Simple Steps To Unclog Your Window Air Conditioning Unit’s Condensate Line

If water is pooling underneath your window air conditioning unit, there is a good chance that the condensate line is clogged. This problem can cause severe water damage inside of your home and your air conditioning unit may stop working altogether if any of the electrical components get wet. Resolve this problem by completing these simple steps.

Use The Following Materials

  • pipe brush
  • flashlight
  • duct tape
  • shop vacuum cleaner
  • sponge
  • soapy water
  • rubber gloves
  • towel
  • bucket

1. Remove Clogs From The Condensate Line

Disconnect the power to your air conditioning unit at the breaker box and turn the power button off on your unit. Pull the end of the condensate line away from your air conditioning unit. Place a bucket under the end of the line to collect any water that is inside of it. Shine a flashlight into the line. If debris is visible, loosen and remove it with a pipe brush. Move the brush up and down to complete this step. Use the same techniques at the other end of the line that is located outside. You will find the opening of the line near the bottom of your home. 

2. Vacuum Up Any Residue That Remains

If you still see residue inside of the line, connect the hose from a shop vacuum cleaner to the end that is located outside. Secure the hose to the line with a couple pieces of duct tape. Turn the vacuum on high for a couple minutes to remove any water or debris that is stuck inside. After finishing, visually inspect the line to ensure that it is empty. Vacuum the line out a second time if you still see residue inside. 

3. Empty And Clean The Condensate Pan

Remove your air conditioning unit’s front cover.Locate the condensate pan underneath the evaporator coil. Pull the pan forward and empty it into a bucket. If the pan is dirty, clean it out with soapy water and a sponge. Rinse the pan with water once you are finished and slide it back into place inside of your unit. Clean up any water from the floor. Turn the breaker switch back on and the the power button to your air conditioning unit.

If water doesn’t accumulate on the floor in the future, you have successfully unclogged the line. Keep your air conditioning unit working the proper way by inspecting and cleaning the condensate pan and condensate line a couple times each year. For more information or help, contact a repair service like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc.

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Two Common Questions New Homeowners Have About Damaged Sewer Lines

A functioning sewer line is one of the most important components of a modern home’s plumbing system. This line is responsible for transporting wastewater away from the home. Yet, it is often relatively narrow, which may make it more vulnerable to developing clogs and other problems. Sadly, you may not know much about this part of your home, but learning the following two answers to common questions should help you to know how to proceed when you are suspect that your sewer line is damaged. 

Why Does A Damaged Sewer Line Cause A Depression In The Yard?

One of the most common signs of problems with your sewer line is the sudden formation of deep depressions in your yard. These depressions will almost always form near the location of the problem with the line, and they are usually caused by a leak eroding soil. 

However, it should be noted that the depression will not always form at the site of the problem. This can occur for numerous reasons, but it is often due to the fact that the soil near the damage is too rocky to easily be eroded. When this is the case, the water will flow to another area of the yard where it may erode the soil. 

What Is The First Step In Diagnosing Sewer Line Damages?

Some homeowners may dread this type of work because they assume that much of their yard will have to be excavated to determine the exact location and cause of the problem. While this may have been true in the past, modern technology has made it possible for the cause of these problems to be diagnosed without having to excavate. 

This is done by deploying a small camera into the main sewer line. The camera is connected to a high-definition monitor that allows the plumber to examine the interior walls of the pipe and search for clogs. This camera is usually sufficient for the initial diagnosis, but there may be times where it is unable to determine the cause of the problem. When this happens, it may be necessary for your plumber to use sonar-based systems to examine the soil around the sewer line for clues to the problem. While this may seem like an unnecessary step, it may be the best way to avoid extensive yard excavation. 

A faulty sewer line has the potential to cause major problems for your home and your yard. However, homeowners are seldom highly informed or experienced about these problems. By knowing why depressions form in your yard and how the plumber will identify the source of the problem, you will strengthen your knowledge enough to make this type of repair less intimidating. If you’re interested in finding out more, visit sites like

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The Top Benefits Of Hiring A Professional For Your Commercial HVAC Needs

Whether you have a furnace or air conditioner that is breaking down, or you need to have new systems installed, you might want to consider hiring a professional. If you find that you are still a little unsure as to whether you want to hire a professional, you need to check out the following benefits. This is how you will be able to make the best decision for your business.

Better Understanding Of Local Commercial Codes

When there is new construction or the remodeling of an old commercial HVAC system, you have to make sure that you are keeping things in line with the current codes for commercial systems. These codes are set by your local authorities and are available for viewing by anyone who asks. However, many people find that all of the various rules and codes can get a little confusing. This is especially true for anyone that has no personal experience with remodeling or tending to HVAC systems. However, with the help of your commercial contractor, your will have an easier time making sure that you are staying in line with all of the rules.

The Job Is Done In A Fraction Of The Time

Even if you are someone that tends to be a do-it-yourself kind of person, it should be easy to see that a professional commercial HVAC contractor will be able to complete the hard jobs in a fraction of the time it would take you. This is because they usually have access to a much wider variety of tools, as well as a much deeper knowledge of a variety of HVAC systems. If you need to shut down your business until the work is completed, you need to consider how long it is going to take. The longer you are shut down, the more money you are losing.

You Might Get A Better Deal On Parts

Some of the busier commercial HVAC professionals do so much work that they sometimes end up with a lot of brand new spare parts because they buy in bulk. Then again, you might be able to save some money because they receive major discounts for their HVAC supplies because of the amount of business they bring to a company. Find a contractor that is able to find great deals and who then passes those savings on to his or her customers as a way to retain more business.

With the previous benefits in mind, you should have no problem deciding if you want to hire a professional HVAC contractor (such as one from Pro-Staff Mechanical Inc) for the job that needs completed.

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How Do I Winterize My Air Conditioner’s Condenser?

While an air conditioner’s condenser is built to handle the outdoor weather in the winter, there are a couple steps you should take to help minimize the potential damage that can occur. When the cold temperatures of winter come, make sure to do these three things.

Do Not Turn The Air Conditioner On In The Winter

This may seem obvious, but an air conditioner can be accidentally turned on during the winter months. You may have forgotten to change your thermostat settings, and a particularly warm day could activate your condenser. This will cause problems as water runs through the condenser, freezes, and can potentially cause a lot of damage after the temperature falls back down below freezing.

In order to prevent accidental activation from occurring, you should turn off your air conditioner using the main shut offs. It could be located directly next to the air conditioner on the side of your home, or you may need to turn off the circuit breaker inside your home. It takes a few seconds, and it can save you from a costly repair.

Keep The Condenser’s Fins Clear

The condenser may see a build up of snow around it throughout the winter, and the constant thawing and freezing can cause damage to the condenser. Try to keep the area surrounding the condenser as clear as possible to avoid problems. It is important that the fins on the condenser maintain their shape to keep the unit working efficiently. Unfortunately, there is a chance that snow and water can get between the fins, freeze, and cause the fins to become deformed.

Use a shovel and brush to get rid of any snow that collects on the condenser and in the fins. If icicles hang off your roof directly above the condenser, carefully break them off to prevent water from dripping directly onto the condenser.

Purchase A Vinyl or Plastic Cover

The best way to prevent moisture from getting into the condenser is by using a vinyl or plastic cover. Once you have the condenser covered, you need to secure the cover in place using bungee cords or tie rope along the bottom. It not only will prevent moisture from getting in, but will stop animals from creating a nest under the unit as well.

By following these tips, you will be taking some additional steps to help ensure your air conditioner’s condenser makes it through the rough winter. If your air conditioner doesn’t make it, contact a local HVAC technician from a company like McFoy Refrigeration, Inc. to get it up and running for you in the spring.

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How To Properly Maintain A Central Air Conditioner

A central air conditioning service is made out of two units, the evaporator, which is located in your home usually near the furnace, and the condenser, which is located outside. It works to pull in air from outside and cool it before pumping it throughout your house, cooling it down in the summer months.

You should regular clean your air conditioner to ensure that it stays in the best condition possible, which extends its lifespan and improves its efficiency:

How to Maintain the Condenser

The condenser is located outside your home, and can be more easily clogged than the evaporator as it is exposed to outside debris.

  • Check to make sure that no debris, like leaves or branches, are blocking the grill on top of the condenser. This can block the air intake, and force the air conditioner to work harder, which can cause damage to your system.
  • Use a fine brush to clean the blades of the fan. You may have to use a screwdriver to remove the grill to properly reach the blades. Don’t use any chemicals or water, as this can cause damage to your system and even get into the airflow inside your home.
  • You can use a special coil cleaner, however, which is available at most hardware stores, in order to clean off any stuck on debris or residue. Be sure to follow all the instructions on the bottle to the letter to ensure that you do not damage your system.

How to Maintain the Evaporator

The evaporator is located inside your home, usually next to or above the furnace. As such, it is less likely to become dirty or blocked, as it is not exposed to outside elements. Cleaning the evaporator is simply removing dust from the system.

  • Remove the foil covering over the entrance to the air duct and lay it to the side. This covering is usually held in place with duct tape, and can be easily removed and replaced. Use fresh tape every time that you remove the covering to ensure a complete seal of the system.
  • Use a brush or duster to clean inside the duct, sweeping towards you to prevent any dust or dirt from being pushed further back into the system.
  • Remove the drip tray that is located under the evaporator and dump out any water that may have built up. This is a normal part of your air conditioner, and develops due to condensation. 
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Choosing A Fuel Source For Your Standby Generator

Natural disasters happen. It would be nice if you could trust power, water, food, and other necessities to be readily available all the time, but in adverse weather conditions, your power and other services can be lost. Without power, your food can rot, your HVAC system might not work like it should, and you can lose your ability to communicate with the outside world. In order to keep your home running smoothly and your family safe during the aftermath of a natural disaster, you should look into installing a standby generator. Choosing the fuel source for your generator will help you to find a dependable system for your home.

An Analysis of Gasoline as Fuel Source for Generators

Gasoline is a very common fuel source, so you should have no problem finding gasoline for your generator. On the other hand, a storm can wipe out the power at gas stations, which will take out the gas station’s pumps and make gas hard to get. If you try to store gas, it will typically only store well for about a year, and because gasoline is highly flammable, storing large amounts of it can create an additional hazard for your family. 

An Analysis of Diesel as a Fuel Source

At any gas station where you can buy gasoline, you can typically also buy diesel. The advantages of diesel are that it is the least flammable of all the fuels used in generators. Also, you can buy farm-grade diesel, which is cheaper than road grade diesel, which will help you to keep your costs down. Diesel will keep for a year and a half or longer with the right additives, so you can stockpile fuel to help you keep your generator going even if a power outage lasts for weeks. Diesel engines are more durable than other engines used in generators, but they tend to be louder, so it is necessary to insulate the room where you keep your generator to keep noise pollution down. 

You can also use propane or natural gas in a diesel engine. You can easily store propane, and natural gas lines will keep your fuel running right into your house unless the lines are disrupted during an earthquake or landslide. Even though propane and natural gas have their advantages, they tend to be more expensive than diesel. Thus, diesel generators are a strong choice for a standby generator for your home. Contact local providers, such as Original Donnelly Heating Cooling & Electric.

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Discover The Importance Of Annual Air Conditioning Services

Most HVAC contractors, such as A One Heating & Air Conditioning, and air conditioner manufacturers recommend that you have your central AC unit professionally serviced once a year in order to keep it in tip top shape. However, if you are like many homeowners, you may choose to pass up on these maintenance services each year if your AC unit seems to be functioning properly. Below you will learn more about a few of the many different reasons why this is never a good idea.

Annual Air Conditioning Services Can Lower Your Energy Costs

Even if your central air conditioner seems to be working fine, this does not mean that it is working at maximum efficiency. This is because over time, air conditioners will become clogged with the dust and debris that is found in your home’s air supply. As this debris continues to buildup inside the unit, the unit will require more energy in order to keep air circulating properly. This inevitably leads to higher energy bills for you each month.

When you have your AC unit professionally serviced each year, your HVAC contractor will remove any debris that has built up inside your system, therefore restoring the natural flow of air through the system. Not only can this greatly improve the performance of your air conditioner, but it can also help to significantly lower your monthly energy costs.

Professional Maintenance Services Can Help Protect Your Warranty

If your central air conditioning system is still relatively new, chances are, you are relying on the manufacturers warranty that accompanied this system to cover the cost of any repairs that may become necessary in the near future. However, if you have neglected to properly maintain your air conditioner, you may find yourself unpleasantly surprised when you go to file a claim against this warranty. This is because most manufacturers warranties will include a maintenance clause that requires you to follow through with all recommended maintenance in order for the warranty to remain valid. Manufacturers include this clause in order to prevent themselves from paying for repairs that could have been avoided through the use of proper maintenance.

When filing a claim against your warranty coverage, you will likely be asked to provide documentation regarding the maintenance the system has received. If you are unable to product this documentation, your claim will typically be denied. Thankfully, taking advantage of an annual maintenance contract through your local HVAC contractor can prevent you from finding yourself in this situation.

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3 Ways To Avoid Electrical Fires In Your Home

There are about 47,000 electrical house fires in the United States each year, resulting in devastation for many homeowners. Sadly, many electrical fires are completely preventable, but some homeowners simply don’t take the precautions necessary to keep their homes safe from such risks. For homeowners wanting to protect their families and property, there are a few simple steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of electrical fires.

Schedule an Inspection

If you had an inspection done when you bought your home, the inspector should have assessed the state of the electrical system and would have informed you of any necessary updates. However, if it’s been a while since you bought your home or if you purchased it without ordering an inspection, then calling in an electrical contractor, such as Blue Ridge Services, for an inspection is a must. Otherwise, your home’s electrical system could be completely outdated. Specifically, an inspector will check to ensure that your home has copper wiring (not aluminum, which was used in older homes and has now been found to be a greater fire risk than copper) and that the wiring is of the proper thickness to handle the electrical loads of today’s modern appliances and electronics.

Avoid Overburdening Outlets

Another way to protect your home from electrical fire hazards is making an effort to ensure that none of the electrical outlets in your home are overloaded. This means unplugging your electronics when they’re not in use and avoiding plugging in multiple high-amp electronics into the same outlet at once. To make this easy, you might consider purchasing a few power strips that have built-in overload protection. This way, in the event that the strip does become overloaded, the strip will automatically shut off.

Check Electronics for Faulty Wiring

Finally, it’s always a good idea to inspect your home’s electrical appliances every few months to ensure that their cords aren’t frayed or otherwise damaged. Otherwise, cords that are tattered or in poor condition are at a greater risk of sparking and causing a fire. Replace any appliances that have damage to the cords; better to be safe than sorry. Don’t just cover the cords with electrical tape, either, as this isn’t a safe solution.

As you can see, there are many ways to go about avoiding an electrical fire at your home. All it takes is a little bit of effort, time, and foresight to protect yourself and your property.

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About Me

Hi! My name is Speedy, or at least, that's what my friends call me. I have always loved rec centers and what they contribute to a community. I am also uniquely interested in how they function, what they need to run and how their HVAC systems work. During the day, I work in investment finance, but in the evening, I love to read about hands on ideas related to everything from building to plumbing to HVAC. If you run or are planning to build a gym, a rec center, a swimming pool or a similar facility, you need a special HVAC system for that project. Please, explore this blog and learn about HVAC systems for those facilities. I hope you enjoy reading and that your questions are answered.


May 2015
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