniters. Electrical heat strips should engage if they are equipped. If you have a hydronic system. You will want to make sure the water pump engages and flows the water through your coils.

Watts Dormont 30C-3131KIT-48B Complete Gas Range Install Kit 48-Inch LengthWatts Dormont 30C-3131KIT-48B Complete Gas Range Install Kit 48-Inch LengthWatts Dormont 30C-3131KIT-48B Complete Gas Range Install Kit 48-Inch LengthMr. Heater One-Stop Universal Gas-Appliance Hook-Up KitMr. Heater One-Stop Universal Gas-Appliance Hook-Up KitMr. Heater One-Stop Universal Gas-Appliance Hook-Up KitHot Max 24201 Extension/Appliance Hose for Propane or Natural Gas, 25 FeetHot Max 24201 Extension/Appliance Hose for Propane or Natural Gas, 25 FeetHot Max 24201 Extension/Appliance Hose for Propane or Natural Gas, 25 FeetEtekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~1022℉ (-50℃~550℃), Yellow and BlackEtekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~1022℉ (-50℃~550℃), Yellow and BlackEtekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~1022℉ (-50℃~550℃), Yellow and BlackNubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer MAX Display & EMS AdjustableNubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer MAX Display & EMS AdjustableNubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer MAX Display & EMS AdjustableFluke 62 MAX IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +932 Degree F RangeFluke 62 MAX IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +932 Degree F RangeFluke 62 MAX IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +932 Degree F Range

It is a good time to inspect the life of the other working parts of your evap cooler when winterizing it. I usually will replace the pads and possibly the belt at the end of the season if they have mineral build up on them. When winterizing I recommend shutting off the water supply, and removing the drain stem to remove the water from the pan. You can keep the fan plugged in if you would like to use it to bring in fresh air still. This is a good practice to follow because freezing water can shorten your machine’s life.

Clean Machine 120V PumpClean Machine 120V PumpClean Machine 120V PumpDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner TreatmentDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner TreatmentDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner Treatment343434DIAL 51795 In-Line Scale CartridgeDIAL 51795 In-Line Scale CartridgeDIAL 51795 In-Line Scale Cartridge

I hope this article has helped you prepare for winter. Please comment or email if you need some help answering questions.

dollarmech@gmail.com

How to make your AC last longer

How to make your AC last longerAbout 12 years ago, I was “Mr Naive” about AC’s. If you would of asked me how they worked. Then I would’ve said something like “PFM” (pure f*cking magic). Since then I have been to several schools that have taught me the ways of how various refrigeration systems run. They have taught me how to best care for pretty much every type of refrigeration machine you can think of. So, I thought I should pass some of that knowledge on to you guys. In this article I will cover some of the most basic things that you can look at to help make your AC last longer.

It is important to remember to safely turn off the power before reaching your hands around the fan blades or handling the electrical wiring.

Things to look at:

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