Category Archives: Ace Hi Services

Correctly Charging AC Units

Many people may wonder why HVAC companies will not maintain or recharge your AC unit on a cold day. It is simply not an effective way to test freon levels.

Cold Temperature Charges

You can work on these units in the cold and some technicians use “insulated blankets” to wrap the outside condensing units with to create a head pressure rise. This simulates a hot day, they can then add or remove refrigerant based on that reading. The problem with this technique is the head pressure rise is more of an estimate. With this estimate of head pressure you are not getting an accurate reading therefore it would be easy to overcharge or undercharge the unit.

This results in you as the customer being inconvenienced by your unit still having issues and possibly having to pay for the same service to be done on a hot day. When charging your unit on a hot day you will get a accurate reading therefore resulting in a cheaper repair and peace of mind that your unit will be operating correctly. This is the preferred method to work on AC units because we know we are getting a correct reading and will not have to worry about an unhappy customer or wasted time. The correct temperature for recharges is 70-75° F.

 

RGF Reme Guardian Air Purification System Photohydroionization (PHI)

The Guardian Air by RGF uses Photohydroionizationin (PHI) in conjunction with enhanced UV light and is designed to eliminate sick building syndrome risks by reducing odors, air pollutant, VOCS (chemical odors), smoke, mold bacteria and viruses. The HVAC-PHI Cells are easily mounted into your heating and air conditioning systems air ducts where most sick building problems start. When the HVAC system is in operation the HVAC-PHI Cell creates an Advanced Oxidation Process consisting of, Hydro-Peroxides, super oxide ions and hydroxide ions. All are friendly oxidizers. By friendly oxidizers we mean the oxidizers revert back to oxygen and hydrogen after the oxidation of the pollutant.

The Guardian Air unit size, is scaled to accommodate the various air flow rates of different HVAC systems. Locate the air blower size in cubic feet per minute (CFM) of the HVAC system you are intending to install the system in, then pick the model number that corresponds to that flow rate. Therefore, there is a unit available to install in almost any HVAC application.

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 Germicidal UV Light vs Photohydroionization

Germicidal UV light rays have been used for decades by the medical industry as a method for destroying micro-organisms (germs, viruses, bacteria). UV light is dependable and can be easily installed in HVAC ducts or a plenums. Germicidal UV light is effective in reducing only the airborne micro-organisms that pass directly through the light rays. However, germicidal UV light has little to no effect on gases, vapors or odors.

Photohydroionization Advanced Oxidation, on the other hand, is very effective on gases, vapors, VOCS and odors. UV light enhanced by a hydrated quad-metallic compound target develops an advanced oxidation reaction that creates an Advance Oxidation Process (AOP). This process also produces hydro-peroxides, super oxide ions and hydroxides. By engineering the proper UV light wavelength, in combination with a triple function, no maintenance unit. The PHI Cell provides safe AOP to purify the air. With the RGF HVAC-PHI Cell Advanced Oxidation System, micro organisms can be reduced by over 95%. Gases, VOCs and odors can also be reduced significantly, and the room will have hydro peroxides, super oxide ion and hydroxides which will help give your room fresh, clean and odor free air.

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Hydro-peroxides Breakdown

The breakthrough in the RGF advanced oxidation technologies is a group of oxidants known as hydro-peroxides. Hydro-peroxides have been a common part of our environment for over 3.5 billion years. Hydro-peroxides are created in our atmosphere when ever three components are present: oxygen molecules, water vapor and energy (electro magnetic). REME also has the ability to super charge these hydro-peroxides or ionize them into Ionoized-Hydro-Peroxides.

Ionized-Hydro-Peroxides are very effective at destroying harmful microbial’s in the air and on surfaces. As oxidants, they do this by either destroying the microbe through a process known as cell lysing or by changing the molecular structure and rendering it harmless (which is the case in VOC’s and odors). The amount of hydro-peroxides required to accomplish this task in a conditioned space is well below the level that is constantly in our outside air. The Advanced Oxidation Technology found in RGF’s Guardian Air product family has brought the oxidants found in the outside air into the conditioned space of your home.

There is no known case of hydro-peroxides ever creating a health risk. Over the past 20 plus years RGF has more then 1 million Advanced Oxidation products successfully used worldwide without a safety problem.

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Test Results

  • Tested on H1N1 Swine Flu with 99+% Kill on surfaces
  • ISO-Level 3 particulate reduction in a bio-chamber (better than HEPA Filtration)
  • 4-log reduction (99.9%) surface bacteria/virus reduction
  • Over 90% VOC reduction
  • 88% of microbes in human sneeze killed at 3 feet
  • 97% airborne bacterial reduction
  • 99% reductions of Ecoli, Listeria, Strep and Bird Flu
  • 85% odor reduction
  • 97% airborne mold reduction
  • US Military approved for mold protection in field hospitals
  • Hospital approvals Infectious Diseases – U.S. and International 99% reduction of STAPH (MRSA)
  • Major US city school reports 20% reduction in absenteeism
  • Tested and approved by the Chinese Government for protection against SARS virus
  • Approved by the USDA, FSIS and FDA for use in food processing plants
  • Fox News three-part indoor air series featured RGF and concluded substantial mold and bacteria reductions.
  • RGF’s technology has been featured on Fox, ABC, CBS, and in Popular Science Magazine.

We have installed many of these with great reviews from every customer! We are proud to be installing RGF REME products in Northern Colorado. If you would like to improve the air quality in your home today! Call Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air for any of your plumbing or heating concerns!

Troubleshooting Power Vent Water Heaters

Venting

When troubleshooting a Power Vent water heater the venting often goes unnoticed even if there is an issue. The venting is so important to inspect on Power Vent Water Heaters because if they are sloped the wrong direction condensation will makes its way to the blower and damage it. Power vents don’t always form condensation, but there are a couple different variables that do cause them to condensate.

-Ambient temperature and humidity of installation location

-Ambient temperature and humidity of venting space

-Vent distance, slope, and correct product usage

-Vent has slope minimum of 1/8″ AWAY from the blower – Horizontal Applications

-Know the proper vent lengths for the model water heater (see table below)

These are the variables you need to pay especially close attention to when inspecting the venting. If you do notice an issue where the Power Vent is condensating a condensate kit is available to install. This is a Fernco exhaust adapter with a drain outlet that you pipe to the drain using vinyl tubing. An inexpensive part that will solve the condensate problem.

Check for vent blockage and determine if the vent could become clogged by surrounding vegetation. If so, consult with the home owner on a solution to make sure the problem does not repeat itself.

Its extremely important to make sure there is adequate air for combustion and ventilation. An insufficient supply of air will cause re-circulation of combustion products resulting in air contamination that may be hazardous to life. In Such conditions you will notice a yellow,luminous burner flame, causing carbon build up or sooting of the combustion chamber, burners and flue tubes with possible damage to the water heater.

Vents are susceptible to freezing and can be very easy to overlook. If the burner wont stay lit you should check to make sure there are no obstructions and investigate the possibility of frozen vent.

Troubleshooting codes and Vent Length Table

The link below includes a table to troubleshoot any issues you may have

The link also includes Maximum vent length including number of allowed elbows

vent-length-table-troubleshooting-codes-and-cause

Proper Combustion Air

Combustion air is very important for a water heater to run correctly. All different variables should be considered. When an exhaust fan is installed in the same room with a water heater, sufficient openings for air must be provided in the walls. Undersized openings will cause air to be drawn into the room through the venting and causing circulation of combustion products. A very common solution to this problem is the installation of a louvered door.

The formula to correctly determine proper openings

All air coming from inside the building: an opening must have a minimum free area of 1 inch² (6.5 cm²) per 1000 BTU (0.29 kw) per hour of the total input rating of all gas utilization equipment in the confined space, but not less than 100 inches² (645 cm²). One opening must be within 12 inches (31 cm) of the top and one with 12 inches (31 cm) of the bottom of the enclosure.

All Air coming from Outdoors: The confined space must be provided with two permanent openings, one commencing within 12 inches (31 cm) of the top and one commencing within 12 inches (31 cm) from the bottom of the enclosure. The openings must communicate directly, or by ducts, with the outdoors or spaces (crawl or attic) that freely communicate with the outdoors.

  1. When directly communicating with the outdoors, each opening must have a minimum free area of 1 inch² (6.5 cm²) per 4000 BTU (1.2 kw) per hour of total input rating of all equipment in the enclosure.
  2. When communicating with the outdoors through vertical ducts, each opening must have a minimum free area of 1 inch² (6.5 cm²) per 4000 BTU (1.2 kw) per hour of total input rating of all equipment in the enclosure.
  3. When communicating with the outdoors through the horizontal ducts , each opening must have a minimum free area of 1 inch² (6.5 cm²)  per 2000 BTU (0.6 kw) per hour of total input rating of all equipment in the enclosure.
  4. When ducts are used, they must be of the same cross-sectional area as the free area of the openings to which the connect. The minimum dimensions of rectangular air ducts must be not less than 3 inches (7.5cm)

Specially Engineered Installations

The requirements noted under the CONFINED SPACES above must not necessarily govern when special engineering, approved by the authority having jurisdiction, provides an adequate supply of air for combustion, ventilation, and dilution of flue gases.

Sequence of Operation

The sequence of operation is important to know so you can properly diagnose the problem.

Control Sequence of Operation

Start up sequence

Upon powering up, the control checks for the presence of the resistive plug, if the resistance is in the expected range the control will begin normal operation after 5 to 8 seconds.

Normal Heating Sequence

  1. The thermostat senses a need for heat.
  2. The control checks the pressure switch condition.
  3. If the pressure switch is open, the control sends power to the blower motor.
  4. The blower starts moving combustion air through the combustion system.
  5. The pressure switches closes.
  6. The control senses the closed pressure switch and starts the ignition process by providing a spark at the pilot electrode and allowing gas to flow to the pilot.
  7. When the pilot is lit the gas control senses the pilot flame and opens the main gas valve.
  8. The main burner is lit.
  9. The main burner and blower continue to operate until the thermostat is satisfied.
  10. When the thermostat is satisfied the main and pilot gas valves close.
  11. The blower operates for a short post purge period before shutting down.
  12. The water heater remains in the stand-by mode until the next call for heat.
  13. Make sure Power Vent is plugged into a grounded outlet.
  14. Make sure you have correct continuinty

Maintenance

  1. Annually check the operation of the thermostat
  2. The flow of combustion and ventilation air MUST NOT be restricted. Clear the combustion air openings of any dirt, dust, or other restrictions. WARNING! The ventilation air system may be HOT.
  3. At all times keep the water heater area clear and free from combustible materials, gasoline and other flammable vapors and liquids.
  4. Bi-annually conduct a visual check of the main and pilot burner flames to determine that they are burning properly. see Burner Flame Check. If sooting or other burner anomalies are evident, shut down the water heater by turning off the gas per the instructions listed in this manual or as listed on the water heater.
  5. Annually remove the inner door and main burner assembly to clean orifices and related parts of any dirt or other foreign material. Inspect the burner ports for obstructions or debris and clean with a wire brush as needed. Wire brush and/or vacuum clean the combustion chamber as needed to remove scale deposits and debris. NOTE: It is imperative for proper operation of the water that the inner door replaced in the original location.
  6. At least once a year, check the combination temperature and pressure relief valve to insure that the valve has not become encrusted with lime. Lift the lever at the top of the valve several times until the valve seats properly without leaking.
  7. Monthly drain off a gallon of water to remove silt and sediment.
  8. If the combination temperature and pressure relief valve on the appliance discharges periodically, this may be due to thermal expansion in a closed water supply system. Contact the Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air to help correct this problem. Do not plug the combination temperature and pressure relief valve outlet.
  9. A combination sacrificial anode rod/hot water outlet nipple has been installed to extend tank life. The anode rod should be inspected annual and replaced when necessary to prolong tank life. Water conditions in your area will influence the time interval for inspection and replacement of the anode rod. The use of a water softener may increase the speed of anode consumption. More frequent inspection of the anode is needed when using softened (or phosphate treated) water.
  10. The blower has sealed motor bearings and does not require adding oil.

Short Cycling Boilers

Boiler Short Cycling is when the boiler overheats and shuts off before reaching peak efficiency. If your boiler just recently started short cycling, there can be many different factors causing this issue.

Thermostat

If your thermostat is out of calibration your burner will be bouncing on and off. If your thermostat has a mercury switch first make sure the thermostat hangs level on the wall. Also look to see if the thermostat is in a cold draft area or possibly hanging on a poorly insulated wall. These could all be contributing factors to your thermostat getting incorrect readings. Then causing your boiler to fire inconsistently.

Air Vents

Air vents are crucial to your system running correctly. If your vents are clogged air will become trapped in your system and it will pressurize causing an air bubble which water wont pass through. Your boiler wont be cycling the water at this point and will overheat quickly causing it to shutoff before being able to distribute hot water throughout the house. Often this will be caught in a boiler maintenance and fixed before causing any issues.

Over sized Boilers

If your boiler is over sized it will satisfy the space heating demands too quickly , then shut down until heat is required again. This is bad because the longer your boiler runs the more efficient it will be. This can often happen when you have multiple zones in a home but only one of them is calling for heat. Therefore the amount of water flowing through the boiler is a fraction of what was expected. When you have an on-off boiler (no modulation) this becomes more prevalent and the more the boiler is over-sized, the more often it will occur. A modulating boiler does good in this circumstance because it will adjust the flame according to the load, rather then just shutting down on high limit from lack of flow.

Circulating Pumps

Circulating pumps are used to force hot water from the boiler through the radiating devices such as hot water baseboards or radiators. The circulators are switched on as needed or in some cases they will be designed to run continuously. If your pump stops working it will no longer be able to circulate the water in the zone causing your boiler to overheat and begin short cycling.

Boiler Dry Cycling

When the boiler currently at the temperature set point and is in stand by mode as no further heat is required from the system load (no zones calling for heat). Due to the ambient radiated heat loses, together with the flue drought heat losses (standing losses) The boiler will naturally cool down over time which may cause the temperature controls to instruct the boiler to re fire and return the boiler back to the set point temperature. In this case the heat is not being used by the heating system it is only replacing the “standing heat loss” and therefore wasting energy.

Boiler short cycling is unhealthy overall for your system. If you have any boiler issues in Northern Colorado, call Ace Hi Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, Today and schedule an appointment with one of our heating specialists.

 

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is responsible for sending 20,000 to the emergency room every year. 400-500 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year.   If you have any gas appliance in your home it needs to be inspected yearly .  If your appliance is not checked for carbon monoxide it could be causing you or your loved ones to feel sick or sleepy all the time.

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased from any home improvement store.  The basic one cost is around $20.  There are better products that have a digital read out to give you peace of mind.  Make sure to read the packaging to see how the detector works.  Some do not go off until the readings reach 30 ppm.  This could be dangerous to an elderly person or for someone who is on oxygen.  They would need a detector that will alert at 5ppm.

Furnaces,water heaters,fireplaces,gas stoves and boilers all should be inspected yearly and test for carbon monoxide. ‘

Freezing Pipes

Really cold weather may be behind us. If temps drop below 20 degrees at night and the power goes out you could have frozen pipes.

All houses are different. If you keep your heat on pipes will probably not freeze.  If pipes are on an outside wall chances of them freezing is pretty good.  The best thing to do is to make sure pipes are insulated or they have heat tape attached to them.  The other option is to let faucets drip to keep water flowing.  Hot water will freeze before cold water.

If pipes do freeze.  Call a plumber to have them thaw them out properly.  Pipes may burst under pressure.  Open up faucets to relieve the pressure.

When the weather warms up contact your local plumber and have them inspect the piping of the home and see where the problem pipes are.

Ace hi Plumbing,Heating and Air offers free insulation with any repipe of a home.