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How to Use a Multimeter to Troubleshoot HVAC Problems.

Problem: We have many people and potential customers ask us to try and help troubleshoot their furnace and air conditioning systems without the use of a multimeter. In many cases, I suggest that people purchase a low-cost multimeter so they can find the problem. As we all know electricity, which is the flow of electrons in a conductor can not be seen so a multimeter is essential for troubleshooting HVAC systems. We sell multimeters on the following pages: the Fieldpiece SC260 Clamp Multimeter , The Ames Pocket-Sized Digital Multimeter Capacitor Tester, and UEi DL389B G2 Phoenix Pro Plus True-RMS AC Clamp Multimeter (With Temperature)

Solution: Purchase a good multimeter and learn how to use it. Below we have two really good YouTube videos on “How to Use a Multimeter”. The first video made by Word of Advice TV is very detailed and shows all the Multimeter functions and how to use the meter to test components on an HVAC System. The video made by AC Service Tech near the bottom shows a shorter version on how to use the Multimeter and test components. We have the G2 Phoenix Series Multimeter like what is used in the YouTube Videos for sale on the following page: UEi DL389B G2 Phoenix Pro Plus True-RMS AC Clamp Multimeter (With Temperature)  We hope these two videos help you to learn how to use a Multimeter. Thanks so very much to Word of Advice TV and AC Service Tech for making these two informative videos! I you have any questions please let us know by commenting below or emailing us. Our email is support@arnoldservice.com. We would love to help you out and earn your business! 

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How to Troubleshoot a Control Board on a Furnace

Problem: How do I know if my control board is good or bad? My furnace and air conditioner will not work at all?

Answer: We have this question asked many times. My furnace and blower will work or come on no matter what I do? How do I check to see if my control board is the problem? We have a really good YouTube Video below made by Word of Advice TV on how to troubleshoot a furnace’s control board. Thanks so much to Word of Advice TV for making this great troubleshooting video! I would like to suggest that you check with a volt-meter set to “Volts AC” and make sure all your safety controls are closed when the draft inducer is running and the thermostat is calling for heat. We sell a really good volt meter on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see a really nice multimeter that we sell. If any of the safety controls like the furnace’s limit, rollout switches or pressure switch are open then the control board will not allow the furnace to start. Here is a picture of two limits and one rollout switch.

limits_three

If the furnace’s draft inducer will not start or if the blower motor will not start then this could very well be a control board problem. I hope the YouTube video below will help you troubleshoot your furnace’s control board. We sell many different brand name control boards on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see the control boards that we sell. 

If you have any questions please email us anytime. If you would like for us to find out which part or parts your furnace uses then please send us your furnace’s name brand and model number to our email address: support@arnoldservice.com

We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

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How to clean out a 90% high-efficiency furnace’s condensate drain line properly

We have many people who have high-efficiency furnaces that either leak water in the wintertime or the condensate drain line stops up and causes pressure switch problems. If the blink code on your furnace is showing a pressure switch fault then you might have a stopped up furnace condensate line. The blink code is the blink code (number of LED flashes) on the furnace’s control board. The blink code key most of the time is found on the furnace’s blower door or access door. If you have a 90% high-efficiency furnace that produces water in the wintertime then we have an excellent YouTube video below made by AC Service Tech that shows how to properly clean out the condensate drain line. Thanks so much to AC Service Tech for making this excellent video! We have condensate traps and condensate line drain kits on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in seeing the various furnace condensate traps and condensate line repair kits that we sell.

If you have any questions or if you would like for use to look up a part for your furnace or air conditioner then please send us your furnaces brand name and model number to our email address: support@arnoldservice.com

We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! Steve & Barbara Arnold

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

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Why is it Important to Know Your HVAC System’s Static Pressure!

Problem: We had a person send us an email this week who had an 8-year-old heat pump compressor burn out. He wanted us to post on our site the importance of having your HVAC company check the static air pressure in your duct system. The company that installed the new heat pump unit said the reason the compressor burned out was that it was due to the lack of return air in the ductwork. Our customer said, “WOW… how many HVAC companies have worked on my unit>>> TOO DARN MANY… and NO ONE even said or checked my return air static pressure. Steve, make sure you tell people about how important is it to have their static pressure checked.”

Solution: If you are having a new HVAC system installed or if you are having airflow problems with your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump system then it is very important to have your HVAC company do a static air pressure test to make sure that your ductwork is sized correctly and you do not have restrictions in your furnace or ductwork that are causing airflow problems. This is why it is important to not have a furnace filter that is too restrictive to airflow. Static Pressure is like the blood pressure in your HVAC system’s duct work. We have two Youtube videos below that explain why it is important to know and test your HVAC system’s static air pressure. Thanks so very much to Eddie L for an excellent drawn-out explanation of what static pressure actually is and to Althoff Industries who explains and shows how to test static pressure! I hope that these videos help you understand the importance of having your HVAC System’s Static pressure tested.

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

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How Does My Electric Furnace Operate? How do I Troubleshoot Electric Furnace Problems?

Problem: I have a heat pump with electric auxiliary heat. I am interested in knowing how the electric heat strips operate and how to troubleshoot our electric furnace if I have a problem?

Answer: We have had several people ask us about electric furnaces and heat pumps that use electric heat strips for back up auxiliary heat. Most people want to know how the electric furnace operates and how to troubleshoot electric furnaces if there is a problem. I always recommend a good multimeter for testing. We can not see electricity so it is impossible to test electric circuits without a meter. We sell a really good multimeter made by Fieldcrest on the following page: Please click here if you would like to see a really nice multimeter that we sell.

Many times electric furnace problems can be attributed to burnt loose wires or a bad sequencer.  Please click here if you would like to see the sequencers that we sell.  Another common problem with electric furnaces are open fusible links. Please click here if you are interested in the fusible links that we sell.

We have two really good YouTube Videos made by AC Service Tech LLC , Craig Migliaccio that explains how to troubleshoot air handlers with electric heat strips. Mr. Migliaccio explains electric heat strips and components with how to read voltage, path and resistance. Thanks so very much to AC Service Tech LLC from making these two great Youtube Videos! If you would like to see more great HVAC Repair and troubleshooting videos then please click on the following link: All AC Service Tech Videos. If you have any questions please let me know by emailing us: support@arnoldservice.com  or comment below. I hope this will help you out in fixing your HVAC equipment! Steve Arnold

You Can Search for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

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How do I tell if my gas furnace’s inducer motor is bad?

Problem: I turned my thermostat up to try and get my heat to come on and nothing happens! My furnace’s draft inducer will not start. After 30 seconds to a minute, I get a flash code on my control board that shows, “Pressure Switch Failed to Close”

Answer: We have this question asked quite often. The first component of the furnace that should start up after the thermostat is turned up to call for heat is the draft inducer. It might be necessary to tape your furnace’s safety door switch closed temporarily so you can test the furnace’s control board with a voltmeter. Test with a voltmeter on your furnace’s control board to make sure you are getting 24 to 28 volts AC between the W and C (com) thermostat wires that come from the thermostat. If you are not getting 24 volts between W and C (com) then you either have a thermostat problem, a thermostat wire problem, the thermostat might not be turned on heating or turned up, you could have a low voltage transformer problem or a blown fuse on the control board. Make sure that the batteries in your thermostat are in good condition. If you are getting 24 volts between W and C (com) and the draft inducer is not coming on then please watch the following really good YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC. Craig Migliaccio on “How to tell if a draft inducer motor is bad”.  Please click here if you would like to see many air conditioning and heating videos made by AC Service Tech. I believe these are the best HVAC Repair Videos on the Internet! I hope this post will help you in finding and fixing your furnace problem! If you have any questions please comment below or email me, Steve Arnold at Support@arnoldservice.com. Thank you so much for your time and support with our website!  

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

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Problem: Why does my gas furnace short cycle so much?

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Problem: Why does my gas furnace short cycle so much? The furnace gas lights, but before the thermostat is satisfied the gas goes off. I do not understand what could be causing the gas to go off in our furnace before our thermostat has been satisfied. I noticed this happening for the past week. What could be the problem?

Answer: We have this question asked quite often. We have an excellent Youtube Video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains why gas furnaces short cycle below. Craig Migliacco does an excellent and thorough job explaining four reasons why gas furnaces short cycle! Thanks to AC Service Tech LLC and Craig Migliacco for making this excellent video!! Please click here if you would like to see the AC Service Tech LLC written post with pictures that explains The four top reasons why a gas furnace short cycles. In short detail the 4 reasons are:

  • The thermal limit switch is tripping and opening up the electrical circuit. The thermal limit switch tripping could be caused by a dirty filter, dirty blower wheel, dirty or stopped up evaporator coil, a slow blower motor (might need a new capacitor or the gas input might be set too high (might need to adjust gas pressure).
  • The pressure switch is tripping and opening up the electrical circuit. This could be caused by a stopped up vent or a slow, stopped up draft inducer. You might need to clean the furnace’s condensate drain line. Please click here if you would like to see our furnace pressure switch troubleshooting page.
  • The control board could have a relay with pitted contacts that are failing.  You might need a new control board.
  • The flame proving process might be off because of a dirty flame sensor, gas burners or heat exchanger. Please click here if you would like to see our flame sensor troubleshooting page.

This excellent video below explains these 4 problems in detail.

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

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Gas Furnace Sequence of Operation is Important to Know!

This excellent Youtube Video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains why it is important to know the Gas furnace sequence of operation when troubleshooting furnaces.  If one sequence of operation does not occur then as a troubleshooter you can focus on the sequence that is missing and fix the problem.  Thanks so very much to Craig Migliaccio for taking the time to make this excellent video! I have the sequence of operation below. The YouTube video illustrates the sequence of operation on a Bryant Carrier 92% condensing furnace.  The proper sequence of operation is:

  1. The thermostat calls for heat by the home owner (you) turning the thermostat up.
  2. The thermostat provides 24 volts to the W terminal on the control board. When you check with a voltmeter you should have 24 volts AC (alternating current) between W and C (com) on the control board.
  3. The control board sends 110-125 volts AC to the draft inducer to start the draft inducer.
  4. If the vent and combustion chamber are open then the pressure switch closes the connection between the two wires that go into the pressure switch. If the furnace pressure switch, limit and rollout switches are all closed (allowing current to run through them) then the control board starts the furnace ignition sequence.
  5. The control board sends power to the furnace ignitor which should glow bright orange for a set number of seconds. Usually 15 to 30 seconds. During the set time that the ignitor is glowing the control board sends 24 to 28 volts AC to the gas valve to open the gas valve allowing gas to flow and the gas burners to ignite (start burning). If the gas burners do not ignite in 5 to 8 seconds the flame sensor does not sense the flame and the control board turns the gas valve off. FYI-If this happens you might need to clean your flame sensor or replace your flame sensor. Please click here if you are interested in the flame sensors we sell. If the flame sensor does sense the flame the control board sends 24 volts to the gas valve and the gas burners continue to burn until the thermostat is satisfied.
  6. After the furnace gas burners ignite the furnace, the furnace’s heat exchanger heats up for approximately a minute or so then the furnace blower comes on to distribute the heat throughout your home.
  7. The furnace blower motor and gas continue to burn until the thermostat on your wall satisfies the need for heat (reaches the set temperature) then the thermostat breaks the voltage in the W (white) wire and cuts the gas burners off.
  8. The furnace blower motor continues to run for a set amount of time that is determined by the furnace’s control board until the heat is removed from the furnace’s heat exchanger. Then the blower motor goes off until the next heating cycle from the thermostat on the wall is needed.  If you have any questions please contact us anytime. Our email address is: support@arnoldservice.com
  9. We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! Steve & Barbara Arnold

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

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Top 10 Thermostat Related Problems with Heating and Air Conditioning

This excellent Youtube Video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains what are the top 10 thermostat related problems. Thanks so very much to Craig Migliaccio for taking the time to make this excellent video! The 10 problems that are discussed in this video are:

  1. Thermostat Location.
  2. Loose thermostat wire connections.
  3. No C (common) wire and the battery power is low.
  4. Mercury thermostat problems.
  5. Thermostat wired incorrectly.
  6. Thermostat wires intermittently touching each other or grounding out.
  7. Thermostat wires are nicked or broken apart.
  8. Thermostat program settings are incorrect.
  9. Having a hole in the wall, attic or crawl space that is throwing the thermostat temperature off.
  10. Thermostat, control board or other components could be bad.

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.

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10 Reasons Why a Gas Pilot Light Goes Out or Won’t Stay Lit!

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Problem: The pilot light on my furnace, water heater or gas appliance will not stay lit! What could be the problem? How do I fix this problem? How do gas pilot lights work and operate?

Answer: Most of the time gas pilots will not stay lit because of a dirty pilot which burns yellow instead of blue or a bad thermocouple. Please click here if you are interested in thermocouples that we sell. Below we have an awesome Youtube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains how the gas pilot light functions and 10 reasons why the pilot goes out or will not stay lit. Please click here to see the written page about 10 Reasons Why the Pilot Light Goes Out or Will Not Stay Lit. Thanks so very much to  AC Service Tech and Craig Migliaccio for making this great informational video!

You Can Search Our Site for More Troubleshooting Problems, Heating, Air Conditioning Parts and Supplies in the Google Seach box below.