Cold Weather is Coming!

Sorry to break it to you, but cold weather is coming. Before you start throwing tomatoes my way, this is only some advice to help you be prepared.

So what do you need to be prepared to brave the cold weather? I’m not talking about long johns and snow boots. I’m talking about tools! Unfortunately, we get so wrapped up in the heat that we often times forget to get our tools ready. Below is a partial list of tools you should have ready to take on the majority of problem calls.

  1. Combustion Analyzer (fresh batteries and professionally calibrated)
  2. Oil test kit (smoke test papers, etc.)
  3. Draft gauge
  4. Hygrometer (used to test humidity levels)
  5. Multimeter
Dual port manometer (to test static pressure and diagnose pressure switches)
  7. Typical hand tools

If you need any tools to help you get through this heating season, feel free to stop by your local Famous branch to see our selection. If you need any advice or tech support, please call our Famous Tech Support Team.

Jeff Rosenblum
Technical Support
17 Years Industry Experience
Cell (330) 962-2491

The Right Tools For The Job

If you have been following along in the previous Tech Tips, we have talked about testing and diagnosing, but what do you need in your tool belt to perform these tests? With today’s high efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, you need more than a big screwdriver and hammer to get the job done. Newer equipment requires some finesse.

When installing an air conditioner or heat pump, you must pull a vacuum to remove any moisture. Simply running a vacuum pump for 45 minutes will not work; you must use a micron gauge. This will verify that you have reached an optimum vacuum level so that the system is properly dehydrated. A digital gauge set makes the charging process a snap. When adding refrigerant, a digital scale is needed to make sure you add the right amount.

How about once the system is running? In order to make sure it is cooling correctly, you need to know the wet bulb temperature in and out of the evaporator coil. This will require a digital psychomotor. So now that the system is cooling, it is now necessary to make sure all that nice new ductwork delivers the cool air the system is producing. The right tool to grab would be a dual input digital manometer kit, as it comes with everything you will need. Using this tool will tell you your static pressure, and it can also be used to test pressure switches and gas pressure. A great tool to pair with this would be a mini vane air flow meter to verify your CFM.

Having these tools in your arsenal will make your installs perform correctly and will make any problems easier to diagnose. If you need any help in choosing the right tool for the job, or how to make the tool work for you, feel free to call the Technical Services Department at 330-434-5194.

The Right Tools for the Job

Nowadays, newer furnaces require the proper tools for efficient and correct diagnostics.

The days of an analog meter and a book of matches are gone. New, more efficient furnaces, boilers, oil furnaces and air conditioners require the technician to have the proper diagnostic tools. Using the right tools will help the technician diagnose the problem faster and avoid costly callbacks. Some tools that are commonly used are:

  • Digital Multimeter Capable of Reading Volts, Ohms, Amps, Micro Amps, Millivolts, Capacitance and Hertz By properly using this type of meter you can diagnose problems such as poor flame signal, switches not closing, open safeties, poor motor performance, failing igniters and more.
  • Digital Dual Port Manometer for Testing Pressure Switches and Air Flow This is an often-overlooked tool that should be in every toolbox. A dual port manometer will allow you to test pressure switches to see if that is the reason for the issue. You can also test airflow in the furnace to see if it is set up right. This also helps diagnose issues in the duct system so that new furnace can perform the way it is supposed to.
  • Combustion Analyzer for Setting up and Diagnosing the Firing Rate This helps you set up the furnace correctly. By using this it can help you diagnose combustion issues, set up an oil burner and will also check to make sure the furnace is burning safely and efficiently.

Jeff Rosenblum
Technical Support
14 Years Industry Experience
Cell (330) 962-2491

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