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Heating - Heating Questions
1.20 Real Estate Investment-Contractor suggested Vinyl Flooring in Kitchen instead of Carept. Ground Level Basement?

Q. Hi All, The property manager suggested vinyl flooring in the kitchen of a 1 bedroom apartment instead of current old carpet. I understand it is easier to clean and might look better however will it not be less warm in the apartment as a result if I replace it with vinyl flooring instead fo a new carpet? Also, carpet is around $2/sq ft including everything. what is an average simple vinyl flooring price per sq ft? The structure is a little unique - the apartment in question is a ground level basement. I heard if floor is not lifted carpet is better for the reaosn mentioned above (heating) but not sure. how can I tell if it is lifted or not? (The unit will be rented out soon, it's a rental business) THANK YOU, Neil


1.20 What is the difference between air conditioning and air recirculation?

Q. Air conditioning costs more but what exactly is the difference between the two systems? Is air recirculation effective at cooling or heating the vehicle interior on hot or cold days?

A. Air Recirculation and/or the Max A/C button do the same thing. They close off the vents that let fresh air into the car from the base of the windshield. Air Recirculation should be combined with A/C usage, which is why on some cars (older domestic US cars in particular) it's labled Max A/C. Air Recirc setting helps the air conditioner system by recirculating already cooler air through the system, rather then trying to take warmer outside air and cool it down. You can use it with heat, but on some cars (older Japanese and German cars in the US) they aren't set-up to run the A/C compressor in defrost mode. Any moisture at all will cause your windows to fog, ALL OF THEM, unless you also turn on the A/C button too. A/C doesn't really cost much more then 1 mpg on most cars. For me personally, I'll use A/C whenever I can. My comfort is worth more then 1 mpg.

1.20 Why doesnt the air conditioning or heating work in my '92 Buick Lesabre?

Q. I have a 92 buick lesabre. About four months ago my air conditioning stopped working. By that, I mean that it would blow air, but the air wouldnt be cold. Then yesterday my heater stopped working in the same way, so now my car blows the same temp air out the vents regardless of the setting. Any help narrowing down the source would be great!

A. The A/C problem and the heater problem are probably not related...... but could be. They are both electrically controlled by the HIVAC control head. The cause of your A/C not blowing cold could be caused by alot of different things. The lack of heat also. On your lack of heat issue..... There is something simple that you yourself may be able to check, that is, your coolant level in the radiator. If your coolant level is low (from a leak) there may not be enough coolant to circulate through the heater core and this may be the cause of your lack of heat. Make sure the engine is cold before attempting to check or have anyone else check the coolant level. If the coolant level is low you will need to have the source of the leak fixed.

1.20 Any one in the north eastern part of ohio looking for a hvac job? Schooling or experience a must?

Q. I am a service manager for a reputable heating and cooling company in akron ohio. We are a commercial only company and in need of service technicians and helpers. Experince or schooling is a must. We are willing to train someone with the right attitude and aproach as long as they are currently enrolled or recently graduated from hvac school. Feel free to send resume's to matt.heffernan@jfbinc.com

A. No i am not looking for a hvac job

1.20 What is up with my home AC?!?

Q. This is kinda long so bear with me. Firstly, I have to confess I know absolutely nothing about the workings of my A/C. I am utterly challenged in the area of HVAC technology. I also grew up in countries that did not have AC so until I moved into my home, I never knew anything about maintenance or changing the filters (which I do religiously every 2-3 months). I moved into my condo two years ago and have been successfully using the heating and AC unit ever since until this Summer when weird things started happening. Back in March I had a technician come by and do a service. Then in April/May, when things normally start getting warm around here, the weather was cool and yucky so altho the thermostat was turned to cool it really wasn't needed. Oh, and ever since I moved in the FAN setting has been on Auto (the other option is On). Back in May one evening it turned really warm and when I got home the condo was a balmy 82º! Everything was turned on as usual, but there was no cold air coming from anywhere and the AC was totally silent. I tried adjusting the temperature settings, switching the thermostat off/on, going thro the entire program settings . . . the only thing that worked was switching the Fan from Auto to On. Switching it back only turned the AC off. After about 4 hours the temp finally fell below 80º at home and I was able to switch the Fan to Auto without it turning the AC off. Since then it has worked fine BUT this past week we again had very cool unseasonal weather and so it hasn't been working. Except for today when the temp outside rose and it's very humid too. Sure enough, the AC is only working right now in the On setting. So . . . all you HVAC experts, what is going on?! Is there a real problem I should have checked out ASAP or is it just doing this because the AC isn't being used several days at a time? Should I be concerned and calling the service technician out again?

A. Many people think they know what is going on with an AC unit but are totally wrong so don't slit your wrists. From the sounds of it, you need some straight up advice so here it is. Bear with me as I tend to run off at the mouth. Since the AC worked well the past 2 years I would tend to think something changed when the technician did the service on it. It may be that he did something or it may be that something has failed since. Be that as it may, let me explain a couple things for you. Your AC unit is made up of 2 seperate parts, the outdoor condensing unit and the indoor air handler. The thermostat receives its power (24 volts) from a control board in the indoor unit. The power is provided from the transformer near the control board. The control board may have an led light on it. Built into the control board are some chips and resistors and capacitors and most important some relays. One of the relays is the indoor fan motor relay. That relay controls which speed winding is energized in the fan motor. Indoor blowers usually have 2 speeds they need to operate at. For the cooling cycle, the high speed winding is needed. For the heating cycle, the low speed winding is needed. Most AC units come from the factory with indoor blower motors with up to 4 speed windings. They should already be set up so your proper windings are connected and since you have a couple years of good operation its reasonable to assume that they are still connected correctly. Let's talk about the thermostat for a minute. The thermostat has 2 switches on it. One switch is used to choose either HEAT or COOL. That switch often has a setting for AUTO to let the thermostat choose the needed cycle. It should also have an OFF setting. The FAN switch has ON and AUTO settings. When the ON setting is used the indoor blower motor is energized by the board on its high speed winding. In the AUTO position the correct speed is selected for cool or heat automatically. When the control board "sees" a call for cooling, the indoor blower is energized on its high speed winding from the board. When the control board "sees" a call for heating, the blower is energized on its low speed winding. The control board also sends power to the outdoor condensing unit to run for cooling or to the furnace to run for heat. Usually, all of this is taken care of for you by the thermostat set points. It sounds like you may have a problem with either your thermostat or with the control board. I would recommend that you have a qualified service technician come and check it out. It should take no more than about 30 to 45 minutes to have a good handle on it. The technician should be able to tell you just what is going on and what if any repairs might be needed. Most service companies now have fixed prices for whatever you may need and they should be able to tell you the total cost of that work including labor before they do any work. There will likely be a service charge for the diagnostics but that will usually be included in the actual repair if you elect to have it done by them. I hope this helps.

1.20 TRANE heat pump: Any heating/cooling experts here?

Q. I have a Trane heat pump about 5 yrs old. It is an average sized system you typically find in an average size home. I suspect it has a problem and I am hoping someone can tell me more. I have already had plenty of input from the backyard handyman, so now I am hoping to hear from professionals. First of all, I will start by telling you a problem that it had back in the summer. I have no idea whether or not it is related to the problem I am having now. In the spring, when it was first getting warm enough to use air conditioning, The fan in the outside unit would not run. The unit was making a buzzing sound like it was trying to run, but it rarely would do so. The air conditioning would not cool. It just blew out warm air. I had it repaired by my local heating and cooling shop, the same one that installed the unit when it was new. I had no more problem until recently. Now, it has the same symptoms again. The outside unit just makes a buzzing noise, but the fan hardly ever runs. If I go out and check 10 times, the fan might be running 1 out of the 10. I have stayed outside and waited 30 minutes to see if the fan would start running, and it never does. Since this problem started, I have seen the fan run a couple of times, and when it does, it seems normal. It does not seem to be seizing up or anything. It does not make an unusual sound when it runs. The system is still heating normally without having to switch to emergency heat. If I never went out and looked at the outside unit, I would not have known anything was wrong. We have had quite a bit of cold weather, some nights have been in the single digits, and the unit seems to behave the same whether it is 5 degrees or 35 degrees. The unit is in use every day (at least at night). Once or twice a week when we are home all day, we use a wood burning stove and do not use the heat pump, sometimes in the evenings, we burn wood and the unit is off for 4-5 hrs, but other than that, the thermostat is set to 65-70 all the time.

A. Check all wires for connections If capacitor was not replace when new motor was installed or is mismatch with what the fan motor calls for that may very well be the issue Check contactor for signs of pitting Possible the defrost control board may be faulty and the unit is going into defrost mode when it should not be and hence it turning the fan off. The other thing that comes to mind is there is a pre-timed delay for defrost operation of the heat pump by default it should be set on the control board via the jumper at 30. There are 3 settings 30,60 and 90.. It possible the unit is set on a 90 min defrost cycle and that why you never or hardly ever see the fan spinning. It needs to be set on 30. Quick note for you when heat pump goes into defrost mode, fan shuts off, compressor is running, and there is a change in pitch from compressor. When unit comes out of defrost mode, fan should turn back on. Also, if you thermostat is digital it should bring on Aux heat to maintain comfort levels while unit is in defrost mode. In addition when heat pump cant keep up heat wise, the stat may bring on the aux heat as well to keep temps up. To test the board on the unit, there is a test terminal 2 pins that have to be jumped. If the unit will not go into defrost mode the board is bad and needs to be replaced. Your getting ample power to the unit from what it sounds like or the compressor would not run. So you need to look at the things I mentioned. If the did not replace the dual run capacitor that would be my first check that A the original motor may have not been bad and B the slapped a motor in and now it hit or miss when it runs.

1.20 Can't find Admirable Heating & Air Conditioning Services on Internet.Would like to know if they are reputable?

Q. I tried to find Admirable Services on the Internet, but there was no information. How can I find out if this is a reputable company? They called me on the phone. I don't know where they got my number.

A. Have you checked with Better Business Bureau on the net?

1.20 Most dishonest auto mechanic, salesman, heating +air conditioning and any other service nightmares you had.?


A. Local mechanic in Philly swore he had installed genuine Nissan brakes on my car. When they continued to be a problem I took the car to an actual Nissan dealer who removed the brakes and showed them to me....they were a generic brand of brakes, not Nissan genuine parts. Needless to say I don't go to that local mechanic anymore.

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