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  1. How to Remove a Clog and Maintain an Air Conditioning Drain Line

    November 14, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    One of the most common reasons an air conditioning service technician is called is the condensate drain line has clogged. In most cases this is a huge waste of money. The fix is often simple and special tools are not required. To make this type of service call worse, a backed-up condensate drain line is an avoidable problem. Simple maintenance twice a year keeps even the most used air conditioning condensate drain line from getting a clog.

    Over time sludge forms in an air conditioner’s drain line. This happens because the normal current from condensate is not enough to flush the line. Tiny particles form along the bottom of the long horizontal parts of the drain line. Once in a while, some sludge will break free and travel to a restriction, where it will settle. Once enough sludge particles collect in one spot, a clog is created. Then the water will back up into the air conditioning drain pan. After the pan is full, water will overflow into the house. This is when most homeowners notice the problem.

    Turn the air conditioner off at the thermostat. There is no reason to add more water to the problem. Take the panel off of the inside air conditioning unit where the evaporator coil is. Two copper lines and the drain line connect to the evaporator coil. Inspect the drain pan. If the drain is blocked, the pan will be full of water. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean the drain pan. Place a rag over the spot where the drain line enters the pan. This will help keep the mess to a minimum later.

    Find where the condensate pipe exits the house. This is usually near the copper lines that connect to the outside air conditioning unit. Follow these lines back to the house. Look for a plastic pipe. It is usually one inch in diameter (black, grey or white). You may need to dig a small hole in the ground near the spot where the copper lines enter the house to find it. If the pipe stops underground, then this is the problem. Clean the dirt out of the end of the pipe, add a short piece of pipe and a 90-degree fitting to get the end of the pipe out of the ground. If the condensate line is not at the air conditioning unit you must walk around the house to find it. Look for a plastic pipe that sticks out of the ground for no apparent reason or a wet patch of dirt.

    There should be a 90-degree fitting at the end of the condensate drain line. This fitting should not be glued on. Remove the fitting. Often this is the place where the clog forms. If so, removing the elbow releases the restriction and the sludge will flow freely. Use a wet/dry vacuum to stuck the sludge from the pipe. In most cases, this will completely free the drain. For extreme cases a hose will be needed. This is why you put a rag in the inside unit. Turn the water hose on. Fold the hose near the drain line to stop the water. Place the end of the hose against the end of the condensate line. Release the water for ONLY ONE SECOND. Allow the water to exit the pipe. The clog should break free. If not, repeat this step. Go inside, remove the rag and add water to the drain pan. Water should flow freely to the outside. When the blockage is free, reinstall the front panel of the inside unit and the elbow on the drain line outside.

    Air conditioning condensate drain lines should have maintenance perform at least once per year, twice is better. This is a simple process. All that is needed to be done is pour 1/2 to 1 gallon of warm water down the drain. A lot of air conditioning systems have a T-fitting near the air handler. Open the top of the T-fitting and slowly pour the water down the drain. If your system does not have the T-fitting, then you must remove the evaporator coil cover to access the drain. Pour the water into the pan.

    For more information, visit Factoidz:Air Conditioning Condensate Drain Cleaning and Maintenance


  2. What To Do if Your Air Conditioner Freezes

    November 2, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , , , | Comments (0)

    No matter how diligent you are about replacing your air conditioner filters and having regular air conditioner maintenance, there is still a chance that your air conditioner could freeze up during the summer. Before we get into how to fix the problem of your air conditioner freezing up, let’s take a look at what could cause your air conditioner to freeze up in the first place.

    What makes an air conditioner freeze?

    There are three main things that can cause an air conditioner to freeze up:

    Lack of air flow – this is the most common reason that many air conditioners freeze up. Dirty air filters or undersized ducts can limit airflow, causing the temperature of the cooling coil to drop to below freezing. Usually, changing the filters is enough to fix the problem. However, if your air conditioner is freezing up due to undersized ducts, the problem is a result of weakened airflow causing humidity in the air to build up and freeze on the coil.

    Refrigerant leaks – the amount of refrigerant in your air conditioner has to be carefully controlled if you want to keep your air conditioner running effectively. Too much, or too little, refrigerant in your system could cause your air conditioner to freeze (or not provide enough cooling).

    Outdoor temperature – when it gets especially cold at night, there is a chance that your air conditioner could freeze up. Air conditioners don’t do well when temperatures are below 60 F – if temperatures dip this low, turn off the AC and open the windows to save some energy!

    What To Do if Your Air Conditioner Freezes

    The steps you should take to fix your air conditioner if it freezes depend on the reason why it froze.

    If your air conditioner is frozen, turn it off immediately and let it defrost – this will prevent any serious damage to the system. Next, check all the air filters in your home to see if they are dirty or blocked. If they are, clean or replace them. Check back in 24 hours – if there is no more ice on your compressor, changing the filters solved the problem.

    If it’s a lack of refrigerant that has caused your air conditioner to freeze, it’s best to talk to an HVAC contractor. They will know the exact level to set your refrigerant at to ensure optimal air conditioner operation. In addition, if your air conditioner is freezing due to a refrigerant leak, they will be able to fix the problem. There’s also the chance that your defrost timer is on the fritz.

    If your air conditioner is freezing up and you don’t know why, call the experts at Magnolia Heating & Air Conditioning. We can provide air conditioner repair in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC to make sure your air conditioner stays healthy and efficient all summer long.

    For more information, visit Magnolia Heating and Air Conditioning


  3. How to Learn About Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Cooling

    July 1, 2012 by admin | Category: Educational, Helpful, InformationTags: , , , | Comments (0)

    Learning about heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling (HVAC) can save you money or lead to a rewarding career. HVAC training courses teach students how to install, troubleshoot, maintain and repair home and commercial heating and air conditioning systems. With training, homeowners can work on their own systems. Students willing to devote enough time to obtain certification or a degree may find employment in the industry since, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, experts see positive job outlook for HVAC technicians.


  4. Check state requirements regarding licensure. Some states require HVAC workers to obtain certification. Specific requirements vary greatly. Some areas developed a test that applicants must pass, and others insist applicants gain experience through apprenticeship programs.
  5. Investigate technical schools and colleges to find an HVAC program that fits your needs. Certification programs typically take about one year to complete, while associate degrees include general education courses such as composition, laboratory science, social studies and math and so take additional time, usually another year.
  6. Contact schools to see if you can take individual classes rather than enroll in an entire program if you are just looking for information rather than professional certification. Programs with hands-on training often have limited space available.
  7. Call local HVAC employers to see if you can shadow an employee or work as an apprentice, depending upon the level of involvement you want. Apprenticeship programs may require classroom work in addition to field training.
  8. Apply for the program or classes. You will need to fill out forms to indicate your resident status. If you enter a degree program, you will have to take a basic skills exam.
  9. Read the program’s requirements carefully. Note the deadlines for withdrawing (if you discover the program isn’t what you wanted), when coursework needs to be completed and the procedures for graduation.
  10. For more information, visit eHow