Hello, my name is Matt and I fear that I am an entry-level Smart Home Addict. I’m not full-blown mind you … more of recreational user that can see the eventual descent into hopeless addiction. Now, in full disclosure, none of the above is meant to make light of serious addictions or anyone who suffers from one. Rather, the point I am making is that smart home products start with just one often time and then can quickly lead to many. Now I am not what anyone would consider a “techie” person, despite being a millennial. I do not Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, Instagram, or… Myspace. I know how to use computers and smartphones, but outside of using them professionally, I am not one to be found casually utilizing technology.
Indoor Air Quality is a convoluted topic on the best of days. The IAQ segment of the HVAC industry has grown tremendously overall and sees spikes of urgency during certain health crises like the annual flu season.
There are many types of IAQ technology available, and each possesses its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to have knowledge of these technologies and be able to discuss opportune applications for them.
Ductless units or mini splits – they are the bane of many HVAC technicians. The units themselves are quiet, super-efficient, and work very well. Often, technicians will say something like, “I install a lot of these units and they generally work great, but honestly I have no idea what’s really going on inside those things.” It’s a fair enough statement. Most technicians are accustomed to contactors, relays, capacitors, AC voltage motors, and simple I/O controls. There is nothing simple in appearance about the inner workings of a ductless unit.
For starters, we have the board which is located next to a 2nd board which is then located above a 3rd board. There are no contactors or relays. The only capacitors are built into the control boards. Controls? Yes, we have controls, but not the traditional I/O kind we usually think about. Nope, these things talk back and forth. What are they saying? Who knows!
The flame sensor is a vital part of the modern-day gas furnace. It ensures that we do not allow gas through the furnace unless a flame has been established. Flame sensors operate via a process called flame rectification. This is the replacement to the previous era thermocouple and its accompanying standing pilot.
A New Year offers a fresh start and the hope of a successful year for business. The HVAC industry has been a very quickly evolving industry for many years; that pace does not seem inclined to slow. We face regularly increasing technology in the equipment being offered. Efficiency standards are constantly rising. The pool of quality technicians and installers is constantly shrinking. It really can feel like a roller coaster of a ride sometimes! Let’s look back at a major change in the past year and then discuss what is coming:
Techniques for technicians to remediate bacterial invaders
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.
These facts will come in handy during diagnosis and replacement.
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.
Super-Heat is defined as any heat added to a substance beyond its saturation (boiling) temperature. Simple right? Actually, this is usually where people begin to get confused …. after all, doesn’t boiling indicate hot and aren’t we talking about air conditioning?
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?
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.