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Old 07-04-2008, 05:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Here's another fun tip. Turn off the breaker to your air conditioning unit in the winter. Some of the units have a little heater in them to keep the refrigerant at the proper operating temperature and they all have some sort of control board in them thats sitting there powered on at the ready to do absolutely nothing for 3-6 months.

Might save you a few bucks in electricity over the winter.
If you do that make sure to turn the breaker back on 24 hours before running the A/C. The heater is to heat the oil in the compressor, not the refrigerant. If the oil is too thick it won't flow enough to lubricate and you'll end up with a new A/C.

That won't save you any bucks at all.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:39 AM   #22
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I thought the oil was mixed in with the refrigerant?

Telly...I've seen oil heater options with modern air conditioning units. Plus several major makers still use reciprocating compressors. Carriers 16 seer two stage unit is a reciprocating compressor...spins one way for the first stage and then stops and spins the other way to kick into the second stage.

Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:12 AM   #23
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the oil tends to migrate and accumulate in the crankcase once the system is off.

if the unit has a site glass just look for bubbles... that was tooooo easy for a novice to do so the trend has been to remove the sight glasses..

you can also feel the suction line, thats the fat line coming back to the compressor. on a nice hot humid day that line should be all sweaty...

for anything else you will need a set of gauges

when i was a mechanic many many years ago it amazed me that guys who would re-wire an entire house or rebuild an automatic transmission would never dig into the black art of air conditioning repair. the truth was it was so simple i had my 7 year old charging systems in no time at all... now its more electronic control oriented a lot more difficult to trouble shoot without service manuals and schematics
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:17 PM   #24
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Here are some instructional videos:

How to clean the outdoor coil:

Preventative maintenance:

Access to the indoor coil:

Retired in 2006 at age 49.

"Who among us is smart enough to learn from the mistakes of others?" - Voltaire
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