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pughimag

Cleaning Apollo A/H coils

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I have a Hydroheat MA 4230 which is installed horizontally in my attic and has an intake plenum which is sealed with a grey sealing compound of some kind, making it very difficult to get to the input side of the condenser coils so that I can clean them. I do not want to break the seal to remove the end panel but this seems to be the only option. I can slightly open a panel on the side of the unit (where the freon pipes enter)and I see the V-shaped coils (some rust there) but I can't really reach in to clean them. Any advice please?

I also see about an inch of water in the bottom of the inside so I'm going to check the evaporator drain (no secondary is plumbed). I think there may be some mold in there also so I would like some advice as to how to get rid of it.

I turn off the thermostat before removing the panel screws. From what I've read here I should also check the blower and turn off the breakers to be safe.

I am getting cold air but I know the coils have not been cleaned for years so I would like to make sure the job is done well. Any advice would be appreciated. On the output side the evaporator coils show some rust at the edges but the heating coil input side, which is next in the plenum seems to be ok, just needs a little cleaning. I suspect most of the dirt is on the input side of the condenser coils. I have purchased a spray can of HVAC cleaner from Home Depot.

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I have a Hydroheat MA 4230 which is installed horizontally in my attic and has an intake plenum which is sealed with a grey sealing compound of some kind, making it very difficult to get to the input side of the condenser coils so that I can clean them. I do not want to break the seal to remove the end panel but this seems to be the only option. I can slightly open a panel on the side of the unit (where the freon pipes enter)and I see the V-shaped coils (some rust there) but I can't really reach in to clean them. Any advice please?

Just cut the seal with a razor knife and open the panel. That's what it's there for. When you're done, you can seal it up again with mastic tape, duct mastic, or even silicone caulk.

I also see about an inch of water in the bottom of the inside so I'm going to check the evaporator drain (no secondary is plumbed). I think there may be some mold in there also so I would like some advice as to how to get rid of it.

Wash down the coil well. Clean the slime out of the drain tray and blow out the drain pipe with compressed air. Make sure that the coil is sloped slightly toward its drain opening. Then install a secondary pan under the whole air handler.

I turn off the thermostat before removing the panel screws. From what I've read here I should also check the blower and turn off the breakers to be safe.
Definitely turn off the breaker.

I am getting cold air but I know the coils have not been cleaned for years so I would like to make sure the job is done well. Any advice would be appreciated. On the output side the evaporator coils show some rust at the edges but the heating coil input side, which is next in the plenum seems to be ok, just needs a little cleaning. I suspect most of the dirt is on the input side of the condenser coils. I have purchased a spray can of HVAC cleaner from Home Depot.

The fact that you're getting cold air tells you nothing about how clean the coils are. In fact, if they're very dirty they might be slowing down air flow enough that the air is getting colder than it's supposed to.

Why aren't you just hiring an HVAC tech to do all this for you?

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Jim, Thank you for your great response. I have contacted two HVAC specialists for a quote but I like to do my own work when I can. I am an electrical engineer and I spent half my life fixing machines of one kind or another. I do like to do it right however. I downloaded a pdf doc on the Apollo units and I've been taking things slowly.

I had one company call me to do maintenance work. All the guy did was check the current in the pump in each air handler and for that he charged me $150. That experience raised my hackles somewhat. I was expecting him to clean the coils and check the drains also.

Marc, no heat pumps involved just two compressor units outside and two air handlers inside for the cooling/heat exchange portion. The heat comes from the two Apollo gas-fired heaters in my garage. There's an additional coil that handles heat exchange in the Apollo air handler unit.

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I'm not surprised at the poor service provided by the HVAC guy. His boss likely views his performance as very good. He made a $150 sale in a very short time.

I've tried as well as I could to picture the installation from just your description. Based on that, I'd likely go through the trouble of removing the plenum to allow full access to the inlet side of the coil so that I could clean it thoroughly. I'm not familiar with this Home Depot product but you might try removing as much debris as possible using mechanical methods first (gentle stroking with a steel brush), then use the can of grade 'A' HD to finish it off.

Marc

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