A picture’s worth a thousand words…
A picture’s worth a thousand words…
After receiving a question recently about cleaning the Fujitsu’s air filters, I thought I’d better check mine. Good thing – yuck!
Fortunately, a quick spray down in the sink and they’re good as new. Just remember to spray from the back side to blow the gunk out of the filter. Also, let the filters dry out before using them.
In addition to the two large mesh filters, there are a small foam and pleated filter below them. Clean and dry those and you’re good to go.
Crawlspaces – those nasty, damp, moldy spaces under your home that you dread entering. They’re one of the least understood parts of a home and the source of countless problems. In this post, I’ll review some of the worst problems and how to avoid them.
Crawlspaces often have two big issues:
Do you feel like your house is always dusty, in spite of how much you vacuum and clean? Have you tried all the tricks – HEPA vacuum cleaners, air cleaners, taking your shoes off before coming in the house, washing the dog…. all to no avail?
Chances are good that you’re being plagued by a leaky duct and air handling system.
When you have leaks in your ducts (virtually all duct are leaky) dust from the attic gets sucked into the ducts and distributed throughout the house. Even if you have an excellent filtration system on your air handler, the dust can be sucked in from places that don’t get filtered, and blown into your home, usually leaving fine gray dust everywhere.
Before you call in a heating/cooling (HVAC) contractor, there are a few steps that you can take yourself.
Hopefully, you’re reading this before you need to replace your heating system. Other than buying a car, a new heating system is likely to be the biggest single item you’ll purchase for your home. And just like a car, you want to do your research before plunking down the the ten grand on something you’ll be living with for years.
Unfortunately, most people wait until their heating system dies – usually in the dead of winter. What ensues is an emergency phone-call to your “heating guy” who will either replace your system with exactly the same, inefficient, old unit you already have or whatever he’s got on the truck, most likely the latter.
You wouldn’t buy a car this way, would you? You wouldn’t call your car dealership and say “my car broke down, sell me what you’ve got. Maybe give me a few options for different cars.”
Heat pumps are a bit of magic. But you use one in your home every day – your refrigerator. So if you can accept that your fridge works, somehow making 0 degree air from the 70 degree air in your home, plus some compressor action, then you should be able to accept that heat pumps can produce 95 degree air to heat your home while it’s 25 degrees outside.
I’m not going to subject you to a full lesson on thermodynamics and the refrigeration cycle. Instead, I just want you to accept the fact that heat pumps work on the same principles as refrigerators and air conditioners – they move energy from one place to another. In the process, they make one side of the system hotter and the other side colder.
Heat pumps, refrigerators and air conditioners all work the same way – they move heat from one place to another, amplifying the effect using a compressor and refrigerants.
A family friend recently told me of “issues” with their home heating system – “when it runs, the lights get halos around them from all the soot in the air.”
I couldn’t believe it when I heard this, and immediately warned him that the condition likely is making his family sick and could easily kill them. No joke.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is the “leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America” – it’s colorless, odorless and quickly affects your brain, knocking you out then killing you. In lower amounts, it can lead to chronic headaches, dizziness, depression, nausea and a host of other problems.
As we tighten up our homes to make them more energy efficient, we have to be particularly vigilant about keeping any combustion devices in the home tuned up and properly vented.
Let’s look at this in more detail….
I bumped this back up to top of the list since it’s one of the most popular posts I’ve ever done. I also just had the misfortune of losing ALL THREE indoor units during a recent storm and power surge that killed appliances all around my development. Argh! However, they’re up and running again, good as new.
I love these heat pumps! There’s one in the bedroom, one in the basement “party room” and one in the large, living room that’s full of windows – a space that has been uncomfortable for years.
After installing these systems, I don’t know how we dealt without them before. The summer comfort is waaay better than ever. And in our basement room, I turned off the main heating system and used the Fujitsu exclusively all winter.
Keep in mind that this is one special little unit. There are many mini-split systems on the market that look like this, but most of them are barely half as efficient as this one. They’re just not in the same league.
I admit it – I go crazy when I see leaky ducts. I’m not talking about ducts that have little leaks, I’m talking about problems that cost you hundreds of dollars per year and could be fixed in a few minutes with a piece of tape.
Incompetent heating contractors hate me. Why? Because I’m on a mission to give you the information you need to know when they’re ripping you off. On the other hand, quality contractors love my information because I arm you with knowledge so you can tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones.
Sound interesting? Read on!
Freezing temperatures are setting in around much of the country, so now what do you do? While each house is unique, there are some things to remember to avoid unpleasant surprises and expensive repairs later one.
We all know, when pipes freeze, they often burst due to the extreme pressures exerted by the ice as it forms. If you have hoses outside, disconnect them from the faucet, drain the water that might be trapped in them, and store them for the winter.
If you have a pool or pond that needs winterization, make sure all exposed plumbing is drained. Some systems need to be filled with anti-freeze. Remember, any exposed pipes and even buried pipes, are likely to burst if there’s water in them over the winter.
Most homes have outdoor faucets for hoses. Modern faucets are “no-freeze” design, because they put the valve inside the house where the freeze hazard is lower. However, there are still millions of homes with older fixtures that get destroyed if not drained during the winter. Check your faucets for a shut-off valve inside the house and ensure that they’re drained properly.