Facts About Heating and Cooling


“YOU SHOULD NEVER OVERPAY FOR HEATING AND COOLING”

Facts About Heating and Cooling

On this topic, we will be talking about the basic functions, and operations of heating and
cooling with the least amount of words.  We will attempt to break down into simplistic
form what is a complicated field to a manner that can be understood rapidly.  This page is
broken down in the following categories.  Find the equipment that your home utilizes to
learn more:

1A.  GAS FURNACE FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS.
1B.  GAS FURNACE RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE*

2A.  AIR CONDITIONER FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS.
2B.  AIR CONDITIONER RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE*

3A.  AIR HANDLER/HEAT PUMP HEATING MODE FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS.
3B.  AIR HANDLER/HEAT PUMP RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE*

4A.  AIR HANDLER/HEAT PUMP COOLING MODE FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS.
4B.  AIR HANDLER/HEAT PUMP RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE*

*The knowledge how to perform the checks, and proper methods of cleaning should be left to a
trained professional for safety, health, and efficiency.  DO NOT ATTEMPT cleanings, inspections,
adjustments or repairs.

1A.  GAS FURNACE:

  • The first component in any heating system is always the thermostat.  The thermostat is often an
    electronic circuit board that sends an electronic signal to the gas furnace circuit board after you turn it
    on.
  • The gas furnace circuit board then sends electronic signals to the various motors inside the furnace.
    For example: The draft induction motor; fan; gas valve, etc.  It also energizes your safety devices in a
    precise series.  For any failure in the line of safety devices, the unit will not come on.
  • After all pertinent electronic equipment is energized inside the gas furnace; a vapor of gas is ignited,
    and funneled on a deliberate path into what is called the heat exchanger.
  • A heat exchanger is made up of several hollow tubes of metal.  In one end the flame is funneled in, and
    at the other end, the carbon monoxide is exhausted out via the draft induction motor outdoors.  As the
    flame is funneled inside the heat exchanger, the metal heats up.  The fan then turns on and blows the
    hot air from the outside of the heat exchanger through the ductwork into your home.
  • Note: The above described operations were given in its least energy efficient form of operation.  To
    learn more about higher efficiency gas furnaces, click-on, ENERGY SAVING TIPS.”

1B.  EXAMPLES OF RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE FOR GAS FURNACES:

  • Ensure the thermostat is working according to designed specifications.
  • Check the air filter, and change it if it is dirty or clogged.  A clogged filter will overheat your gas
    furnace repeatedly thus wearing safety devices and motors out prematurely.
  • Check the fan operation, and ensure the blower wheel is clean.
  • Check the gas furnace circuit board for correct operation.
  • Clean and inspect the safety devices.
  • Inspect for water damage
  • Inspect for signs of high heat, melting wires, etc.
  • Check the temperature rise of heat passing through the furnace.  The manufacturer has specific
    instructions on what the temperature rise should be, and how to adjust it.  This is the most commonly
    missed adjustment with a newly installed gas furnace.  It causes a lot of expensive repairs.
  • Inspect for dirty ducts, clogged air conditioner evaporator coils, dirty blower wheels, etc. for any
    blockage of air flow.  Overly dirty or blocked paths of air flow will either cause your gas furnace to
    work harder, over-heat, in-efficiently heat or break down.
  • This small generalized list is just for better understanding of the importance of annual cleanings and
    inspections.  The knowledge how to perform the checks, and proper methods of cleaning should be left
    to a trained professional for safety, health, and efficiency.  DO NOT ATTEMPT cleanings,
    inspections, adjustments or repairs.


2A.  AIR CONDITIONER:

  • The first component in any cooling system is always the thermostat.  The thermostat is often an
    electronic circuit board that sends an electronic signal to the furnace circuit board after you turn it on.
  • The furnace circuit board then sends electronic signals to the fan motor inside the furnace, and
    energizes the air conditioner circuit board.
  • The air conditioner circuit board then turns on the outdoor fan and compressor motor.
  • The compressor motor moves the refrigerant in a loop between the condenser coil outside, and the
    evaporator coil above your furnace.
  • The outdoor fan on your air conditioner, like a giant vacuum, pulls air through the condenser coil and
    out the top of the air conditioner at a specified rate of air flow that is specific to the size of your air
    conditioner, evaporator coil, furnace blower motor/wheel, and properties of the refrigerant.
  • Inside the furnace, the fan is pulling the warm air out of your home through the air filter, and blowing it
    through the evaporator coil.  The air is cooled, and humidity is removed.  The humidity that is
    removed, is collected in the evaporator coil drain pan, and funneled out through a plastic drain pipe
    into an appropriate floor drain.  
  • The cooled, dehumidified air is then pushed through your ductwork, and back into your home.
  • Note: The above described operations were given in its least energy efficient form of operation.  To
    learn more about higher efficiency air conditioners, click-on, ENERGY SAVING TIPS.”

2B.  EXAMPLES OF RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE FOR AIR CONDITIONERS:

  • Ensure the thermostat is working according to designed specifications.
  • Check the air filter, and change it if it is dirty or clogged.  Air flow is critical in the operation of an air
    conditioner.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There are several
    physical characteristics of air conditioning that have to be met within predetermined ranges.  If one of
    those physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Check the fan operation, speed, and ensure the blower wheel is clean.  Air flow is critical in the
    operation of an air conditioner.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There
    are several physical characteristics of air conditioning that have to be met within predetermined
    ranges.  If one of those physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Check the temperature drop of air passing through the furnace.  A temperature drop that is too low or
    too high indicates that there may be a problem at hand.  For example:  The evaporator coil may dirty
    or clogged, and must be cleaned or the refrigerant is leaking out and is low.
  • Check the furnace circuit board for correct operation.
  • Inspect for water damage
  • Check the condensate drain line for free flow of removed humidity, and flush/clear as necessary.
  • The air conditioner condenser coil needs to be flushed with water to remove unseen dirt, grass, and
    debris.  It is like a vacuum filter as the fan pulls air through it.  Air flow is critical in the operation of an
    air conditioner.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There are several
    physical characteristics of air conditioning that have to be met within predetermined ranges.  If one of
    those physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Inspect all electrical components of air conditioners and look for melted wires.  Air conditioners pull
    on average 240volts through it electrical devices and wiring during the hottest and most humid days of
    the year.  It will take a toll on such items as contactors, and capacitors.
  • Last but not least using a scientific method utilizing a series of temperature readings, special
    atmospheric readings, refrigerant specific gages, along with a physics chart that utilizes all gathered
    information, the volume of refrigerant in your system is checked for the proper amount.  An indication
    of low level of refrigerant is an indication of possible breach of containment within the copper tubing
    that is supposed to hold it.  A repair will need to be done, as refrigerant levels should never change
    through the life of the air conditioner.
  • This small generalized list is just for better understanding of the importance of annual cleanings and
    inspections.  The knowledge how to perform the checks, and proper methods of cleaning should be left
    to a trained professional for safety, health, and efficiency.  DO NOT ATTEMPT cleanings,
    inspections, adjustments or repairs.


3A.  AIR HANDLER/HEAT PUMP HEATING MODE:

  • The first component in any heating system is always the thermostat.  The thermostat is often an
    electronic circuit board that sends an electronic signal to the air handler circuit board after you turn it
    on.
  • The air handler circuit board then sends electronic signals to the fan motor inside the air handler, and
    energizes the heat pump circuit board.  It also may or may not energize your supplemental heating
    elements.  Supplemental heating elements are controlled by several variables.
  • The heat pump circuit board then turns on the outdoor fan and compressor motor.
  • The compressor motor moves the refrigerant in a loop between the condenser coil outside, and the
    evaporator coil inside your air handler.  But unlike an air conditioner, the direction of the refrigerant
    moves in the opposite direction.  Only a heat pump can change the direction of refrigerant.  By this
    process, heat is drawn into your home.  If it is too cold outside or you need more heat, a built-in
    electrical heating element inside of your air handler will turn on to add more heat.
  • The outdoor fan on your heat pump pulls air through the condenser coil and out the top of the heat
    pump at a specified rate of air flow that is specific to the size of your heat pump, evaporator coil, air
    handler blower motor/wheel, and properties of the refrigerant.
  • Inside the air handler, the fan is pulling the cool air out of your home through the air filter, and blowing
    it through the evaporator coil.  The air is warmed, and then pushed through your ductwork, and back
    into your home.
  • Note: The above described operations were given in its least energy efficient form of operation.  To
    learn more about higher efficiency air handlers and heat pumps, click-on, ENERGY SAVING TIPS.”

3B.  EXAMPLES OF RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE FOR AIR HANDLERS/HEAT PUMPS:

  • Ensure the thermostat is working according to designed specifications.
  • Check the air filter, and change it if it is dirty or clogged.  Air flow is critical in the operation of a heat
    pump.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There are several physical
    characteristics of heat pumps that have to be met within predetermined ranges.  If one of those
    physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Check the fan operation, speed, and ensure the blower wheel is clean.  Air flow is critical in the
    operation of a heat pump.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There are
    several physical characteristics of heat pumps that have to be met within predetermined ranges.  If
    one of those physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Check the temperature rise of air passing through the air handler.  A temperature rise that is too low
    or too high indicates that there may be a problem at hand.  For example:  The evaporator coil may
    dirty or clogged, and must be cleaned or the refrigerant is leaking out and is low.
  • Check the air handler circuit board for correct operation.
  • Inspect the wiring, and operation of the electrical heating elements inside the air handler.
  • Inspect all electrical components of heat pumps and look for melted wires.  Heat pumps pull on
    average 240volts through it electrical devices and wiring all year long.  It will take a toll on such items
    as contactors, and capacitors.
  • Check the operation of refrigerant reversing valve on the heat pump.
  • Check the length of defrost, and the operability of the defrost board on the heat pump.
  • Last but not least using a scientific method utilizing a series of temperature readings, special
    atmospheric readings, refrigerant specific gages, along with a physics chart that utilizes all gathered
    information, the volume of refrigerant in your system is checked for the proper amount.  An indication
    of low level of refrigerant is an indication of possible breach of containment within the copper tubing
    that is supposed to hold it.  A repair will need to be done, as refrigerant levels should never change
    through the life of a heat pump.
  • This small generalized list is just for better understanding of the importance of annual cleanings and
    inspections.  The knowledge how to perform the checks, and proper methods of cleaning should be left
    to a trained professional for safety, health, and efficiency.  DO NOT ATTEMPT cleanings,
    inspections, adjustments or repairs.


4A.  AIR HANDLER/HEAT PUMP COOLING MODE:

  • The first component in any cooling system is always the thermostat.  The thermostat is often an
    electronic circuit board that sends an electronic signal to the air handler circuit board after you turn it
    on.
  • The air handler circuit board then sends electronic signals to the fan motor inside the air handler, and
    energizes the heat pump circuit board.
  • The heat pump circuit board then turns on the outdoor fan and compressor motor.
  • The compressor motor moves the refrigerant in a loop between the condenser coil outside, and the
    evaporator coil inside your air handler.
  • The outdoor fan on your heat pump, like a giant vacuum, pulls air through the condenser coil and out
    the top of the heat pump at a specified rate of air flow that is specific to the size of your heat pump,
    evaporator coil, air handler blower motor/wheel, and properties of the refrigerant.
  • Inside the air handler, the fan is pulling the warm air out of your home through the air filter, and
    blowing it through the evaporator coil.  The air is cooled, and humidity is removed.  The humidity that
    is removed, is collected in the evaporator coil drain pan, and funneled out through a plastic drain pipe
    into an appropriate floor drain.  
  • The cooled, dehumidified air is then pushed through your ductwork, and back into your home.
  • Note: The above described operations were given in its least energy efficient form of operation.  To
    learn more about higher efficiency heat pumps, click-on, ENERGY SAVING TIPS.”

4B.  EXAMPLES OF RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE FOR AIR HANDLERS/HEAT PUMPS:

  • Ensure the thermostat is working according to designed specifications.
  • Check the air filter, and change it if it is dirty or clogged.  Air flow is critical in the operation of a heat
    pump.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There are several physical
    characteristics of heat pumps that have to be met within predetermined ranges.  If one of those
    physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Check the fan operation, speed, and ensure the blower wheel is clean.  Air flow is critical in the
    operation of a heat pump.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There are
    several physical characteristics of heat pumps that have to be met within predetermined ranges.  If
    one of those physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Check the temperature drop of air passing through the air handler.  A temperature drop that is too low
    or too high indicates that there may be a problem at hand.  For example:  The evaporator coil may
    dirty or clogged, and must be cleaned or the refrigerant is leaking out and is low.
  • Check the air handler circuit board for correct operation.
  • Inspect for water damage
  • Check the condensate drain line for free flow of removed humidity, and flush/clear as necessary.
  • The heat pump condenser coil needs to be flushed with water to remove unseen dirt, grass, and
    debris.  It is like a vacuum filter as the fan pulls air through it.  Air flow is critical in the operation of a
    heat pump.  Any slow down or blockage of air flow will affect the operation.  There are several
    physical characteristics of heat pumps that have to be met within predetermined ranges.  If one of
    those physical characteristics is out of range, it affects all the other characteristics.  
  • Inspect all electrical components of heat pumps and look for melted wires.  Heat pumps pull on
    average 240volts through it electrical devices and wiring during the hottest, and most humid days of
    the year.  It will take a toll on such items as contactors, and capacitors.
  • Last but not least using a scientific method utilizing a series of temperature readings, special
    atmospheric readings, refrigerant specific gages, along with a physics chart that utilizes all gathered
    information, the volume of refrigerant in your system is checked for the proper amount.  An indication
    of low level of refrigerant is an indication of possible breach of containment within the copper tubing
    that is supposed to hold it.  A repair will need to be done, as refrigerant levels should never change
    through the life of the heat pump.
  • This small generalized list is just for better understanding of the importance of annual cleanings and
    inspections.  The knowledge how to perform the checks, and proper methods of cleaning should be left
    to a trained professional for safety, health, and efficiency.  DO NOT ATTEMPT cleanings,
    inspections, adjustments or repairs.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF YOUR
HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM PLEASE CALL:

DUTCH HEATING AND COOLING AT:
(317) 399-7839