Message from the RepairGuru®
Welcome to the July 2006 edition of the RepairClinic.com newsletter.
Its summer time and temperatures are rising. To reduce high energy bills
and beat the heat, it's essential that your air conditioner operates efficiently.
In this month's issue we meet one of our resident RepairGurus, Mike Feuerbacher,
who has tips and useful advice for air conditioner upkeep and repair.
Mike Feuerbacher: One Cool Guy
Mike thrives on
helping customers save money on appliance repair and empowering them to
repair their own appliances. Mike has been giving appliance repair advice
since leaving Ferris State University in 1997, where he studied heating
and cooling systems. Since arriving at RepairClinic.com in 2003, Mike has
attended multiple training sessions by appliance manufacturers to hone his
skills and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in appliance repair. In
a conversation with Mike, we discussed the types of calls he gets as a RepairGuru,
as well as his thoughts on appliance trends.
What are the most common appliance-type problems you are asked about?
are based on the types of appliances being used during a specific season.
For example, right now, air conditioners and dehumidifiers are hot on people's
minds, so we get questions about a/c units not cooling or dehumidifiers
not collecting water.
Many customers need help figuring out what is wrong with their appliance,
so I ask them a series of questions to help troubleshoot the problem.
Once you identify the problem do you help the customer find replacement
Customers sometimes need help finding where their model number is located
so they can use the RepairClinic.com part ordering system; while others
want to dive right in and need more detailed help removing and replacing
Do you think that appliances are too complex for today's do-it-yourselfers?
Appliances are certainly more complex nowadays, with increasing electronics
and digital displays. But for most repairs, the average DIY'er is still
able to do the repair. It's helpful to have some electrical knowledge and,
of course, some help from an expert.
Here are four tips of the month to help keep your air conditioner and humidifier
Four Tips to Try This Month
Boost AC efficiency
Clean condenser coils annually
Air is drawn into the back of window (and through-the-wall air) conditioners
through side vent slots and is blown directly out through the condenser
coils on the back of the air conditioner. Over time, dirt accumulates
on the inside surface of the coils. As the coils get clogged with lint,
dust and dirt, the airflow is reduced, which prevents the air conditioner
from cooling properly and it draws more electrical current to do the job.
To gain access to the coils it is necessary to remove the entire cover
of a window air conditioner or slide a through-the-wall air conditioner
out of its chassis (the shell that stays in the wall). Once exposed, the
coils can be cleaned by blowing compressed air at them or by using a soft
bristle brush to wipe the dirt off. Any coils that are bent should be
straightened using a fin comb. Click here.
It is important to also clean any dirt or build-up in the bottom of the
air conditioner. This is necessary because the moisture removed from the
air inside the home drips down into the bottom pan of the air conditioner;
from there it is picked up by the condenser fan blade and sprayed against
the warm condenser coils to help cool the coil and evaporate the water
so that it can re-evaporate outdoors. If the pan is dirty the fan blade
may not remove the water properly or the unit could leak water inside
of the house. You should never drill a hole in the bottom of the A/C to
"help" the draining of water.
Oil the motor bearings
Some air conditioner motors have oil ports for the motor bearings. The
bearings should be oiled if possible while the unit is apart for the annual
condenser cleaning. You should never use oil with detergent added. You
can buy specialized electric motor oil for this task. Click
Vents - open or closed?
Many window and through-the-wall air conditioners are equipped with an
internal vent to bring in fresh air from outside. However, on a hot humid
day the vent should be kept closed. It can be opened on a cool night or
day when you are running the fan only and want fresh air.
Keep your dehumidifier running smoothly
Replace the filter
Many dehumidifiers are outfitted with a simple, electrostatic air
filter in the front grill area. If your unit has a filter, you should
replace or clean it once a year. You should also oil the fan motor and
inspect or clean your dehumidifier coils as the dirt accumulates in the
dehumidifier similar to how it does with an air conditioner. Click here
to order a cut-to-fit Electrostatic filter.
To help keep the air smelling fresh try using a non-corrosive air freshener
on the filter. Click
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