If Your Central Air Conditioning Unit will not Start …
Make sure the thermostat system switch is set to COOL.
- Make sure the desired temperature is set below the room temperature by more than 2 degrees. A central air conditioner should never be set below 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).
- If your thermostat has a digital display, make sure the display is not blank
- If the display is blank, try changing the batteries inside the thermostat
- Make sure that the air conditioner breaker (fuse) in your electrical panel is in the ON position. There is a breaker (fuse) for both the furnace and air conditioner. Both must be on for the air conditioner to operate. Sometimes these breakers trip and need to be reset. If either of the breakers (fuses) continues to trip then you should call our service department at 613.733.2481.
- Make sure the outdoor disconnect switch is in the ON position. Most air conditioners have an outdoor disconnect switch near the outdoor air conditioner unit. It is typically a grey box near the outdoor unit. It may have been turned off during the fall or winter months.
If Your Central Air Conditioner will not Cool …
- Make sure that the outdoor air conditioner unit is operating. The fan blade must be spinning.
- Make sure that the furnace blower is running.
- Make sure your furnace filter is clean: a dirty furnace filter will cause your air conditioner to freeze up.
- Put your hand over one of the air registers in your home. If the air seems restricted or reduced you may have a frozen system. This can be confirmed by going to the outdoor unit and observing the pipes that connect to the outdoor unit. If you see any frost or ice on the pipes; your system is not working properly. Turn the air conditioner off at the thermostat by moving the system switch to OFF. One further step would be to turn the FAN switch to ON. This will help defrost the unit faster.
If Your Gas Furnace will not Start …
A quick test is to put the FAN switch on the thermostat to ON. If you hear the fan on the furnace or feel air coming out of air registers then you can be sure that there is power to the furnace. This test may not be possible if you do not have a central air conditioner.
- Make sure all the furnace panels are on the furnace properly.
- Make sure the furnace switch is in the ON position. This switch is a “light switch” style switch which is usually located at the stairs going down to the basement or at the door entering the furnace room. This switch interrupts the power coming from the electrical panel. It is usually positioned higher on the wall than a standard light switch.
- Check the furnace breaker (fuse) which is located in the electrical panel of your home.
If Your Gas Furnace will not Heat …
- Make sure the thermostat system switch is set to HEAT.
- Make sure the desired temperature is set above the room temperature by more than 2 degrees. If your thermostat has a digital display, make sure the display is not blank If the display is blank, try changing the batteries inside the thermostat
- If the furnace fan will start but you have no heat check that the furnace filter is clean.
- If you have a high-efficiency furnace make sure that the outside exhaust and air intake vents are free and clear of snow, ice, or anything that may block or restrict them. Insect screens can never be placed on the exhaust or intake vent of a gas furnace.
- If you have a York furnace that is fewer than 10 years old you have an LED status light on the front side of the furnace. Where is the LED light on my furnace?
- After you have located the LED status light, you should observe how many times it is flashing. On York furnaces, a red flashing light indicates a problem with the furnace. The red LED light will flash a series of blinks depending on the problem. This series will be repeated over and over with a 2-second break in between.
The Different Types of Blower Fan Motors
PSC (Permanent Split Capacitor)
This single speed motor technology has been the standard in the HVAC industry for many years. PSC motors are considered single-speed because they do not have any internal controls that can be programmed to automatically vary the rotation of the motor over an operation range.
This style of motor at its best can only achieve 60% electrical efficiency. These motors are also the least quiet of the three motor technologies.
These are high-efficiency, brushless DC motors. They are based on the same ECM technology as ECM motors.
They do not have the ability to change speeds but they can maintain constant torque unlike the PSC motors. This ability allows them to achieve approximately 80% electrical efficiency.
ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor)
This motor is based on a direct current design which is inherently more efficient and runs cooler than alternating current PSC motors. They are the quietest of the three motor types.
This motor uses variable-speed motor technology has been the ultimate design for superior cooling and heating comfort. This technology achieves the highest efficiency when a constant fan is needed. They are the quietest of the three motor types.
Modulating vs Two-Stage Gas Furnaces
A two-stage furnace has the ability to provide two different outputs of heat. The first stage of heat is generally 60% of the total available heat output. This stage of heat is designed to offer more comfort and fewer temperature fluctuations throughout the home while reducing air noise. After about 15 minutes if this stage of heat does not satisfy the thermostat then the second stage of heat is engaged automatically. The second stage is 100% of the total available heat output and is used to bring the temperature up quickly after setback periods or during extreme weather.
A modulating furnace works on the same principal as a two-stage furnace. The only difference is an even more accurate control of room temperature. The York modulating YP9C furnace has 100 different heat stages. By having such small increments of heat outputs a modulating furnace can achieve a room temperature within half a degree of the desired temperature. The modulating furnace is designed to run on the lowest possible heat setting to achieve the desired temperature. It also has the ability to increase its heating output quickly if the outdoor temperature starts falling.
What is a Programmable Thermostat?
A programmable thermostat allows you to control when the heat or cooling systems operate. The typical programmable thermostat allows the user to program at least 4 events per day.
- An example of an event would be to have the heat come on at 6AM until it reaches 20° Celsius. Once this temperature is achieved the thermostat will continue to turn the heating system on and off in order to maintain 20° or until the next event.
- The next event could be at 9AM with a new set temperature of 15°. Now the thermostat will turn the heating system off and not allow it to operate unless the room temperature falls below 15°.
SEER ratings for Air Conditioners
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a way to determine the electrical efficiency of an air conditioning unit. The higher the SEER rating the more energy-efficient an air conditioner is.
An air conditioner in Ottawa must have a minimum SEER rating of 14.5 to qualify for the EcoEnergy Grant or Ontario Power Authority rebates.
With the introduction and utilization of the smart metres for electric consumption monitoring, SEER ratings are becoming more important in respect to electricity costs.
Visit www.cleanairalliance.org/choices/airconditioning.html to use a SEER calculator to see how much you can save by purchasing an air conditioner with a higher SEER rating. Remember: each ton of air conditioning is equal to 12,000 BTU/h.
MERV ratings for Air Filters
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a scale developed to compare the effectiveness of air filters.
The scale is based on a filter’s ability to capture particles between 0.3 to 10 microns. The size of mold, dust mite debris, and dog dander fall in the 3 to 10 micron size.
A typical 1″ disposable air filter has a MERV rating of less than 4 which means it captures less than 20% of the particles in the 3 to 10 micron range.
A rating of MERV 13 corresponds to 90% efficiency for particles between 3-10 microns. This can be achieved with an Aprilaire 2410 air filter.