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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, I am getting ready to service the AC units in our new to us, 15 year old home. They all run cold, so I don't think I need any freon added unless, well, it stops blowing cold air.... Correct me if i'm wrong.

I have just completed servicing the AC in our previous 5 year old home. The AC in our previous home smelled moldy when it first turned on. I **think** I narrowed the smell down to coming from mold on the blower fan.

What I did in the old home:

1. Pulled out the blower fan and carefully wiped down each individual fan blade with bleach water as the fins looked like they had light brown mold on them. I couldn't get the fan off the motor, so I just carefully worked around the motor without introducing water into it.
2. Bought a can of coil cleaner from Home Depot and sprayed that all over the evaporator coil. Then I rinsed it with water.
3. Condenser coil was not dirty. No tress. No action necessary there.

What I want to do in the new home on the 3 15 year old Lennox units:

1. Clean the 3 outside Condenser coils. I was going to pull the fuses/turn off switches first, pull the motor, vacuum out all the leaves out from the inside carefully without disturbing the fins, and then rinse the fins inside and out with a garden hose/nozzle. Do I need any type of coil cleaner for this?

2. Clean the blower wheels from each unit.

3. Clean the evaporator coils.

4. Replace the UV lamps

5. Install float switches in the pans on the two units that are in the upstairs section of the house.

Is there an AC supply house that I can buy coil cleaner from? I see that there is a 'Johnston Supply' company near me. I just don't want to buy that Home Depot crap when I can mix my own. What should I buy in the way of a coil cleaner for inside/outside? Can I buy the UV replacement lamps from an AC supply house? Do they sell float switches, where should I buy those? Any recommendations on AC supply houses?

I am in Jacksonville FL.

I appreciate the advice.
 

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Best to call the local supply houses and ask if they sell to the general public or not. Around here they only sell to contractors.
Cleaning wise you plan sounds good.
 

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Simple green works on both indoor and outdoor coils.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there such a thing as a blower fan puller? Something that easily separates the blower fan blade from the motor?

How much is that?

What should I expect to pay for each UV lamp?

Thanks again.
 

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Ultimate puller is what the Pros use:
http://sensibleproducts.com/ultimatepuller.html

Lamp price depends on the manufacturer. If it is a Lennox product you should get it from a Lennox dealer or Cozyparts.com

Once you have cleaned everything up nicely then call a long term reputable co and have the freon level checked. The operating conditions may change after you clean everything and there is NO way to know for sure it is working properly w/o checking the freon level. Fail to do so and your elec bills will be higher and it won't de-humidify properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. Johnstone Supply has the Ultimate Puller priced at 129 in their catalog. I wonder if its that much in the store. I have a store about 1/16 of a mile away from my office. In fact, you can see the store from my office out the window. Never knew it was even there.....
 

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if you are going to do all this, call a contractor first. It may cost you the same amount to have it all cleaned and refrigerant checked as it will just to have the refrigerant charge checked.
 

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That is a very good price but they want $13 shipping. My Lennox guy here probably sells it for around $70 and that is tradesman price so I would grab it.
 

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If the blower wheels don't have any mold on them then I would just clean them with a bottle brush and compressed air and a vacuum. If you start pulling the wheel off there is a good chance it may get distorted/unbalanced and you will have noise and vibration later and created your own problem. I just replaced a 10 yr old motor AND wheel on a horizontal G26 to get it to run smoothly. If the wheel gets a bit off balance then vibration occurs.

One of our regular posters (used to be) may be able to help you with the UV bulbs if they are non Lennox or maybe Lennox also:
http://homeairdirect.com/store/
 

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Bought mine at R E Michaels some years back, 60 bucks. If I lost or broke it, and had to pay 120 bucks to replace it. I would, its worth every penny and then some if your in the trade.
 

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Don't pull the fans unless there is a problem. There is a very good chance of causing a bigger problem. Just wipe them down and spray some air across them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the great tips. I will not pull the fans.

Can anyone suggest a coil cleaner I can use for both the evaporator and condenser coil from Johnstone's?

I read that Simple Green is corrosive to aluminum.
 

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From Simplegreen's website.



Aluminum - Is it safe to use Simple Green® on aluminum?

When used with caution and according to the instructions, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner has been safely and successfully used to clean aluminum. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner, Crystal Simple Green® Cleaner/Degreaser, Simple Green Pressure Washer Concentrates, and Pro Series™ Simple Green® Automotive Cleaner have been used on aircraft, automotive, industrial and consumer aluminum items for over 20 years. However, caution and common sense must be used: aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner can accelerate the corrosion process. Therefore, contact times for unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green® product residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation. Simple Green has also developed break-through water based cleaners that are safe for use on metals, plastics, rubber and high tech alloys. Extreme Simple Green® Aircraft & Precision Cleaner and Simple Green® Pro HD are available on both the industrial and retail markets, respectively. These products were initially developed for the aircraft industry and extensive testing shows that they are safe and effective on a variety of metals and other sensitive surfaces even in the most extreme circumstances.
Simple Green® Stainless Steel One Step Cleaner & Polish is another option for cleaning polished aluminum. This product is designed for light duty metal cleaning and polishing.


Generally takes less then 5 minutes from the time you spray it on, until you rinse it off.

Most condenser coil cleaners are either acid based, or alkaline based, Simple Green is mild compared to them.
 

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I would NOT use a coil cleaner on the outdoor condensor coil unless it is a PLAIN uncoated aluminum type. Some brands coat the outdoor coil with a brown coating which the cleaner will remove. Then you have a nice shiny unbrown coil which you may not like the look of. I only use a garden hose and sprayer nozzle. Removing the cond fan and backwashing it is a better idea. Got to be VERY careful how you reinstall it as it is VERY easy to pinch the wires when doing so and/or having the wire too lose and the blade hacks it off.:(
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone!

All I have to do now is buy Simple Green! Only use it on the evaporator coil. Rinse thoroughly. Just water on condenser. Bottle brush and vacuum blower wheels without removing them. Check.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Pulled 3 blower fan units.

They are out and ready to be cleaned (but still attached to the case and motor).

What is the easiest way to clean these? There is 15 years of muck on them and they are black. Since you don't recommend I pull the fan off the motor, can I use a little Simple Green solution and a toothbrush and just go to work?

Whats the easy way to do this?
 

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Clean as much as you can off with a bottle brush and vacuum and then use the simple green. Be careful not to disturb or knock off the balancing clip weights on the wheel. They are attached to the fins and may be covered in dirt.
 
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