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CheckMe!® Analysis Detects Two Critical Problems with Air Conditioners.

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CheckMe!® Analysis Precisely Checks for problems with heat pump or air conditioner refrigerant charge and air flow.


Refrigerant charge is the amount or level of refrigerant in your heat pump or air conditioner.  The air flow is the amount of air that is being blown by the ventilation fan, through the duct work in your house.  The more precisely an heat pump or air conditioner is diagnosed for these two potential problems, the better the indoor air quality and comfort level in the home, the more efficient and less expensive the heat pump or air conditioner is to operate, and the longer it will last with fewer repairs.


1.  Refrigerant Level -- the Most Critical Problem

Incorrect refrigerant charge is a common problem with residential air conditioning systems across the country.  And contrary to most consumers' expectations, frequently even newly installed air conditioning systems are incorrectly charged.


Most Residential Heat pumps Or Air Conditioners Do Not Have The Correct Refrigerant Level


Since refrigerant is not consumed by the heat pump or air conditioner and does not otherwise degrade, the problem of refrigerant charge in older units likely existed from the time of installation.  It may also have occurred subsequent to installation as refrigerant was added or lost during service, when some traditional methods of approximating the refrigerant charge might have been used.


Even New Heat pumps Or Air Conditioners May Be Charged Incorrectly


New Heat pumps or air conditioners frequently have this problem because, when installing an heat pump or air conditioner, tubing must be run from the outside unit to the indoor unit.  Most Heat pumps or air conditioners come from the factory charged with enough refrigerant to accommodate twenty five feet of tubing.  If the length of required tubing is less than or more than twenty five feet the refrigerant charge level must be adjusted to compensate for the difference in length.  If the tubing length is less than twenty five feet, then refrigerant must be removed. If the tubing length is longer than twenty five feet, then refrigerant must be added.


The Refrigerant Charge Problem Is Widespread


In a recent study, for Arizona Public Service, heat pump or air conditioner systems were tested for their refrigerant level.  The study results are indicated in the graph below.  Only eighteen (18%) percent of all the units were properly charged (green bar).  Seventy-eight (78%) percent of the units were under charged (yellow-red bars).  While four (4%) percent were over charged (red).  These results are consistent with previous industry research, from new home construction studies in California.


chart 1


Clearly, only a small percentage of Heat pumps or air conditioners are properly charged with refrigerant.  The cost is real.  As little as 10% undercharge will reduce the heat pump or air conditioner's capacity as much as 10%.


chart 2


2. Air Flow

Incorrect Air Flow Leaves Humidity, or Never Sufficiently Cools the Air


Almost all Heat pumps or air conditioners are designed to have 400 cubic feet per minute of air flowing across the indoor coil of the heat pump or air conditioner unit, for every ton of cooling capacity.  When the air flow is more than the manufacturer's recommendation, then the humidity of the air will tend to be high.  If the air flow is less than manufacturer's recommendation, then the heat pump or air conditioner will not cool the air sufficiently.


Twelve different energy studies have been conducted on air flow in the past several years.  Each study found that on average seventy percent (70%) of all home Heat pumps or air conditioners have inadequate air flow.  The average home heat pump or air conditioner's air flow is twenty percent (20%) below the manufacturer's recommendation.


CheckMe!® Analysis Precisely Checks for these Two Critical Heat pump or air conditioner Problems


Prior to energy efficiency studies and the development of CheckMe!® software, precise computer analysis and calculations were not available to the infield service and installation technicians.  And more significantly, prior to these government and utility funded energy efficiency studies, less precise analysis was believed to be adequate.


Obviously, any professionally conducted heat pump or air conditioner diagnosis is better than none, but CheckMe!® air conditioning diagnosis is currently the best, most precise, approach available for heat pump or air conditioner diagnosis and tune-up.  The more precisely an heat pump or air conditioner is diagnosed, the better the indoor air quality and comfort level in the home, the more efficient and less expensive the heat pump or air conditioner is to operate, and the longer it will last with fewer repairs.