Archive for the ‘Backdraft’ Category

It was a picture on an industry magazine that summed it up for me.

Friday, March 1st, 2013
IE3 Quality Contractors

IE3 Quality Contractors

Comfort Delivery Problem #4:  The Heating or Cooling Equipment was Installed Incorrectly sounds like a problem you should never experience right?

Well hopefully, as I discuss the Solutions to Comfort Delivery Problem #4 you will feel confident not only in your installation but your choice of contractor.

Usually Heating and Cooling Equipment are part of a system.  It has several components but the two big ones you would normally think about are the Indoor Unit (Furnace, Air Handler or Evaporator Coils) and the outdoor unit, the condenser (straight air conditioning or heat pump.)  Only equipment that were designed to work together should be installed.  This very well could mean you may be facing replacing both the indoor unit and the outdoor unit.  In our industry we have a name for it, it is called Manual S.  We rely upon engineering data from the manufacturer so that we can ensure the performance and longevity of the equipment we select for you.  There are several factors that can cause a system mismatch.  As part of a Solution for Comfort Delivery #4, we need to confirm compatibility with the various components of your comfort system.

Once that wonderfully matched system is installed, there are a couple of other things that go a long way to ensuring you do not experience Comfort Delivery Problem #4.  For air conditioners and heat pumps, we must go through a start up procedure.  It actually starts during installation, but I won’t bore you with those details but if you would like a more comprehensive list, do not hesitate to contact us at mailto:customercare@comfort-central.com or (828) 483-4040.  But the part of the start up procedure that should become part of your permanent record is the Quality Installation Start Up Sheet.  Now many of us contractors work in differing climates, regions, have differing regulations, so ours could very well look very different than one from Buffalo, New York.  Ask to see your completed start up sheet.

However, even with existing systems you should expect to see that the refrigerant charge was measured and adjusted if needed to ensure peak performance.  And sometimes, a note stating we need to come back when weather is more cooperative to ensure it is at peak levels.  Yes, it is very true, when the weather is mild or cold—because of the properties of refrigerant, we will need to return to make minor adjustments.

This is one reason why we include a Comfort Club Membership with every one of our installs—there are actually some great benefits to this approach.  First, you know we coming out as soon as the weather warms up and we will definitely make the adjustments as needed.  Second, it gives us the opportunity to not only talk about proper maintenance of your system, but to show you what to expect.  And third, we simply like to visit our equipment and watch them run, they are almost like children to us.

But, I got off topic.  Another solution included in addressing Comfort Delivery Problem #4, is testing for carbon monoxide and proper operation for all oil and gas appliances.  This is one that your life could depend upon, so do expect it each and every time you have your equipment inspected.

Third:  Fix all chimney venting problems.  I know that checking for carbon monoxide and testing proper operation of your combustion appliances seems to address this one.  There are some exterior forces that could affect chimney venting.  This could be wind forces upon the home, negative pressure in the house creating back drafts.  These should be identified and corrected.

Finally, do a final control check to be sure the equipment is operating at peak efficiency.

Hopefully, you feel comfortable discussing the Solutions to Comfort Delivery Problem#4:  The Heating or Cooling Equipment was Installed Incorrectly with any of your service providers.  If not, do not hesitate to give us a call, we here at Comfort Central are always happy to help.

My next blog (as I now have guest bloggers you may need to search for) I will discuss Comfort Delivery Problem #5:  The House has Large Hidden Air Leaks which Create Hot or Cold Rooms.  This is actually a fun one.  There have been many books written on the subject, but I will try to keep it simple and straight forward.

Is it a Prescription for the Cure?

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

We visit doctors because we trust that they will diagnose and prescribe the best treatment to keep us healthy and happy. We trust they will run the appropriate tests, and they will follow up to make sure we are responding to their prescribed treatment.

Unfortunately, studies conducted throughout the United States by Utility Companies indicate that is not happening within Heating and Air Conditioning Industry. Which leads us to Comfort Delivery Problem #4: The Heating or Cooling Equipment was Installed Incorrectly.

Here is what we know. Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems Need the Proper Amount of Refrigerant. The amount of refrigerant gas installed in an air conditioning or heat pump system is critical to proper operation.

Utility Company Studies have shown that approximately 75% of all installed air conditioning or heat pump systems have either too much or too little refrigerant installed.

This is important because improper refrigerant levels reduce the efficiency and capacity of the equipment and can lead to premature failures. It is imperative that a trained technician should always verify and adjust the refrigerant charge.

But there is also a safety component we need to be aware of. Improperly installed venting systems for gas or oil furnaces and water heaters can let poisonous exhaust gases into your home. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that even low levels of exposure can impact your health.

But also of concern (remember our discussion about duct leakage, Comfort Delivery Problem #1: http://www.comfortandefficiency.com/2011/07/i-hate-getting-straw-that-is-broken.html?), negative pressures in homes from duct leaks and imbalanced duct system airflows can cause backdrafting and spillage of exhaust gases into your home. So it is imperative for the health and safety of your family that a measurement of chimney draft and carbon monoxide (CO) production should always be done on oil and gas appliances.

backdrafting

Just as a doctor needs to follow up to ensure his treatment plan is addressing our health issues, we need to do our due diligence. I will provide more information in our next blog and provide Solutions for Comfort Delivery Problem #4: Heat and Cooling Equipment Not Installed Properly.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, or would like your system checked and you are here in Western North Carolina, please give us a call (828) 483-4040, customercare@comfort-central.com, or check out our website at comfort-central.com.