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Furnace Not Working? Perhaps it’s Time to Change Thermostat Batteries

Picture of batteries

Recently, we’ve been receiving numerous phone calls from southeast Michigan homeowners regarding furnaces that are not working. What we’ve found is that in many cases, it’s simply a thermostat issue – dead batteries.

If you have a digital thermostat, it may be the batteries that’s causing the problem, particularly if your thermostat has warned you about low batteries. The process if fairly straightforward, a task you can likely take care of yourself.

How can you change the batteries? Depending on the brand, here are two recommendations:

If your thermostat has an external battery compartment. Here’s how you change the batteries.

  • Look straight on at your thermostat; you will see a place where you can press down to release the compartment on the top right side of the thermostat.
  • Press down at this area, then tilt the battery compartment to the right; this will allow you to remove the plastic compartment. Change the batteries out, and you are ready to put the compartment back in place.
  • To replace the compartment, begin with the side where you put the batteries in (the open side of the compartment) facing toward the wall. Insert the compartment into the slot holding it at a 45-degree angle. Tilt the compartment fully back to the left; when inserted properly, you will hear it snap back in place. The screen should come on at this point.

While your thermostat settings should have been saved, double check to ensure they are still set.

If your thermostat does not have an external battery compartment

In some thermostats, the thermostat faceplate must be removed to locate the batteries.

  • The majority of thermostats with no external battery compartment release from the bottom of the wall plate first, then the top. Carefully pull the thermostat from the wall plate while holding it firmly in place. Depending on your thermostat, there may be screws that need to be loosened, or there may be a tab at the bottom you will need to press in. Look for screws if it feels like you are having to force it.
  • If you can see the batteries either in the thermostat or on the wall plate and the wall plate remains attached to the wall, you are on the right track.
  • After replacing the batteries, snap the thermostat back into place, taking care not to force it. The thermostat has pins on the back you want to avoid bending or breaking!

Replacing the batteries in a digital thermostat is fairly easy, however, if you have problems don’t hesitate to contact us at Haley Mechanical. After replacing the batteries, if your furnace still doesn’t operate properly give heating repair experts call at 734-424-9170!

Furnace Not Working? Try These Things Before Calling in the Pros

Picture of a furnace filter

Anyone who lives in Ann Arbor or SE Michigan knows temperatures often get downright frigid during the winter months. The last thing you want is to come home to a house that’s freezing, only to find the temperature indoors is colder than where you set the thermostat.  Before you pick up the phone to call in the pros, try these tips!

Make sure the furnace is getting power.  Check to make sure the furnace is turned on, check the circuit breaker, and look at the fuse box.  You would be surprised to know the number of times technicians have gone out on a call only to find a blown fuse or tripped breaker!

Change the filter.  Sounds too simple to be the fix, doesn’t it?  When the air filter gets clogged with all of the dust, dander, pollen, dirt, and other debris it’s protecting your family from, it makes airflow difficult.  This could be the problem if your furnace does come on, but shuts off before your home warms up to the temperature you set the thermostat on.  Changing your filter regularly often prevents issues with the furnace.

Check to ensure the pilot light is lit/gas turned on.  The gas valve must be turned on for your gas furnace to get the fuel it needs to work.  If your furnace is older than 20 years, be sure to light the pilot light.

Take a look at the thermostat.  For your heat to come on, it must be set to the “heat” position and the temperature set to your desired point, but one that’s higher than the current temperature in the room.  Check the battery if you have a thermostat that operates on one, and the scheduled times if you have a programmable thermostat.  It’s a good idea to replace the thermostat battery at the beginning of the heating season.

Check air registers, vents, grilles, and ducts.  You will want to check the air registers and vents inside your home first to ensure they aren’t blocked by anything such as furniture or rugs.  Once you determine there is nothing restricting airflow, take a look at the ducts to see if there is a build-up of dust, dirt, or other debris. You will also want to see if there may be a leaky duct that is allowing the heat to escape before it comes into your home.

Inspect your furnace for dirt and corrosion.  After turning the power switch off, remove the front panels and inspect for dirt, dust, spider webs, corrosion, or rust on components, anything that could be causing problems.  Use a vacuum or compressed air to clean away the debris and call a technician who can replace any corroded parts.

Check outside exhaust and intake.  Airflow issues are often caused by debris, leaves, or even birds.  If you are comfortable doing so yourself, clear away any blockages; if not, call in a professional.

Check for a clogged drain line.  Flue gas condensate is carried away with drain lines in both boilers and high-efficiency furnaces. Your furnace will not function if the drain line is clogged with mold, dirt, or sediment, so if you think this is the problem, flush out the drain line.

Turn off the furnace to reset it.  The majority of newer furnaces equipped with electronic ignitions have a lockout mode should the ignition sequence fail.  Rather than waiting for the ignition to reset on its own, turn the furnace off, wait for a minute or two, and turn it back to the “on” position.  Low gas pressure and electrical brownouts/blackouts can result in lockouts, which may be your problem if any of these have occurred.

Have an HVAC technician come and inspect/service your furnace. Sometimes you can’t resolve the issue yourself, or you may not feel comfortable performing some of these tasks.  In this event, call in our Ann Arbor HVAC professionals to ensure a warm, cozy home all winter long!

HVAC Maintenance Helps Improve Indoor Air Quality

Lady Relaxing on Couch

Is the air inside your Southeast Michigan home as clean and healthy as it could be?  Regular HVAC maintenance makes a big difference – and when you ignore your heating/cooling system, it can result in health or respiratory issues.  How can you ensure the air inside your home is a clean as possible?  We have a few tips.

Check/replace the filter each month.  The filter is the component of your HVAC system that air circulates through first, capturing dust, dirt, pollen and other irritants.  Check your filter every month and change if it’s dirty, as a clean filter equals cleaner indoor air.

Have the ducts cleaned.  In most cases, if you’re vigilant about changing the filter, the ducts won’t get too dusty or dirty.  However, if you’ve neglected to change the filter over a period of months, having the ducts cleaned by one of our professional technicians will ensure cleaner air circulating throughout your SE Michigan home with less dust or other debris.

Choose a filter with a high MERV rating.  Pleated filters with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of 5 to 8 is recommended to filter out irritating dust and debris.  Filters with a MERV rating of higher than 8 are not recommended as they can impact the efficiency of your HVAC system.  Cheaper fiberglass filters common in many homes and rated between 1 and 4 are not effective against the infiltration of pet dander, dust mite waste, or other common airborne contaminants.

HVAC maintenance and repair is critical to the health and well-being of your family, ensuring the air you breathe inside your Ann Arbor home is the freshest air possible.  A clean system also impacts efficiency, which affects how much you pay for heating or cooling.  Give Haley Mechanical a call today!

Enjoy Fresher, Cleaner Indoor Air

Technician installing a furnace filter

Many newer homes today are nearly airtight and well insulated.  While this is great in regards to energy efficiency, it means more polluted indoor air, as volatile organic compounds and other airborne particles are trapped inside your home.  We want to introduce a new air purifier that absorbs odors while helping to clean the air inside your home.

The Honeywell 24V Ultraviolet Air Purifier with AirBRIGHT Odor Absorption utilizes ultraviolet light and provides many benefits including:

  • Improves overall air quality
  • Inhibits the growth of certain bacteria and mold spores by up to 99%
  • Improves comfort and HVAC efficiency
  • Energy savings

You may not realize it, but your HVAC equipment will not perform as efficiently as it should when mold and mildew grow in the system.  The Honeywell air purifier is installed directly on your HVAC system where bacteria grow.

How does the 24V UV Air Purifier work to eliminate particles and odor-causing bacteria in the air?  Most mold spores are located in the air conditioning coil.  This air purifying system works by using carbon cells and ultraviolet rays to capture particles floating in the air, transforming them into harmless water vapor.

For years, restaurants and hospitals have been using a similar type of light to help prevent the spread of germs and disinfect the environment.  Studies have proven that the air inside most people’s homes is far more polluted than outdoor air, which means more illness, aggravated conditions such as asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems.  The growth of mold has even been connected to serious health issues.

Is the Honeywell 24V UV Air Purifier with Air BRIGHT Odor Absorption right for your family’s needs?  It may be if:

  • You experience odors caused by cooking, pets, tobacco smoke, or from other sources
  • The climate is humid
  • You are concerned about HVAC efficiency and energy costs
  • The doors and windows in your home stay closed the majority of the time
  • Family members have an allergy or asthma problems

At Haley Mechanical, we know the importance of clean, fresh air inside your home, and the problems contaminated air can cause.  We invite SE Michigan homeowners to learn more about this air purification system, and how it can not only freshen and clean the air inside your home but help you save on energy costs as well!

Spring Cleaning Time! While Cleaning Your Home, Consider the Air

Picture of a Cute Puppy

Spring is a time we all love; as nature renews the outdoors, we are more invigorated and ready to refresh the indoors by doing a little cleaning. Cleaning the windows, ceiling fans, maybe even cleaning out the closets and doing a few of those chores we only do once in a blue moon – while you are cleaning your home, don’t forget about the air your family breathes! You may not know it, but we breathe about 3,000 gallons of air each day. Shouldn’t the air in your home be as clean as possible?

The invisible problem – indoor air pollution

Spring is a time we all love; as nature renews the outdoors, we are more invigorated and ready to refresh the indoors by doing a little cleaning. Cleaning the windows, ceiling fans, maybe even cleaning out the closets and doing a few of those chores we only do once in a blue moon – while you are cleaning your home, don’t forget about the air your family breathes! You may not know it, but we breathe about 3,000 gallons of air each day. Shouldn’t the air in your home be as clean as possible?

No matter how much you vacuum, dust, and mop, it does not clean the air inside your home. If you do not know it, the air inside your southeast Michigan home can be 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors! Considering most people spend as much as 90% of their time inside rather than outside, this can be a serious issue, especially for those with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions.

How to clean the air inside your home? A whole-home filtration system
A whole-home filtration system such as the PureAir Air Purification from Lennox cleans the pollen, dirt, and dust from every inch of your home, unlike devices designed for a single room which improves the air quality only in the immediate area. Each time a window or door is opened, more pollen, dust, and other contaminants make their way into your home. A whole-home filtration solution continuously filters the air in every room, cleaning the air and keeping it clean.

The culprits

The primary pollutants in the indoor air include airborne particles, bacteria and germs, and chemical odors/vapors.

Airborne particles include cloth fibers, pet dander, pollen, household dust, dirt – the things found in most homes.

Bacteria and germs such as those found in viruses, mold, spores, mildew, and other tiny organisms can make your family sick, as these organisms can enter the lungs. Allergy sufferers will find these germs and bacteria also trigger their symptoms.

Chemical odors/vapors that originate from paints, cleaning products, gas fumes, even cooking smoke also irritate allergies and may increase the risk of serious health issues and breathing difficulties.

How can you effectively fight all three pollutant types in your home?

There are many whole-home filtration solutions on the market today, but none uses multiple technologies to address all three types of pollution like the PureAir system.

The Carbon Clean 16 Filter media and charcoal filter removes 95% of fine particles and infectious bacteria, and 99.9% of pet dander, dust, pollen, and mold spores. Talk about clean air! The Carbon Clean 16 Filter also helps reduce ozone levels.

PCO Cartridge and Ultraviolet Light. PCO, or Photocatalytic Oxidation, is a process that breaks down potentially harmful fumes, vapors, and odors using a catalyst plate; these vapors and fumes are reduced to harmless water and carbon dioxide through the combination of UV light and PCO.

No ozone, no odors!

Lots of localized and whole-home filtration systems create ozone while they are operating, which can have a negative impact on the lungs of your family members including frequent bronchitis, asthma, and irritation. PureAir is different from other solutions in that it is capable of breaking down existing ozone in your home and generates zero ozone, so your air is cleaned while you enjoy knowing there is no potential harm. Unlike some systems, the air inside your home will be fresher, cleaner, and nearly free from odors, so you know it is truly clean. In a 24-hour period, PureAir will destroy half of the vapors and/or odors in your household*!

At Haley Mechanical, our goal is to help you achieve the cleanest, freshest, healthiest air possible inside your southeast Michigan home. To learn more about the PureAir system, contact us today. As a trusted Lennox dealer, we know a thing or two about improving indoor air quality!

* Based on field and laboratory studies

Plants That Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Picture of Household Plants

Being in the outdoors is excellent when the weather is warm and sunny in SE Michigan.  You may be an avid gardener who loves outdoor plants that add to your landscape and curb appeal.  Going outdoors and enjoying natural surroundings is useful for many things – depression, reducing stress and giving you an overall sense of calm and well-being.  Something about the trees, flowers, greenery, and other flora is just relaxing and soothing.  However, did you know that certain types of plants can not only brighten your home and add to the decor but purify the air as well? While you may not have room for them all in your Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti home, all of the plants below help improve indoor air quality and offer other benefits as well. English Ivy not only absorbs formaldehyde, but it also filters the air inside your home.  According to NASA, English Ivy is a top houseplant for homeowners and is easy to grow as long as you have medium sunlight filtering through your home and a moderate temperature. Peace lilies thrive in cooler temperatures and shade and are beautiful to look at as well.  A plant that requires little maintenance, peace lilies are capable of reducing the levels of numerous toxins that may be in the air inside your home. Like English Ivy, the philodendron is excellent for absorbing formaldehyde and can live for many years when properly cared for.  A little sunlight and water are all it takes to care for this heart-shaped plant. You’re probably already aware of the healing properties of aloe vera for cuts, sunburns, and stings, but did you know aloe helps purify the air by clearing pollutants found in many chemical-based cleaning products?  Brown spots will appear on the leaves if the level of harmful chemicals in your indoor air becomes excessive. While the name may sound a bit frightening, the snake plant is exceptional when it comes to absorbing carbon dioxide, and grows with a minimum of care considering it doesn’t need much water or light.  A good choice for the bedroom, the snake plant releases oxygen during nighttime hours. Rubber trees are common in households and offices, and for a good reason – they don’t require much nurturing.  If your home lacks sunlight, the rubber tree is a perfect choice, and it also eliminates toxins in the air. Also on NASA’s list of the most effective air-purifying plants, the spider plant is easy to grow and decorative, capable of fighting off carbon monoxide, xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and other pollutants. Another of NASA’s favorites for indoor air purification is the bamboo palm, a plant that is said to intensify the peace in a home. Just place in indirect sunlight or shade and water frequently, and your bamboo palm will clear out trichloroethylene and benzene. A plant capable of growing to ceiling height, the red-edged dracaena is perfect for a bare area in your home that could use a little decor and removes xylene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and other toxins from the air. The golden pothos thrives in shade or indirect sunlight and cool temperatures and is a beautiful plant that grows in cascading vines while removing formaldehyde from the air.  Hang one in your living room, and enjoy the simple beauty along with cleaner, healthier air. Why not enjoy tropical, lush surroundings in your Michigan home while every member of your family benefits from a cleaner, healthier air?  Many plants offer fantastic benefits, including indoor air purification. In addition to plants, there are other ways to purify the air in your home.  Contact Haley Mechanical today to learn more!

Professional Installation Is Key with Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heater

Why Professional Installation is Important When Having a Tankless Water Heater Installed

If you are one of the many southeast Michigan homeowners who enjoy making repairs or installations yourself, you may want to reconsider when it comes to having a tankless water heater installed.  Perhaps you have installed a traditional water heater yourself a time or two, or have a “handy” friend who’s adept at these kinds of things.  When it comes to installing a tankless water heater, it’s better to leave it to the professionals for a number of reasons.

When you decide to make the switch to a tankless water heater, Noritz is a manufacturer who helps homeowners find a professional located locally who is highly qualified, trained, and certified.

Here is a quick overview of the tankless water heater and how it works:

Water is circulated through a small heater that is highly efficient as it is drawn toward the faucet once you turn it on.  Ultimately, routing the water into the tankless heater and heating the water via a tankless heater powered by propane or natural gas are the two primary (and most important) steps in installation.  A tankless water heater is typically mounted on the wall and may be installed in a basement, on an indoor wall, or even on the outside.

Many people wonder if they can use the gas line and water line they have previously used with a traditional water heater, or if it can be vented through a chimney.  This is one more reason to let professionals install your tankless water heater!  This variety requires more BTU, so if you have a 1/2″ gas line you will definitely want to call in a professional plumber who can determine the right size gas line for your needs.  Noritz typically recommends a gas line that is at least 3/4″, and in some cases bigger depending on the BTU load.

The same is true for water lines, which must be 3/4″ to be most effective.  The NC380 model requires a 1″ water line.  Using a 1/2″ copper water line will likely limit the flow capacity through your tankless water heater.

Venting through the chimney is not advised, as back pressure prevents exhaust escaping and vents must allow the heat to dissipate.  They should also be easily accessed for inspection of the joints, so it is not recommended that the venting system is routed through existing masonry or other vents.

As you can see, the installation of a tankless water heater is far more complex than the installation of a traditional storage tank.  Leave it to the experts to ensure you enjoy perfect operation of your new hot water system!

Have other questions about tankless water heater installation in your SE Michigan home?  Give Haley Mechanical a call today.

Differences Between Direct Vent and Power Vent Water Heaters

Nick O'Neil Demonstrating the difference between water heater types

At Haley Mechanical, we understand that given the various terms used to describe them, choosing the right water heater can be difficult. There are several variations, and determining which is best for your situation can seem like an overwhelming task.

Two of the most popular types of water heaters today include the direct vent and power vent. Basically, the difference between the two is that the power vent water heater removes combustion gases from the atmosphere via a powered venting fan, while a direct vent water heater vents these gases into the outdoor atmosphere using a chimney or exhaust pipe.

Direct Vent Water Heater

When using a direct vent water heater, water is heated by the heat of fuel combustion. A direct vent system typically results in lower water heating costs, because the exhaust gases are vented vertically, with no extra power required as is the case with the power vent water heater.

Power Vent Water Heater

A power vent water heater uses a blower or fan to exhaust gases by pushing them through vent pipes that are horizontal. In some situations, this may be the only type of water heater that makes sense, because a chimney or vertical vent is not necessary. Some locations don’t have access to a chimney or vertical vent, so your options are limited.

The primary advantage of a power vent is that the water heater can be located in any area and does not require a vertical vent or chimney. It could be that the location where you want to install your hot water heater is not near the chimney, or your home does not have a chimney. Either way, a power vent can be vented by simply running inexpensive pipe horizontally. However, the drawback to this type of water heater is the total cost considering the blower/fan portion of the vent requires electricity to operate, the cost of the actual blower or fan, and running a power line to the fan. Essentially, because the power vent requires a fan/blower to operate, the costs of heating water will be higher over the power vent’s life span.

Noise is another disadvantage with a power vent, as there is a slight sound some homeowners notice when the blower or fan runs as the hot water heater is operating. For most people, the noise is not that noticeable or distracting, however it’s something you should be aware of should you consider this type of vent. When installed properly, the noise can be minimized or nearly eliminated.

There are several differences between a power vent and direct vent hot water heater, and it’s obvious a power vent will result in higher cost – but sometimes it simply cannot be avoided. When you don’t have access to a vertical vent or chimney, a power vent may be the right solution for you.

In need of a new water heater for your southeast Michigan home? At Haley Mechanical, we can help determine which type is best for your particular situation and your budget. Give our plumbers a call today!

How to Protect Your Air Conditioner from Theft

The Daikin Fit - Compact AC System

“Honestly, I am thinking of just taping a $100 bill to the next one I install,” the business owner said, shaking his head. For the second time in a year, he was making a police report on a stolen central air conditioning unit. “It will be cheaper for me. They get something like $80 worth of copper out of the thing, and it costs me $1400 to replace it!”

In the last few years, as the price of copper has risen, so has the price of air conditioners and the demand for scrap copper to recycle. Theft of air conditioners and air conditioner parts have risen right along with the price of copper. Imagine coming home from vacation and finding an empty concrete pad where your central air conditioning unit used to be. Or waking in the middle of the night to a strange hissing sound or a too-warm house, and finding your air conditioner gutted but still safely bolted to its foundation!

While taping $100 bills to your AC unit is not feasible, there are steps you can take to make your air conditioner harder to steal. No system is perfect, but most thieves are after the easy score. Anything you can do to “harden the target” will make it more likely that the thief will bypass your home, or even get caught in the act.

There are two kinds of thefts, for two kinds of resales. One is theft of complete units, which is mostly done by organized rings who sell the units directly to consumers (some of whom are trying to replace their own stolen units on the cheap!) or unethical builders and renovators who reinstall the air conditioners elsewhere. The more common type of theft targets the copper innards, and this is usually done by a single thief. He destroys your air conditioner by prying it open and removing the copper parts. These thefts are most prevalent in areas near a metal recycling business, but thieves have been caught ransacking subdivisions fifty miles from their home as well!

Once the theft has occurred, there is little that the police can do to catch the perpetrator after the fact. Although such a theft can be financially devastating to a homeowner or business, in a busy police department, violent and person crimes such as murders, rapes, and robberies take priority over property crimes. Even if a police officer or detective wants to work the case, there are few leads. As they are working with leaking coolant and sharp metallic edges, thieves almost always wear gloves. The metal recyclers know that a significant portion of incoming metal is probably stolen, but they usually follow a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” In fact, county and state governments have been scrambling to put laws in place requiring the recyclers to keep records of sellers, because the industry has been so loosely monitored in the past.

So what can you do? The best approach is to keep a thief from going after your air conditioner at all by making it too hard to steal.

1. Fence in the yard, and lock the gate.

If your air conditioner is behind the house or on a side near the back, install a back yard fence that has the unit inside its perimeter. Make the fence as high as allowed by your local zoning regulations–backyards are usually allowed to have higher fences. Anything under 6 feet is too easy to climb over. For the same reason, choose a fence made of closely set wooden panels over chain link, and face the side with the braces to the inside rather than the outside. Have a lockable latch on the gate, and buy a lock that is more difficult to pick or cut. Higher end, specially keyed locks require special picking equipment most thieves will not have, and the round locks are impossible for most amateurs to cut.

2. Cage your air conditioner.

Any barrier around the unit will make it a less tempting target. Businesses have added chain link enclosures with locked gates, and landscapers can suggest thick, thorny bushes to make the unit less accessible (although any HVAC technician will also be cursing you!). Make sure that there is enough space between the barrier and the unit that air can circulate freely. Otherwise, the air conditioner will not work correctly. In response to the increase in thieves, different types of steel and iron cages have come on the market, some as cheap and basic as a criss-crossed pair of rebar pieces, and others with decorative leaves and vines in the design to make the cage less of an eyesore. The 2-piece rebar cages will not prevent a determined vandal from opening the unit and salvaging the copper from it, so if you decide to go this route, choose a true cage made from strong metal. And again, lock it up with a padlock that is difficult to impossible for the typical thief to defeat. And while you are at it, lock up the power box too–a thief will think twice about your air conditioner if he cannot turn off the juice running to it!

3. Light it up.

Place motion sensor lights that will shine directly onto the area where the air conditioner is. This is especially useful if your air conditioner is within view of the street. Of course, this only works in places where there are more likely to be observers. If you live in an area where the houses are more spread out, or if your business is in an industrial area that is mostly deserted at night, the lights will help the thief work faster!

4. Include the air conditioner in your alarm system.

If you already have an alarm system on your home or business, talk to your vendor about expanding it to include proximity or motion sensors near the air conditioning unit. Choose an audible alarm as well, which will likely scare off a thief in a quiet residential area or business district. A silent alarm will aid in catching a crook in the act, but by the time he is caught, he will probably have damaged the air conditioner. If you do not yet have a security system for your location and decide to get one, get quotes that include air conditioner sensors.

5. Keep eyes on the air conditioner at all times.

Businesses with large, very expensive air conditioning systems, or who have been frequent targets of theft, might consider upgrading their security to a camera system that is continuously monitored by the security company. Many services offer guarantees that include paying your expenses if a thief gets past their monitoring without being noticed. Such a service can cost several hundred dollars per month, but for larger or frequently victimized businesses, it can be money well spent.

If you take some extra steps to make your air conditioner harder to steal or break into, you will be able to keep your cool throughout the hot season–literally!

Who Knew Fido Could Be Such a Threat to Your A/C System?

Picture of a Cute Puppy

Many Southeast Michigan homeowners are dog lovers; in fact, many of us think of our pets as a member of the family.  Just like your children, it’s likely your family dog has a few habits you aren’t too fond of.  While it’s common knowledge that dogs (especially puppies) enjoy chewing on those things they aren’t supposed to chew on, scratching furniture, jumping up on the sofa, and damaging other belongings, you probably didn’t know that your beloved Fido may be putting your air conditioning system at risk!  Even if your dog is well trained, there is one “secret” habit he may have that he’s hiding from you:  Urinating on your air conditioner.

For A/C Equipment, Dog Urine Can Be Deadly

Ultimately, dog urine can damage your A/C system to the point that it’s beyond repair, meaning you must replace your air conditioner.  Hopefully, though, you’ve discovered the issue before it’s gotten to this point.

When a dog urinates on an air conditioner, the urine will literally disintegrate the outer shell over time, and destroy the interior coils.  Eventually, if the ‘habit’ is not discovered, the air conditioner’s coils will spring a leak which makes it possible for the refrigerant to escape.  Refrigerant is essential for cooling, so when this happens your A/C system cannot cool your home.  At the point leaks have formed in your air conditioning’s coils, making repairs is no longer an option.

The good news?  If things haven’t progressed to this stage yet, you can create a barrier to keep Fido a safe distance from your unit.  A simple fence placed about 1 1/2 to 2 feet from the unit will allow for air flow, while preventing your dog from causing any further damage.

How Haley Mechanical Can Help

First of all, you may want to consider checking your air conditioner for discoloration and corrosion around the base, along with the unmistakable odor of urine to determine if your male dog (or even a neighbor’s) has been doing the dirty deed to your A/C system.  If you do detect signs, Haley Mechanical can help.

All you have to do is give us a call, and we will be happy to schedule a complete inspection of your cooling system.  A coil cleaning may be all it takes to get your A/C back in good working order if the damage is not extensive. Otherwise, we can assist you in finding a new system that is energy efficient, and right for your needs regarding size.  If your current system is salvageable, we’ll help you determine how to best protect the unit from potential further urine damage.

Live in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Ypsilanti or nearby communities of SE Michigan?  Give us a call today for all of your air conditioning installation or maintenance needs.