I occasionally see black particles blowing out of my unit. What are these?
If your unit is only a couple of years old, then what you are seeing is probably due to a maintenance issue. Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from a room. That humidity condenses on the air conditioner coils and drains into the base pan where it is used to cool the unit. Occasionally, mold or mildew will take advantage of this high moisture environment. The only way to solve this situation is to have the unit professionally cleaned.
Why is there water in the base pan of my air conditioner?
Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from a room. This process produces condensation which runs off into the base pan. This condensation is then used to cool the hot condenser coil which improves the unit’s performance.
How do I determine the proper cooling capacity for my space?
See the sizing guide in any of our product specifications for specific information on choosing the right size unit for your space.
I’d like to cool and heat with one unit. Will a heat pump work in my location?
Heat pumps are a very energy-efficient heating option. There are window, thru-the-wall, PTAC, single package vertical heat pump models, so you’ll find just what you need for your application.
A heat pump is an air conditioner that can run in reverse to provide heat. In air conditioning mode it removes heat from the indoor air and expels it outside. In heating mode it extracts heat from the outdoor air and uses it to heat your indoor space.
At peak efficiency heat pumps use 1/3 of the electricity used by an electric heat unit. However, heat pumps heat most comfortably and efficiently when the temperature is above 45º F. They are not well suited to colder climates with extreme winter temperatures but can be an energy efficient solution in shoulder seasons. Some heat pumps offer supplemental electric heat, which will provide heat in colder temperatures.
What causes ice to build up in an air conditioner?
Icing can be caused by a number of factors. Units that have not been cleaned over a long period of time may have coils and fins clogged by dust, dirt or debris. Clogged coils and fins restrict air flow through the unit, which can cause the motors and compressor to work even harder, that it may reduce the coil temperature below the normal range in an attempt to make up for the lost cooling power from the blocked coils.
Another potential cause is running a unit with a very cold set point (i.e. turning the target temperature down very low) on low fan speed for an extended period of time. This can cause excess condensate to build up on the coils, further lowering the temperature of the coil and leading to icing.
The power cord on my new air conditioner looks different. Why?
Effective August 1, 2004, the National Electric Code (NEC – Article 440.65) and UL 484 Standard required room air conditioning manufacturers to use either an LCDI or an AFCI power cord. The new power cords are equipped with a device that senses current leaks either between or from the conductors and interrupts the circuit by removing the supply source from the cord. This is done either electronically or via “air break” contacts. The cord remains de-energized until the condition causing the excessive leakage current has cleared, or the device has been manually reset. That’s a lot of engineering-speak for “the cord is safer”.
Water is draining into my room from my air conditioner. What do I do?
This problem generally has one of two causes: the unit was not installed properly with the outside lower than the inside to allow for adequate exterior drainage, or there may be a clog in the drain pan where condensate collects during operation.
If you feel that neither of these conditions exists, check for air leaking in from the outside anywhere around the unit. Air leaks will cause condensation to form on the outside of the unit, and this water will drain into your room. If there are any air leaks, resealing them should address the problem.
My unit produces cold air but it keeps turning off and on every few minutes. What is happening?
Your unit is probably too large for your room and is “short cycling.” This happens when cold air from an oversized unit bounces off the wall and back towards the unit, creating a room-temperature reading that’s cooler than the actual temperature. This false reading causes the compressor to shut off before the room has truly reached your desired set-point. While the compressor is off, the “real” room air enters the intake grille, and the thermostat reads that the room is no longer at the set temperature, so it turns the compressor back on. Your unit cycles off and on approximately every two to three minutes to reach the set-point. While the air coming out of the unit is cold, the compressor does not remain on long enough to cool the entire room.
The only solution is to correctly size the unit’s capacity to the room size and demand. A unit’s capacity is determined by its Btu. Larger rooms need a higher-capacity unit (a greater Btu) to cool correctly. But a unit that is too large for the room will reach its set point too quickly and the compressor will turn off before the air conditioner has had adequate time to remove humidity from the air.
How do I choose the correct unit capacity/ Btu size?
You should consider a number of variables when sizing a unit, such as location, room insulation, how many people will be using the room, size and location of windows, to name a few.
It’s cold outside but hot inside and I need to use my air conditioner. What now?
Your air conditioner is designed to cool in warm weather when the outside temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and below 115 degrees Fahrenheit, so it won’t cool a room if it’s cool outside. If you want to cool a room in the winter, set your unit to Fan Only mode (if it has one) and set the Fresh Air/Exhaust control to Fresh Air. This will bring in a supply of outside air. You can do this as long as the outside air temperature is above freezing.
Can I use a cover over the outside of my air conditioner during the months when it is not in use?
Please do not cover the outside of your air conditioner unless you first remove the unit from the sleeve, clean it and dry the base pan. Air conditioners are designed to hold water in the base pan. If the air conditioner is covered, the water cannot evaporate, and mold and mildew will form. If the air conditioner is installed per the instructions, you should not have problems with air coming in or around the unit. Everything in the rear of the air conditioner is sealed so snow and rain cannot harm the air conditioner.