Air Conditioning and Heating blog by Melo Air Inc. In addition to HVAC industry news, we'll post cooling and heating related information we come across during our daily routines.
|Posted by AC Contractor on September 15, 2014 at 9:50 PM||comments (0)|
Although Goodman has one of the lowest compressor failure rates in the industry, they have offered an incentive for homeowners who have a failed compressor that is still under warranty. In lieu of replacing the compressor, the homeowner is given the option of a $250 discount towards the replacement of the entire system. This will be ideal for homeowners in the Tampa area that have a system that is 8 years or older with a worn compressor. With the hot, humid environment we have in Tampa, air conditioners can break down as early as year 8 of operation. Depending on the air conditioning contractor you call, it can cost well over a thousand dollars to replace a failed compressor. That is a considerable amount of money to sink into a system that will only have a year or two of warranty left and exposure to even greater repair costs. This may give homeowners the excuse they need to upgrade their HVAC system. Below is an excerpt from the promotion announcement.
The Compressor Change-Out Program provides dealers the option of upgrading homeowners with a non-functional compressor in their air conditioner, heat pump or packaged unit (covered under the terms of the original warranty) to a new Goodman brand air conditioner, heat pump or packaged unit at a discounted price.
Here’s how the program works:
1. Once a dealer verifies the homeowner has a non-functional Goodman compressor covered under the terms of the original warranty, the installing dealer can provide the homeowner with the option of a new air conditioner, heat pump or packaged unit at $250 below the dealer’s purchase price from the distributor. This discount applies only to the outdoor or packaged unit cost. It is the dealer’s responsibility to negotiate all additional costs with the homeowner including labor, freight, or any other costs associated with the installation, service, repair or operation of the unit and not covered by the warranty.
The new air conditioner, heat pump or packaged unit will be backed with all standard limited warranties associated with the specific model selected for replacement. All warranties are available exclusively to the original registered owner and his or her spouse provided the unit is installed in an owner-occupied single-family residence. See www.goodmanmfg.com for full warranty details.
2. To qualify, the installing dealer must provide the distributor a completed OUTDOOR/PACKAGED UNIT REPLACEMENT PROGRAM AGREEMENT form. They must also disclose the terms of the program to the homeowner and provide the homeowner with a completed copy of the OUTDOOR/PACKAGED UNIT REPLACEMENT PROGRAM AGREEMENT form.
It is not a requirement that the replacement unit have the same feature set as the non-functional model. The homeowner can opt for an upgraded model or one with a reduced feature set.
To learn more about this promotion or to schedule an estimate for a new air conditioning system installation, call Melo Air today. We have technicians standing by seven days a week.
|Posted by AC Contractor on September 11, 2014 at 10:30 PM||comments (0)|
Trane has issued a service bulletin regarding TXV failures and appears the solution also includes refrigerant additives. Below is an excerpt from the service bulletin:
The purpose of this bulletin is to address recent reports of issues with TXVs used in air handler and furnace coil product lines, predominately found in the 1.5-3.0 ton units. Reported issues include higher than normal superheat and lower than normal suction pressure which have generally appeared at start-up or within a short period of runtime (typically 60-90 days). This is a fix on fail action. This is not a safety issue.
We have brought back numerous valves from the field and a thorough analysis has been conducted. Findings to date show that a majority of the valves inspected contained debris on the push pin and spring. This debris on the push pin and spring may cause the valve to stick.
For TXVs that exhibit the low suction pressure (,95 PSIG) and high superheat (>30 degrees F), an oil additive needs to be installed into the refrigerant system. The addition of this oil additive has been shown to dissolve the debris on the push pin and spring assembly freeing up the movement of the push pin.
Repair and Installation Instructions
Add 4 ounces of MJ-X oil additive (CHM01005) to the refrigerant system while the compressor is running. Follow the steps on page 5 after the MJ-X is added to the system.
After adding MJ-X Oil Additive complete the following steps:
1. Operate the unit in the heating mode.
2. If the outdoor unit is a heat pump, place system in the heating mode of operation for 15 minutes.
3. If the system has a gas furnace, cycle off the air conditioner and cycle on the gas furnace for 15 minutes of run time.
4. If the system is an electric/electric system, cycle off the air conditioning and place the TXV sensing bulb in a bath of hot water for 15 minutes.
5. Place the system back into the cooling mode of operation and allow it to operate for 15 minutes. Note any performance changes.
6. Did the system performance improve to >95 PSIG Suction Pressure?
7. If yes, the MJ-X oil additive is clearing the restriction. No further work required.
8. If no, repeat steps 1-5
There is also a note that it may take up to 48 hours of operation for the system to return to normal operating conditions.
We expect further investigation into what in the manufacturing process is causing the debris to occur. As it currently stands, a technician should carry this additive on his service vehicle in case he needs it on any and or every installation. Although the solution is simple, it may become burdensome on the contractor by prolonging installations and additional callbacks. If you are wondering if your Trane system is one of the affected, contact Tampa's HVAC experts at Melo Air. We will be able to determine whether or not your system may be susceptible to a TXV failure.
|Posted by AC Contractor on September 8, 2014 at 9:05 PM||comments (0)|
Utility companies around the state of Florida including our own Tampa Electric are lobbying in attempt to reduce the state's conservation programs reports the ACHR News. Although there are many categories within the conservation programs, one of the most heavily used is for air conditioning and heating replacement. The Tampa Electric rebate for HVAC replacement has been a program that has outlasted the federal tax credit by a good deal. Based off the reduction in sales when the federal tax credit had been discontinued, we can assume that this will result in further reduction of high efficiency product installations. We estimate for that 2 stage equipment sales will remain flat but homeowners that were on the fence between a 13 or 15 SEER system would likely choose the 13.
The Tampa Electric rebate pays $275 for installing a 15 SEER heat pump system when replacing a heat pump and $400 when replacing a straight cool system. There is no incentive for purchasing a high efficiency air conditioner. The system would likely need a tweaking because of the new minimum efficiency requirements in 2015. Under the current program, the minimum SEER rating that can be manufactured is just one point lower than the rebate threshold.
While there will be opposing views among contractors, we do believe this will damage the awareness level to a certain extent. We end up losing a talking point in the home. When consumers would hear that the energy company or federal government offered an incentive, they new it was important and had value. Some will no longer see the significance.
If you have questions about Tampa Electric's energy rebate contact the air conditioning experts at Melo Air today. We are available for consultations on new AC installations 7 days a week. If you've been considering replacing a clunker of an air conditioner or heat pump with a high efficiency system to take advantage of the energy rebate, you may want to act soon as it could go away.
|Posted by AC Contractor on September 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
Over the course of the past couple months we have been updating homeowners on the widespread TXV failures that have been happening in the HVAC industry. It appears that manufacturers have determined the cause and solution to the problem. Below is an excerpt from a service bulletin from Rheem.
Details: Rheem has identified potential root causes of the field reports where the TEV fails to maintain design superheat.
To recap prior bulletins, as previously reported analysis shows the TEV is not the root cause of this issue. We believe the source of the problem is a chemical substance originating from the compressor.
We have been working with Emerson Climate Technologies to revert back to manufacturing processes in place prior to when the TEV sticking issue started to appear. All residential condensing and package units will be manufactured with compressors utilizing these earlier manufacturing processes no later than September 10th, 2014.
Rheem has aggressively tested system additives to resolve the superheat drift issue.Early tests and field reports have shown favorable results with the Nu-Calgon’s AC Re~New additive (Rheem Part number 4057-55). In known superheat drift situations, Rheem suggests the use of this additive will be an effective alternative to replacing the TEV. Note, our testing shows no benefit in using activated charcoal type filter driers with this additive. No harmful system effects have been observed with this additive, and Rheem continues to work with component manufacturers to assure long term reliability.
At this time, Rheem will support the use of the Nu-Calgon’s AC Re~New additive in systems with outdoor unit serial numbers in the date code range of 4013 to 3714 that exhibit superheat drift without voiding the factory warranty. An allowance is available for the addition of AC Re~New additive to systems that exhibit this phenomenon.
To utilize this program an iWarranty claim may be entered for part number 4057-55 (AC Re~New) with a $100 labor allowance filed using an indoor unit or packaged unit model and serial number. The outdoor unit model and serial number must be listed in the notes section of the claim. Please reference WCN approval code 2402014 on the claim. This allowance is only allowed on installed units when processed with the AC Re-New claim and is not retroactive. This allowance and program is effective from September 2nd 2014 and will terminate on August 31st 2015. Should replacement of the TEV become necessary due to superheat drift it is covered under our standard labor allowance guidelines. Please continue to use WCN approval code 2112014 for TEV Replacements. Recommended or Required Action: Please report unusual cases to your assigned DTR; include model and serial numbers for both indoor and outdoor units to help identify complete systems.
Thank you for your continued support of Rheem/Ruud products.
In addition to the service bulletin from Rheem, we also received this announcement from Gemaire which is a distributor of their product.
Rheem will provide the approved Nu-Calgon additive and a $100 labor allowance for the affected units in the serial number ranges from 4013 to 3714. This allowance and program is effective from September 2, 2014 and will terminate on August 31, 2015. The allowance and program does not include any tools and is not retroactive. Although we do not stock a significant amount of the Nu-Calgon additive, we are diligently working with Rheem to obtain an adequate supply, which will be available to you as soon as possible.
So while there may still be some delays due to inventory on the Nu-Calgon additive it appears the solutions are on the way. This video shows how the Nu-Calgon additive works with your air conditioner. If you have any questions about the TXV on your air conditioner or heat pump as to whether or not you will need this additive don't hesitate to contact Melo Air today.
|Posted by AC Contractor on August 28, 2014 at 10:25 PM||comments (0)|
If you're not sure what brand of air conditioning to buy for your HVAC system in Tampa, consumer review website may not be the best source of information. It has been said before that HVAC systems are like snowflakes because there are no two alike. There are so many variables in a system's performance other than the equipment. There is the equally important air distribution aspect that includes the duct design and the location and size of supply and return air grills. Parts of an HVAC system not including the equipment that can affect the performance is copper linesets. Issues if not corrected related to any of these items may cause the equipment to fail. The equipment typically gets the blame although it doesn't deserve it. Some will then take to the internet to vent frustrations.
Below is a link a new customer sent to us. The reviews did not reflect what he had heard from other contractors regarding a particular brand and he was curious what we thought about them.
We don't doubt that these people have had some serious issues with their equipment but where the blame is applied can be contested. Any of the issues blaming electric bills can absolutely be assumed is an installation error. Efficiency ratings are tightly audited within the HVAC industry, there is simply to way around it. A system is rated at 15 SEER, it will perform there if installed properly. Improper duct sizing is one of the main reasons for efficiency that is not realized. At least two of the reviews also referenced evaporator coil leaks. The review was for a SSZ14 condenser which does not contain an evaporator coil. Compressors may also fail but Goodman does have the lowest failure rate in the industry. That is because they install a filter drier in every unit before shipping it. They also use an oversized accumulator for additional compressor protection. Compressor failures are usually due to lack of maintenance or improper sizing. Other questionable reviews include a homeowner that only has repair costs when their annual inspection comes around. That seems odd to me and more a symptom of an unscrupulous contractor. Another also mentioned an installation price that would be hard for any legitimate contractor to complete. The installer was also not available to cover the warranty repair.
As you can see from their BBB profiles below, all manufacturers have a relatively low number of complaints and you can get a more clear picture of how consumers feel about them. It is important to adjust for market share because the company with the most complaints has one of the lowest percentages.
In addition to the BBB, we believe JD Power is also a good source for industry information. We have not been impressed with the results of Consumer Report or Consumer's Digest. One thing is for certain and that is the contractor selection process should take much more time than the brand you would like to install. Fortunately, we were able to build trust with the prospective homeowner and he decided to install our recommended brand Goodman. You can view the pictures of the installation here. If you would like more information on researching HVAC products or contractors, contact the AC experts at Melo Air today.
|Posted by AC Contractor on August 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM||comments (0)|
For the past several months, there has been a significant increase in the number of “no cooling” complaints coming from new residential air conditioning and heat pump installations. A system inspection typically shows the unit running with a very high superheat and low suction pressure, leading to the conclusion that the thermal expansion valve (TXV) wasn’t functioning properly. Once the TXV was replaced, the system operated fine which seemingly confirmed the TXV was the cause of the problem.
Danfoss has been working with our partners to resolve this issue. After weeks of collaboration and significant hours of lab time, it has become apparent the TXV is not the root cause of this problem. Our chemical and metallurgical experts have determined that a chemical reaction (hydrolysis or polymerization) with organic compounds from the system is the root cause. These newly formed chemicals result in a dark sticky substance adhering to the orifice cone. Once this happens, the orifice gets blocked and system failure occurs. This conclusion is shared by all our OEM partners as well. In these cases, Danfoss recommends replacing the TXV (like for like) per the system manufacturers instructions.
We do not recommend trying to clean the TXV in the field. Field experience shows that after the initial valve is replaced in the system this failure mode rarely re-occurs. Danfoss, together with our OEM partners, has done a thorough review of our factory and manufacturing processes. We can confirm the organic compounds found blocking the valves are not used anywhere in our processes. For this reason we can be certain when we say the Danfoss TR6 valve is not the root cause of the problem. However, it is important that, as an industry, we get this issue behind us. Therefore, Danfoss continues to cooperate with our partners to assist in finding the origin of the root cause that will eliminate the issue going forward and minimize issues in the field.
We will continue to update the industry via our website (www.northamerica.danfoss.com) and direct communications such as this. For more information, please contact your local Danfoss account manager or field system engineer.
Many manufacturers use Danfoss expansion valves, however, we have only seen this issue affecting Frigidaire, Lennox, Maytag and Rheem systems. We can not guarantee your system is not affected if you do not have one of these brands. For more information on air conditioning and heating equipment, contact Tampa area air conditioning experts Melo Air today.
|Posted by AC Contractor on August 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM||comments (0)|
We have yet to hear from many HVAC manufacturers regarding their plans for the new federal minimum efficiency levels until today. We received this noticed from Carrier:
Dear Valued Customers,
As we are all aware, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 provided for the next round of government regulated standard efficiencies allowed for air conditioners sold in the United States. These new standards will go into effect on January 1, 2015. What is unique about these new efficiency standards is that they have allowed for different standards for various parts of the country. Please find set forth below a summary of the new regulations:
Southeastern States: Included are Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Delaware, Arkansas and Florida. Minimum efficiency goes to 14 SEER for both air conditioning and heat pumps and 8.2 HSPF for heat pumps.
Southwestern States: Included are California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. Minimum efficiency also goes to 14 SEER for air conditioning, but there is a new standard for EER that will call for 12.2 EER for system for less than 45,000 BTUH and 11.7 EER for systems over 45,000 BTUH. Heat pumps require national standard of 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF.
Northern States: Includes the remaining states. Minimum 13 SEER air conditioning remains the standard, but heat pumps go to 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF.
An 18 month grace period is being provided which allows for 13 SEER AC products to be bought, sold and installed in the South and Southwest regions through July 1, 2016 as long as the units are manufactured prior to January 1, 2015. Accordingly, in order to meet the deadline of manufacturing these 13 SEER AC products prior to the end of 2014, Carrier Corp. has provided a deadline of August 21, 2014 as the last order date for 2014 13 SEER products.
In that there is a likelihood of a price increase in 2015 due to the increased efficiency requirements, this is an opportunity for you to protect your 13 SEER business by pre-buying equipment for your 2015 needs.
Again, order for 13 SEER equipment need to be placed by August 21st and delivery must be taken by December 31st. Your account must be current at the time of order and time of delivery. We will not have the warehouse space to store our possible 13 SEER and 14 SEER needs in 2015. These orders, once placed, are non-cancellable and non-returnable. Your account may be eligible for terms depending on the size and the order and the accounts credit status.
Because of uncertainty in factory demands and production capacity, all orders will be filled on a first order, first delivery basis. We urge you to consider what your possible needs may be for early 2015 business.
At Melo Air, we will continue to keep you up to date with the developments around the new federal minimum efficiency increase for HVAC equipment.
|Posted by AC Contractor on August 18, 2014 at 10:25 PM||comments (0)|
The air conditioning and heating industry has seen many technological advancements recently. One particular area where great advancements have been made that can save energy and increase comfort is with the control. Thermostats have become very smart. They can be controlled remotely via smart phone. Some know whether you are home or not and your habits and adjusts the temperature accordingly. Some use geomapping where you thermostat knows your location via your smartphone and adjusts to the ideal temperature as you are heading back to the house. Thermostats have become tech products, they have even attracted investments from one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Because these devices are technology they may come with a new set of risks. Earlier this month at a security conference it was demonstrated how Google's Nest thermostat could be easily hacked. Although the thermostat was hacked, the risks associated with owning a Nest thermostat have been overstated.
There are thousands of Nest thermostat's in use today and have not been one report where a hacking crime was involved. The demonstration required physical access to the device. This would mean that one would actually need to break into your home in order to hack your thermostat. It would probably make little sense to do this since they would already be in your home with access to valuables including jewelry.
As with any piece of technology there are risks associated with privacy. We do not believe the risks as too great and encourage homeowners to upgrade their HVAC control. It is one of the most effective ways to reduce cooling costs as well as comfort. If you're interested in how the features and benefits of a smart thermostat like Nest can improve your Tampa air conditioning system, call Melo Air today.
|Posted by AC Contractor on August 14, 2014 at 9:55 PM||comments (0)|
Earlier this week we mentioned that some air conditioning manufacturers are experiencing TXV failures and Nordyne was attempting to address the situation. Gemaire, an HVAC wholesale distributor, has also announces the increase frequency of thermal expansion valve failure rates. While the announcement does not mention particular brands affected, Gemaire distributes Frigidaire, Rheem and Maytag brands in the Tampa area. Below is an excerpt of the statement made by Gemaire:
As you may know our industry is experiencing metering device failure in the refrigerant cycle of split systems and packaged units. Gemaire is very concerned about this issue and want to share the information and knowledge that we currently have available from our manufacturers:
We are working closely with all of our manufacturing partners to obtain corrective actions for you but unfortunately none is available at this time.
Gemaire understands that you and your customers are frustrated with this situation and we want to assure you we are using our utmost influence to provide a solution and have this problem resolved as soon as possible.
We will continue to keep you informed as we get information and updates, and as always we value your business, loyalty, and patience during this period.
Failures such as these can impact many brands because they often use the same suppliers for many of the components within the system. This does not, however, appear to be an industry wide issue as there are a number of manufacturers and distributors that are experiencing little or no TXV failures. Call the air conditioning and heating pros at Melo Air if you have concerns about the TXV on your HVAC system.
|Posted by AC Contractor on August 11, 2014 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
Often times in HVAC, there are industry wide quality problems occurring with various parts of a system. While many will experiences issues, it does not mean that all manufacturers are going to. Some recent issues facing the HVAC industry have been copper coils and X-13 motors. The latest product bulletin we came across is from Nordyne which manufacturers air conditioning and heating products under a number of different trade names including Maytag, Frigidaire, Broan, Nu Tone, Westinghouse and others. Below is an excerpt from a product bulletin released by Nordyne this past July.
NORDYNE has received a number of calls from several customers regarding abnormal TXV failures. In addition, we have received bulletins from other manufacturers indicating TXV issues. It appears the issue is spanning multiple valve suppliers. While our warranty claim data does not indicate an issues (claims are actually down year-to-date versus last year), NORDYNE is taking these reports seriously and is taking appropriate actions.
All of the data is not in yet, but there is a possibility that the TXV is not the root cause of the issue; therefore, NORDYNE is working to understand and resolve the issue.
NORDYNE has brought back several valves from the field, and a thorough analysis has begun. Two valves were inspected at NORDYNE - initially, an unknown substance was discovered on the valve metering pins. These valves were sent to Saint Louis Test Labs, and the substance has been identified as coagulated POE oil. The cause of the coagulation has not yet been determined but is the focus of our continuing efforts.
Sample valves have also been sent to our valve supplier for analysis. And, NORDYNE is working with other system component suppliers in an effort to determine the root cause of the issue.
In summary, NORDYNE is very much aware of the issue and is taking appropriate action. We will update distribution through the bulletin process as more information becomes available.
While we feel that the most important decision is the contractor you select and the emphasis should not be on brand, at Melo Air we do not recommend Nordyne products. The major blow came when Equiguard filed Chapter 11 and many homeowners lost warranty coverage on their equipment. We have had difficulty in regaining confidence in the product since.
Because equipment failures can run in strings and across multiple vendors, it is a good idea to get multiple opinions on products and talk to folks who have recently installed equipment. That way you are less likely to purchase a product with a manufacturing defect that has not been corrected.