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Problem: My Heat Pump Defrost Control Board is Bad. Can I Bypass the Defrost Control Board to Get Cooling?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Problem: My heat pump defrost control board is bad. I can not use my heat pump because the defrost control board is bad. We are burning up in our home without air conditioning. Techs are days behind before they can come and fix our problem. It will be days before we receive a new defrost board replacement because of shipping time. Is there any way that I can bypass the defrost control board so we can get the air conditioning to cool our home?  Please help if you can!

Answer:  Yes! I can help! We have this question asked quite often so I decided to write a post on how to temporarily bypass a heat pump defrost control board so people can get their air conditioning working again. If you are good with your hands and know a little about electrical wiring then you should be able to bypass the heat pump defrost board. We have two really good YouTube videos that explain how to bypass a heat pump defrost board to allow for cooling or to allow for the air conditioning to work.  The first video was made by SuperCool Slide Rule. The second YouTube video was made by AC Service Tech LLC. Thanks to SuperCool Slide Rule and AC Service Tech LLC for making these great educational and informative videos!  I have the steps written down step by step below. If you need a new heat pump defrost control board then we sell many different name brand defrost control boards on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the defrost control boards that we sell.  If you have any questions or would like for us to look up any parts then please email us anytime or comment below. Our email address is arnoldservice@gmail.com We Would Love to try and Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

*Disclaimer: Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. assumes no liability for any incidental, consequential, or other liability from the use of this information. All risks and damages, incidental or otherwise, arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein are entirely the responsibility of the user. Although careful precaution has been taken in the preparation of this website’s information, we assume no responsibility for omissions or errors.

Steps to bypass a heat pump defrost control board are:

  1. Turn off both high voltage and low voltage power by pulling the unit’s disconnect and turning the indoor air handler off. Test with a voltmeter set to “Volts AC” to make sure the power is off.
  2. I recommend taking a picture of how the defrost control board is wired before you make any changes to the board.
  3. For the heat pump to cool you will need to energize or have working three parts of the heat pump. (1) 220-volt condenser fan (2) the 24-volt contactor and the 24-volt reversing valve. Most heat pumps have the reversing valve energized in the cooling mode except Rheem and Ruud units. If you have a Rheem or Ruud unit then you would not need to do the part about energizing the reversing valve. 
  4. Identify the outdoor condensing fan relay and join the two fan relay wires together so that the outdoor condensing unit’s fan will run. Tape, insulate, and secure the two high voltage (210-245 volt) wires so that the wires do not touch or ground out to the body of your heat pump unit.
  5.  There are two low voltage wires that go to the 24-volt coil on the contactor. Disconnect, insulated, and secure the two existing wires from the contactor. I think it would be best to run two new wires to the 24-volt contactor coil.  One new wire on the power side of the contactor coil and one common “C” or ground wire on the opposite side of the power wire on the contactor.
  6. Join and wire nut together with the hot yellow (Y) wire that comes from the thermostat to one of the wires that go to the contactor (to energize the contactor) and the yellow (Y) wire should also be attached to the reversing valve orange wire. I would trace the low voltage wires down to make sure that you have the right wires that are going to both the contactor and reversing valve.  The contactor should have two wires (power and C) and the reversing valve should have two wires (power and C).
  7. FYI- To energize both the contactor and reversing valve the contactor has two low voltage wires that go to the contactor coil and the reversing valve should have two low voltage wires that go to the reversing valve coil. One of the two wires that go to both the contactor and reversing valve is the power wire which we will attach to the “Y” thermostat wire. The indoor thermostat when the thermostat calls for heat pump cooling takes the R (red wire from the 24-volt indoor transformer) and makes the connection to the “Y” wire to energize the contactor and make the contactor close. The other two wires from both the contactor coil and reversing valve coil is the C or called the common wire. For each device to be energized there must be a power wire “Y” and a C common wire attached.
  8. So we want to energize the fan, the contactor, and reversing valve in order to bypass the defrost control board. Next, you would want to connect the common wires together to the common side of the contactor and reversing valve. Join, and wire nut together with the other two contactor and reversing valve common wires.  Most of the time the blue thermostat wire is the common (C) wire. I would recommend that you take the cover off your thermostat and make sure and see which wire color is connected to the “C” “Com” connection on your thermostat. You would never want to directly connect the R and C terminals together because this would produce a direct short to ground and burn up many of the heat pump system’s low voltage controls if they are not protected by a low voltage fuse. 
  9. As a review: You should have two wires connected to the Y “Yellow” wire. One of the wires attached to the Y wire would go to one side of the contactor to provide power for the contactor and the other wire would go to the reversing valve to provide power for the reversing valve when your thermostat calls for cooling. The other common wire from your thermostat (you would need to make sure you have the right color for the wire that is attached to the C  “COM” of your thermostat). Two wires would be attached to this C common wire from your thermostat.  You would attach one of the wires to the C common side of the contactor and the other wire to the C common side of the reversing valve.  You should be ready to apply power and test. Best of luck. This should work if wired correctly.

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Question: Do I Really Need a New AC Unit?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Question: My HVAC contractor said that I need a new air conditioning system. I was not home for him to show me why I need a new system. Is there any way that I can test and make sure that I really need a new air conditioning system? Do I really need a new air conditioning system?

Answer: Yes! We have a YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains how to test and make sure that you need a new unit or not.  I have listed the step-by-step troubleshooting steps and tests below if you do not want to watch the video.  A multimeter is required for testing and troubleshooting the unit. We sell a really good multimeter on the following page. Please click here if you are interested in the multimeter that we sell.

Here are the steps in troubleshooting if you do not want to watch the 6-minute video. Many of the steps below involve working with high voltage electricity in testing with a multimeter. If you are uncomfortable in working with live electricity then I would recommend leaving this to a professional. Bodily Injury or death can occur if mistakes are made!

  1. Arrive at the unit and pull the disconnect to disconnect power to the unit.
  2. Test the disconnect with a multimeter set to “Volts AC” to make sure power is getting to the disconnect. You should have between 210 to 250 volts at the disconnect. Always make sure you are careful to not get grounded out or shocked.
  3. Take the control panel cover off the AC unit.
  4. Plug the disconnect back in and test between L1 and L2 at the contactor to make sure that the wires that come from the disconnect are supplying 220 volts to the contactor.
  5. Push in on the contactor with an insulated screwdriver to see if the compressor or fan turns on.
  6. In the video, the fan turns on when the contactor is pushed in, but the compressor is not coming on.
  7. Use the Amprobe multimeter to see what the amp draw is on the compressor when the contactor plunger is pressed in.
  8. In the video, the compressor is running high amperage when it tries to start over 60 amps and the compressor will not start.  This shows that the compressor is locked up and that the compressor has a major problem.  The problem could be a bad or weak capacitor, broken or burnt wires, grounded out, or open compressor windings. We will need to test to see where the problem is located with the compressor.
  9. Turn the power off to the unit at the disconnect and make sure the high voltage power is off. Disconnect the wires off the capacitor and test the capacitor with a capacitor tester to make sure that the capacitor is in good condition. If the capacitor is bad replace it.
  10. Disconnect the Start, Run, and common compressor wires off the contactor and capacitor. Test to see the ohm readings between the wires and test to see if the compressor windings are grounding out. If the ohm readings are not right or if the compressor is grounding out then yes, you will need a new unit or compressor.
  11. In the video, two connections on the compressor are burned completely off and all the refrigerant has escaped. Yes, you would need a new unit or compressor in this case. If you have any questions please email us anytime at arnoldservice@gmail.com
  12. We would love to try and help you and earn your business!


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Problem: My AC Unit Will Not Turn On or Run. What could be the problem?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Problem: My AC unit or heat pump will not turn on or run. What could be the problem? Could you tell me how to get my air conditioner working again?

Answer: Many people have this problem where their air conditioner or heat pump will not turn on. The AC will not turn on. Nothing happens at the outdoor unit. We have a really good YouTube Video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains the top 10 problems that are mostly found when an air conditioner or heat pump will not turn on.  I also have the 10 problems written down if you do not have time to watch the video. Thanks so very much to Craig Marciano for making this excellent video! Here is the list of the top 10 reasons why air conditioners or heat pumps will not turn on. If you have any questions please comment below or email us at arnoldservice@gmail.com We would love to try and help you out and earn your business!

*Always make sure that the electric power is turned off before working on an Air Conditioner or Heat Pump System. 

  1. No power at the contactor due to a blown fuse or circuit breaker being tripped. You should check the voltage at the outdoor unit’s contactor to see if you are getting voltage between L1 and L2 of the contactor. We sell a really good test meter on the following page. Please click here if you are interested in a really good testing Multimeter. We also have another really good meter on this page. 
  2. Bad power supply problem. You could have a bad or blown low voltage transformer or the power going to the transformer might be out. Please click here if you are interested in the transformers that we sell. 
  3. Having a bad capacitor. We sell over 80 different capacitors on the following page. Please click here if you are interested in the capacitor we sell. 
  4. The contacts on the contactor are burnt or bad. You might need a new contactor or clean the contactor. Please click here if you are interested in the contactors that we sell
  5. The unit might have a bad contactor coil. The video shows how to test the contactor coil.
  6. Might have a low-pressure switch that has electrically opened due to a low refrigerant charge, refrigerant leak. You would need to install gauges to see if your unit is low on refrigerant charge and find and fix the leak if the system is low on charge.
  7. You might have a bad thermostat connection from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit.  A weed eater or animal may have chewed through the wires or you might have loose wire connections at the unit, thermostat, or control board. You might have to run a new thermostat wire.
  8. The next 3 problems are when the indoor blower motor is not turning out so you have to focus your attention on the indoor unit.  The thermostat may look like it is on, but the indoor unit is off. Many thermostats are powered by batteries and this can give you a false visual feeling that the power is on, but really the power is not on. Make sure the power switch for the furnace is in the ON position and make sure the furnace blower door is latched tight.  Make sure the power on the breaker box to the furnace is turned on.
  9. Is that an emergency safety switch on the condensate pump or on the condensate over-flow float switch that has cut the low voltage power off to the furnace and thermostat.
  10. A bad thermostat wire, a bad thermostat, or a bad low voltage fuse on the control board.


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Question: What can I do to make my air conditioner last longer? Any maintenance tips?

Questions: What can I do to make my air conditioner or heat pump last longer? What can I do to make sure my air conditioner is ready to go for the summer? Do you have any maintenance tips or advice?

Answer: Yes! The homeowner DIY person can do many maintenance checks and jobs to make sure the air conditioner or heat pump is ready to go for the summer.  We have a video below made by Word of Advice TV that shows 15 maintenance tips that will help you make sure that your AC or heat pump is ready to go for the summer. Doing these maintenance tips will help to make sure that your unit is ready to go for the summer and prolong the life of your air conditioner or heat pump. We have the 15 tips written below if you do not want to watch the video. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at arnoldservice@gmail.com or comment below in the comments section. Thanks so very much for visiting our site!  Steve & Barbara Arnold

The 15 air conditioner or heat pump maintenance tips are:

  1. Uncover the condensing unit (if you cover it up in the wintertime).  Make sure that you have at least 12″ of clearance around the unit. If you have any tall grass, weeds or bushes then trim those back.
  2. Thoroughly clean the condensing coil with a water hose with a nozzle on the end. *Make sure that you turn the unit off at the electrical disconnect or breaker box before using water on the condenser. As you know water and electricity do not mix. Make sure that the water force from the hose nozzle is not too strong or it could damage the coils. It is best to clean the coil from the inside out if possible. If you feel uncomfortable removing the top to clean for the inside out then cleaning from the outside in will be fine.
  3. Check for animal nests and inspect the wiring for damaged burnt chewed wires or connections. Repair any burnt or loose wire connections. Clean any animal nests out.
  4. Check the capacitor for swelling or damage. Have an extra capacitor on hand in case your capacitor goes out during the hot summer cooling season. We sell capacitors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the capacitors we sell. 
  5. Check the contactor to make sure that the contactor contacts are not burnt or pitted. If you need a contactor we sell contactors on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the contactors that we sell. 
  6. Check the suction line insulation to make sure it is not torn or missing.
  7. Try to keep the condensing unit as level as possible.
  8. Test run your air conditioner early in the cooling season to make sure it is running right. The outside temperature should be above 70 degrees before testing.
  9. Kick start the condenser fan for the season. You might try turning the condenser fan (unit turned off, electricity off) with a long screwdriver to make sure the motor bearings are not tight from sitting all winter.  Many times I have seen condenser motors get destroyed if the motor bearings are locked up from sitting all winter.  Make sure the fan blade and bearings are free to spin before turning your unit on. We sell condenser fan motors on the following page if you need one. Please click here if you would like to see the air conditioner condenser fan motors that we sell.
  10. Take a temperature drop to see if the Air conditioner is cooling properly. Check the bare part of the suction line (large line) by feeling with your fingers to make sure cool gas is going back to keep the compressor running cool. If your suction line is not cold after running for at least 15 minutes then your system might be low on refrigerant charge and you would need to check the charge with gauges or call someone in to make sure your system is charged up properly.  From my experience (over 30 years) systems that are not charged up properly is the biggest cause for compressor burnout and failure. I would recommend that you check by feel monthly to make sure that cool gas (the suction line is cool/cold) to make sure that your unit is staying charged up properly.
  11. Clean evaporator coil drain line and make sure fittings are not loose or leaking.
  12. Make sure that your air filter is clean and change it regularly.
  13. Turn off the power to your furnace or air handler and make sure the blower wheel is clean.  Check the blower motor capacitor and make sure that it is in good condition.
  14. Turn the humidifier off and close your humidifier damper (if equipped)
  15. Make sure all your vents and returns are open and clear. Make sure that furniture or objects are not blocking the return of vents.
  16. It is a good idea to replace your thermostat batteries (if your thermostat has batteries).

I hope that you enjoy the video below that was made by Word of Advice TV! 
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Problem: How can I find my run capacitor size and voltage if the ratings are worn off?

Problem: My air conditioner’s fan and compressor have stopped working! My capacitor looks bad. Really bad and rusty all over! I can not read the specifications on the capacitor to know which capacitor to purchase. How can I find out what size capacitor that I need for my condenser fan and compressor?

Answer: We have this question asked many times. I have had this problem several times when I was doing air conditioning service. The Air conditioning unit’s capacitor needs to be replaced, but the capacitor is so rusty or the label is missing! I have had to ask myself, how in the world do I determine what is the right capacitor replacement size when I can not read the specifications of the old capacitor?  We have a really good YouTube video below that was made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains how to determine the right capacitor size when the capacitor specifications are worn off. Thanks to the AC Service Tech Channel for making this great video! AC Service tech explains in the video that you can get the capacitor size for the motor off the motor label and the compressor capacitor size by using Google or another search engine to find the compressor model number and capacitor size. The two most popular compressor manufacturers are Copeland and Bristol. Please click here if you would like to see a PDF Copeland Compressor Product Guide that shows the capacitor sizes for many of the Copeland compressors. Please click here if you would like to see a PDF Bristol Compressor Product Guide that shows the capacitor sizes for many of the Bristol Compressors. If you need a capacitor we would love to help you out! We sell over 80 different name-brand capacitors on the following page: Please click here to see the capacitors we sell. If you have any questions or if you would like for us to look up a capacitor or part for your AC or furnace please send us your unit’s model number and we will be glad to try and help you out. Our email is arnoldservice@gmail.com


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Question: Can I wire my gas furnace up to run off a generator in an emergency situation?

Question: Can I wire my gas furnace up to run off a generator in an emergency situation? My home and family need heat! It is below zero outside!

Disclaimer: Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. assumes no liability for any incidental, consequential, or other liability from the use of this information. All risks and damages, incidental or otherwise, arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein are entirely the responsibility of the user. Although careful precaution has been taken in the preparation of this website’s information, we assume no responsibility for omissions or errors.

Answer:  We have this question asked quite often since we are in the wintertime ice storm season! The answer is, “Yes!” You can run your gas furnace off of a generator to get the heat for your family and for your home! I have hooked our generator up to our Bryant 90I furnace before to get temporary heat for our home.  It was a lifesaver and that is why I wanted to add this post on how to do it on our site.  I have step-by-step instructions below, but if you do not like reading then we have a really good YouTube video made by David Vermullen on, “Hooking up a gas furnace to a generator” below. Thanks to Mr. Vermullen for taking the time to make this excellent informative video! Here is my step by step instructions:

  1. Tools needed: screwdriver, electrical tape, wire stripper, wire nuts, heavy-duty extension cord, 2000 watt minimum generator, voltmeter to make sure power is turned off and make sure generator is producing enough voltage. The generator should produce at least 110 volts AC with the furnace running.
  2. Make sure that the power to the furnace is turned off at the breaker box in case the power is restored while you are working on the furnace’s wiring! When the electric company restores power you will of course turn the generator off, disconnect the extension cord, reconnect the power wires to the furnace using your home’s power source then turn the breaker back on.  Always test with a volt-meter to make sure the power is off when working with electricity. Hopefully, you have the individual breaker marked for the furnace in your breaker box so you will know which breaker turns the furnace power off and on.  If you do not have the breaker marked then I would recommend turning all your home’s breakers off to make sure the power does not come on while you are wiring your furnace to the generator. I would suggest making sure that the furnace’s wall thermostat is turned off as well.  I would suggest turning the thermostat off or way down because you do not want the furnace to come on until you have the power hooked up and running with the generator. 
  3.  Make sure the power is turned off to the furnace by testing with a voltmeter.
  4. Remove the junction box cover plate that covers the power switch for the furnace with a screwdriver.
  5. Remove the power switch and connect the wires from the extension cord (white and black) to the two power wires that go into the furnace using wire nuts.  You would connect the white wire from your extension cord to the white neutral wire of your furnace. You would connect the black wire (power wire) from your extension cord to the black power wire of your furnace. Use electrical tape to wrap wire nuts so they do not come off. Wire nut or tape off the bare wires that come from your home’s power source to the furnace because you do not want live wires exposed when the power company restores power to your home. Make sure that the furnace’s blower door is installed because many furnaces have blower door safety switches that cut off power to the furnace if the blower door has been removed.
  6. Plug the heavy-duty extension cord into the generator power source with the generator running. Make sure that the generator is running outdoors. Never run a generator indoors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  7. Turn up the thermostat and hopefully see the furnace start and fire up. Congratulations! Fantastic! Awesome! 

An important note: This should work on most gas furnaces that have one transformer systems (most furnaces do).  If you have a system that has two low voltage transformers one on the indoor furnace and one on the outdoor unit then this might not work. It still might work with a two transformer system but the low voltage wiring would need to be investigated to see if the furnace’s transformer is used for heating. If the outdoor unit’s transformer is used for heating then it would not work because with this power set up the furnace would not be getting low voltage to make the furnace run.  In other words, if the outdoor unit (Air Conditioner) has a low voltage transformer that is used to control the heat then this will not work because the outdoor unit requires 220 volts to power the outdoor transformer. If you have any questions please email me anytime at arnoldservice@gmail.com or comment below. We would love to help you out and earn your business! 

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Question: What are the best furnace and air conditioning systems that you would recommend?

Question: What are the best furnace and air conditioning systems that you would recommend? What brand name furnaces and air conditioners do you see the least amount of problems.

Answer: I have this question asked hundreds of times since we started our HVAC business in 1988! This is a great question! In my experience over the many years doing service work, I like the Trane, American Standard, Bryant, Carrier, Heil, and ICP units the best. I will not say that the other brand names are bad, but the Trane, American Standard, Bryant, Carrier, Heil, and ICP are the brand names that I installed and serviced the most.  These brand names are the brands where I had the least number of service calls and problems.  I could clearly see and feel that these brands were constructed with heavy-duty long-lasting materials and components. They just felt and looked well made. The metal was thicker. I would recommend Trane, American Standard, Bryant, Carrier, Heil, and ICP brand name furnaces and air conditioners. Trane and American Standard would be my top choices. I must add this important note: I would highly recommend that you get a licensed HVAC contractor to install your new equipment. Make sure that your contractor does a heat gain, heat loss calculation (manual J) calculation so you know that you are getting the right size furnace and air conditioner installed. Make sure that your contractor gets a permit from your local Housing Department so that you are getting a legal safe inspected HVAC installation and you will not have problems if you ever have an insurance claim or try and sell your home. I found a really good HVAC Load Calculator on the following page if you want to do some load calculations yourself. I also found a really good YouTube video, below that was made by Jay from Word of Advice TV. This video thoroughly explains what Jay found in Consumer Reports Magazine for the best HVAC, name brand equipment. Consumer Reports surveyed over 20,000 homeowners about their experiences with their HVAC equipment.  Thanks so much to Word of Advice TV for making this excellent video! Below the video, I have notes that I took from the video about the Consumer Reports survey. I have the brand names broken down with the companies they represent below. I hope that this helps you out when you need to purchase a new heating and air conditioning system. I sure did learn a lot from this video! Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or by emailing us at arnoldservice@gmail.com. We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

Consumer Reports 5 Brands They Would Not Recommend:

  • Coleman
  • Frigidaire
  • Luxaire
  • Maytag
  • York

Consumer Reports 5 Brands They Would Recommend:

  • Lennox
  • American Standard
  • Trane
  • Carrier
  • Bryant

Brand Names Produced and Owned by United Technologies:

  • Carrier
  • Bryant
  • Payne
  • Day & Night
  • ICP
  • Arcoaire
  • Keeprite
  • Heil
  • Tempstar
  • Comfortmaker

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Lennox International:

  • Lennox
  • Ducane
  • Armstrong
  • Concord
  • Allied
  • Air-Ease
  • Air-Flo

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Rheem Manufacturing:

  • Rheem
  • Ruud

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Daikin Global: 

  • Daikin
  • Goodman
  • Amana
  • Janitrol

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Johnson Controls: 

  • York
  • Luxaire
  • Coleman

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Ingersoll Rand:

  • American Standard
  • Trane

Brand Names Produced and Owned by Nortek Global HVAC:

  • Frigidaire
  • Maytag

Brand Names Produced and Owned by WolfSteel:

  • Napoleon
  • Continental

We hope this helps you out in making a decision on purchasing the right equipment for your home.

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Problem: Why does my furnace go off on limit so much? Why do I have to replace my furnace limit switch so often?

furnace limit switch

Problem: Why does my furnace go off on limit so much? Why do I have to replace my furnace limit switch so often?

Answer: I have noticed this year more than any other year that we are having many questions about this problem. We are selling lots of furnace limit switches. The sales are great, but I have to be concerned about why all these customers are having to replace so many limit switches? A gas furnace that is maintained and adjusted properly should rarely go off on limit unless there is a serious problem with the furnace! The limit is a safety control that prevents the furnace from overheating. If your furnace is going off on limit then this means your furnace is overheating beyond normal.  I would highly recommend that you find out why the furnace is overheating and get this problem corrected. Here are some areas that you can check if your furnace is going off on high limit:

  1. You could have a blower motor that has failed to start or is slow in running.  You might need a new blower motor.  In many cases, a new capacitor or changing the blower speed might eliminate the furnace going off on high limit.  If you think you need a new capacitor please click here to see the capacitors that we sell.  If you would like to know how to change the speed on your blower motor then there is a really good YouTube video on this subject made by AC Service Tech. Please click here if you would like to see the YouTube video on how to change blower motor speeds. 
  2. You could have a dirty obstructed furnace filter. The furnace is not getting enough air and the heat exchanger overheats causing the furnace limit to open and stop the gas from burning to prevent a fire or damage to the furnace.  I am sure that you know it is important to change furnace filters on a regular basis.
  3. You could have a dirty furnace blower wheel. If the blower wheel is dirty the wheel can not pick up enough air to keep the furnace from overheating. We have a picture below that shows a dirty blower wheel. As you can see this wheel is not going to pick up much air!

4. You could have a dirty or stopped up evaporator coil. If the underside (on an up-flow furnace) Air conditioner coil is stopped up with lint or dirt then this will cause the furnace to overheat and go off on limit. The furnace can not get rid of the heated air so the heat builds up and the furnace goes off on limit. A stopped-up evaporator coil hurts the furnace and air conditioner’s efficiency a lot. Make sure that your evaporator coil is not stopped up so air can easily flow through the evaporator coil. We have a post about cleaning evaporator coils on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in seeing how to clean an evaporator coil.

Above is a Picture of a Partially Stopped Up Evaporator Coil:

5. You could have obstructed returns or supply registers. Make sure that all returns are not obstructed with furniture or stopped up with dirt. Make sure all the supply registers are open.

6. You could have the gas valve adjusted too high where the gas input from the gas valve is producing too much heat for the furnace to handle. Please click here if you would like to see our post on how to adjust gas valve pressure. 

7. Last but not least. You might not have the recommended temperature rise on your furnace. Every furnace should have a label that shows what the recommended temperature rise is for the furnace. If the furnace is adjusted to the manufacturer’s recommended temperature rise then the furnace should not be going off on high limit.

We have three really good YouTube videos below that explain what temperature rise is and how to troubleshoot if your temperature rise is not within the recommended range that is set by the furnace manufacturer. The first YouTube is a 2-minute tutorial that explains what temperature rise is by Tom Kleinman. Thanks to Mr. Kleinman for making this information easy to understand in a video! The next video shows how to measure temperature rise on a furnace. You do not have to have a digital temperature meter like in the video. A low-cost thermometer could be used to measure the temperature rise in your furnace. This 3-minute video is by Lennox Learning Solutions. The third video shows the top 4 reasons why a furnace short cycles by AC Service Tech LLC.  Many thanks to AC Service Tech for making this great video! If you have any questions please email me, Steve Arnold, or comment below. Our email is arnoldservice@gmail.com.  I will be happy to try and answer any questions that you have. God bless you all! Thanks so much for reading our post and visiting our site! We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 



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Question: How do I clean the burners on my gas furnace?

Question: My furnace burners do not light all the way across. The farthest burner from the gas valve will not light unless I cycle the furnace multiple times to warm up the furnace. Would cleaning the burners help?  How do I clean the burners on my gas furnace? Do you have any other suggestions for fixing my furnace?

Answer:  It sounds like your problem could be caused by dirty burners or not having enough gas pressure. I would suggest that you try to clean the burners by blowing them out with compressed air if you have an air compressor. There are 4 main burner types that are shown below :

  1. The Inshot burners are the most common and popular burners used today.  The Inshot burners are used on many 80% and 90% furnaces. The Inshot burner can not be used on a 70% furnace.
Above Inshot Burner Closeup:

2. The Upshot burners are seen on many of the really old furnaces. Most of the time they are made of cast iron.

3. Ribbon burners or Stamped Steel burners. This type of burner is found on many of the older 70% name brands. Many of the older furnaces like Bryant, Carrier, York, Trane, Lennox, Ruud, and Rheem have ribbon, stamped steel burners.

Make sure that you were eye protection and a dust mask if you decide to use compressed air to clean your burners. I have seen dust, rust and dirt go everywhere when using compressed air. If you are in a place where you can not use compressed air indoors a home then I would like to suggest turning the power and gas off to the furnace then taking the burners out and using compressed air outside the home. I find it best to use a wire brush and a vacuum to clean the burners. I have used both methods with and without compressed air with success. The compressed air method seems to clean the burner better. We have a really good YouTube video made by Word of Advice TV below that shows how to clean gas furnace burners. We also have a really good YouTube video that shows the different types of gas furnace burners. This video is made by Grayfurnaceman. If after cleaning the burners you still have problems then if you want you could try adjusting the gas pressure up a little bit. I would not recommend turning the gas regulator up over 1/4 turn at a time before testing. Be ready to turn the power switch off to the furnace if the furnace has delayed ignition for more than a second or two. We have a really good YouTube video made by AC Service Tech that tells how to adjust the natural gas pressure on a gas furnace. If you still have problems you might try cleaning the flame sensor. We have a post about this on the following page:  Click here if you are interested in how to clean a gas furnace flame sensor and how to troubleshoot a flame sensor.  I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions please let me know by emailing me or commenting below. Our email is arnoldservice@gmail.com We would love to help you out and earn your business! Steve



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Problem: My heat pump outdoor unit is frozen up in the wintertime. What causes this?

Problem: My heat pump outdoor unit is frozen up in the wintertime. What causes the outdoor unit to freeze up like this? Does this hurt the unit? Does this hurt my electric bill?

Answer: It is normal to have a thin coating of frost on the outside of a heat pump periodically, but never for long periods of time. If you are getting ice on the outside of your heat pump that is heavy and never goes away even during the defrost cycle then you have a problem that needs to be attended to. The answer to your question is Yes long periods of time with an iced-up heat pump can harm the compressor and fan motor in a heat pump unit. Yes, having a frozen-up heat pump will cause your electric bill to go way up and cause you to feel cold in your home. Having a frozen-up heat pump is not good and the problem needs to be fixed. It is very hard on the heat pump to heat your home with ice on the outdoor unit. The heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air even in the wintertime and if it is covered in ice the heat pump can not extract any heat out of the air and you will get cool air blowing when the heat pump is on and warm air when your auxiliary heat, electric or gas kicks on. The heat pump that is frozen up with ice never goes off because the indoor thermostat is never satisfied.  When a heat pump is frozen the thermostat is set in a vicious energy-eating cycle because it is very hard to satisfy the thermostat (get your home warm enough) unless you are lucky enough to get a warm day. Most heat pump thermostats are two-stage thermostats. The first stage is the heat pump only stage that depends on the outdoor heat pump to produce heat to heat the home. If it is cold outside the heat pump can not remove enough heat from the outdoor air to satisfy the need for heating the home so the thermostat kicks into the 2nd stage which is usually some kind of auxiliary heat like electric heat, gas, oil, etc. The auxiliary heat will usually satisfy the 2nd stage heat on the thermostat, but then the thermostat kicks back down into 1st stage heat (the heat pump heat) where the heat pump can not satisfy the need for heat because it is frozen up. You get a constant run time where the heat pump hardly ever turns off thus causing strain on your heat pump and also causes your electric bill to be very high. Below we have several really good YouTube videos that show and discuss how a heat pump works. Another video shows how the defrost on a heat pump works. This YouTube video was made by HVAC School. Thanks so much to HVAC School for making this video!  We also have a really good YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that shows and explains how a heat pump and an air handler work. Thanks so very much to AC Service Tech for making this excellent video! The last YouTube video explains how a reversing valve works. This just amazes me how someone could think up how to make heating, air conditioning, and heat pump equipment! When I first heard how air conditioners and heat pumps worked I was overwhelmed with a fascination with how this could work! I told myself this is the career path that I want to follow! Amazing! How could anyone be smart enough to come up with this? Here is another really good Heat Pump Not Defrosting Guide. Please email us anytime if you have any questions or want us to look up parts. Our email address is arnoldservice@gmail.com We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

Here is a simple 4-minute video that does an excellent job in explaining how a heat pump works in both cooling and heating modes: 

Some things that are not good when a heat pump freezes up are:

  • This makes the homeowner feel cold and makes for a very high electric bill. The homeowner feels warm when the auxiliary heat is on, but cold when in heat pump mode.
  • This constant run time is very hard on the heat pump because it never gets a break from running. This shortens the life of the heat pump!
  • A heat pump compressor’s valves can be damaged if the liquid refrigerant is allowed to enter the compressor.  Many heat pump units have accumulators to prevent this from happening, but a frozen heat pump can overwhelm an accumulator and cause damage to the compressor.  New unit or compressor time and you do not want that!
  • I have seen some units that have been frozen so bad that the outdoor fan blade is stopped by the ice and this can burn up the outdoor fan motor!  New outdoor fan motor time! This can be expensive.
  • If you see that your heat pump is frozen I would recommend switching your thermostat to Emergency heat if your thermostat has this option. Emergency heat should cut the outdoor heat pump off and use only your Auxiliary backup heat for heating your home. This will save your heat pump from being damaged until you can get it fixed.

Things that can cause a heat pump to freeze up are:

  1. Low refrigerant level or refrigerant leaks. To determine this you would need to attach refrigerant manifold gauges and use the superheat or subcooling method to check the charge.
  2. A bad heat pump defrost control board. The defrost control board might be bad and not activating the defrost.  Please click here if you are interested in the defrost control boards that we sell.
  3. A bad heat pump thermostat or thermistor. Please click here if you would like to see the heat pump defrost thermostats that we sell. 
  4. A bad or sticking reversing valve. We have a really good YouTube video below that shows how a reversing valve works.
  5. A slow or dragging outdoor or indoor fan motor. Make sure the motor capacitors are in good condition. Please click here if you would like to see the capacitors that we sell.
  6. Any kind of restricted airflow on the outdoor unit like maybe a garbage bag has blown up against the outside of the unit. Maybe leaves or a dirty outdoor coil that has become partially stopped up with lint from the dryer vent.
  7. Broken gutters that allow water to drop down on the heat pump. Also, a heat pump where the pad sinks below grade that allows the heat pump to sit in water. Not good! The heat pump produces lots of water when it defrosts if the water does not have any place to go it accumulates inside the heat pump and causes ice to form inside the heat pump which is not good. Make sure that your heat pump is setting above ground level.


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