ACHR NEWS Tips: White Slime Is No Match for an Educated HVAC Technician

Techniques for technicians to remediate bacterial invaders

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PROTECTIVE COATING: The slime that technicians find in an HVAC system is typically a coating that protects the bacteria colony growing inside of it, according to Donald Prather, technical services manager, ACCA.

HVAC technicians have enemies in the fight for comfort — wet bulb, duct pressure, system imbalance, the list continues. An old nemesis, however, continues to lurk in the system in the form of slime. It’s not the green ectoplasm left behind by creatures from the classic “Ghostbusters” movie; it’s a white substance that clogs the HVAC system and stops it from running properly. This is when customers tromp down to the basement, or wherever their systems are located, to investigate the reason for their discomfort. There, they find white globs of an unidentified slimy substance — the sight of which can turn even the strongest of stomachs. Reaching for the phone, who are they going to call? Tech-nicians.

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How to Troubleshoot Air Conditioning Systems

Inefficient compressors, noncondensables, and air temperature can affect performance

How to Troubleshoot Air Conditioning Systems

Troubleshooting an air conditioning system often concerns refrigerant, airflow, and mechanical problems, either individually or in combination. The next series of articles will deal with many of these problems, but this one will cover air temperatures entering the condenser, inefficient compressors, and noncondensables in the refrigerant system.

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5 Capacitor Facts You Should Know, According to ACHR News

These facts will come in handy during diagnosis and replacement.

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One of the most common parts to fail on a single-phase HVAC system is a run capacitor, so much so that we sometimes refer to junior techs as “capacitor changers.” While capacitors may be easy to diagnose and replace, here are some things many techs may not know.

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Tech Tips: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…Are You Ready?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the time has arrived. We are finally approaching summer and warmer temperatures are in full swing. There are calls coming into the business, work to be done, and money to be made. The next four months will equal 50% or more of what an HVAC business in our region of the country does in revenue annually. So…are you truly ready? Is your team truly ready? Are you going to run a lot of calls or is your focus on making a lot of money?

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Tech Tip: 500 Microns = 500 Microns

Welcome to what was intended to be my second article on refrigeration circuit practices and the importance of pulling a good vacuum on a system during installation or repair. This was going to be the time where I discussed POE oil being hydroscopic, how we can only evacuate about 50% of the moisture contamination out of POE oil (the rest must be removed with a filter drier), and how despite popular theory we do not measure the quality of a vacuum based on taking a 30-minute lunch. In truth, you have all heard this before and there are many great articles that discuss this very topic in the industry. Case in point, one of those articles inspired my new subject matter: 500 Microns = 500 Microns.

Sweep Dreams are Made of This

Welcome to the first of a two-part series covering the subject of key refrigeration circuit practices. In this post, I will be discussing the importance of properly using nitrogen when brazing refrigerant lines. The process is called “sweeping” and this is not a new process. What has changed over the years is that POE oil has become the predominate refrigerant oil used throughout the world. One characteristic of POE oil is that it’s an excellent detergent and will literally clean the inside of tubing within the refrigerant circuit. This will become problematic when short cuts are taken during installation.

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Tech Tip: Much Ado About Refrigerant

The topic of refrigerant has been an ongoing saga since we first announced the phase-out of HCFC R-22 in 2010. There have been numerous rumors circulating throughout the years about what would happen to refrigerant and when it would happen. We have lived through a roller coaster of prices with not only R-22, but with R-410A as well. However, it is important to keep in mind that the value of anything in the world is only what you can find someone willing to pay for it. So, here we are in 2019, and I am not sure we have any better grasp on where we are headed than we did nearly ten years ago.

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Tech Tip: Defrosting During The Cold & Understanding The Defrost Cycle

In the depth of winter, the weather outside is frightful and the heat pump is “chugging” away to keep the inside delightful. Without our trusty defrost cycle in these conditions our heat pump would quickly begin to look like Frosty the Snowman…minus the jolly part. There’s nothing jolly about a broken heat pump.

The defrost cycle is what allows for our heat pumps to continue efficient heating operation in cold weather. However, the actual operation of the defrost cycle is often not understood as well as desired. This leads to improper settings as well as misdiagnosis. Let’s dig into the basic concept of a heat pump operating in heat and the defrost cycle that protects it.
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