Recycle Your Old Appliances: Your appliances can make your
life easier and, with proper use and care, will serve you for many years.
When you are ready to get rid of an appliance, consider its use by others,
recycling, reconditioning or proper disposal. The materials used to
make it are valuable resources.
Keep Your Appliances' Records: Keep all your appliance instruction
books, appliance warranties, and any receipts you receive for service
in one place. The receipts will be useful if you have problems.
When you buy an appliance, you are buying a service that might make
your life easier. You are also making a decision about conserving energy
and water, as well as the money they cost. When buying an appliance,
consider the energy and water it will need and what they will cost month
after month. For example, refrigerators and freezers have been tested
to see how much energy they use, but how you use appliances will also
affect their energy performance and how much impact they have on your
When shopping for an appliance, here are some things you need to consider:
* Your family needs. Larger families may need larger sizes.
* Your lifestyle. If you entertain a lot, you may want larger sizes or more
* Available space. Measure the space available for appliances before you shop.
* Environmental concerns — water and energy use.
* Learn to use EnergyGuide labels when available.
* Consider energy efficient and water saving appliances, and those that can
be repaired and serviced to keep them operational for a longer period. This
saves energy, money, water and natural resources over time. Federal law requires
that EnergyGuide labels be placed on all new refrigerators, freezers, water
heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers, room and central air conditioners, heat
pumps, and furnaces.
* Look for the UL label on all electrical appliances and cords. UL (Underwriters
Laboratories, Inc.) tests appliances submitted by manufacturers for safety
from electrical shock.
* Do you want to buy new or used? Used appliances may have more risk in repairs
and services, but may be cheaper. They may or may not be as efficient as newer
machines, but you do save the resources that went into originally manufacturing
* Does the appliance have features that make it more convenient and easy to
* What utilities do you have available now? If you change your home service
from electric to gas (or from gas to electric), costs can change too.
* Payment method. Using credit adds to the cost of your appliance.
* When buying any appliance you want to have long, service-free use, but problems
can occur. How will problems be resolved?
* Shop for appliances with reliable dealers that either provide authorized
service or where authorized service is nearby. Before having your appliance
serviced, check your warranty to make sure it will cover the service provider
you are using.
* Reliable dealers will carry appliances from manufacturers who stand behind
* Check and compare warranties. There may be a full warranty for one year that
will cover parts and service. Limited warranties may cover parts only for certain
appliance components. Know what kind of protection you are buying.
* Should you buy an extended warranty that covers service after the full warranty
ends? Studies have shown that most appliance failures happen in the first year.
Compare the warranty with any service contract for similarities or differences
* Check and compare consumer comparison studies or information found in your
library or Cooperative Extension office. These are often independent profit
or not for profit associations.
Living With Your Appliance
Once you have chosen an appliance and it is delivered to your home,
stay nearby as the appliance is installed. Make sure you have the instruction
(use and care) book and warranty. Ask any questions of the installer
before he or she leaves. To make sure you get the best service from
your appliance, do the following:
* Locate your instruction book. Read through it by the appliance in
order to become acquainted with the use and care. Look for the manufacturer's
800 number. Write the model and serial numbers of your appliance in
your book. These numbers will probably be on your warranty.
* There should be a registration card with the instruction book. Fill in the
card and return it to the manufacturer. This records the date your warranty
starts and will be useful if you have a problem with the appliance.
* Read the warranty and note the length of the warranty or warranties offered.
* Keep the appliance clean and coils vacuumed. Position the appliance according
to correct recommended temperature.
* It is important to use your appliance and all of the features several times
during the warranty period to make sure that everything is operating the way
* Any time you have service, ask for and keep all receipts whether you pay
or the appliance's warranty provides for the parts and/or service.
* If you have a problem with your appliance, look in the instruction book before
you call for service; there may be something you can do to avoid needing to
call. Service costs can frequently be saved by following instructions provided
by the manufacturer.
* If your appliance is not working or giving the results it should, begin taking
the following steps:
1. Contact the retailer and/or authorized service agency. (Note: Warranties
may be void if you do not use authorized service.) Your complaint may be resolved
at this point. Keep records of letters, phone calls and who was contacted.
2. If your complaint cannot be satisfied by authorized service, call the manufacturer's
800 number. Be prepared to explain what the problem is, a history of the service
needed in the past (from your service receipts), and what you feel the company
should do to compensate you.
3. If your complaint cannot be resolved by the manufacturer, contact MACAP
(Major Appliance Consumer Action Program) at: MACAP, 20 North Wacker Drive,
Chicago, IL 60606; phone: (312) 984-5858.
top of page
Question about attic air-conditioner condensation problem:
I have an attic air unit which seems to have a problem with condensation
on the bottom of the condensation tray. The water then leaks from the
cabinet into the rubber drip pan. I have a 1400 sq. ft attic with a
hip roof. There is an 8 inch roof vent on all 4 roof slopes. I have
electric duct fans in two of the vents exausting air to the outside
with the other 2 drawing fresh air. There are no sofet vents. My dealer
is at a loss to correct the problem. More air flow would not reduce
the humidity of the incoming air.
This is how we understand your situation: your condensation pan is
collecting condensation from the A/C. The water in that pan is cold,
therefore chilling the pan and creating condensation (glass of cold
iced-tea effect) from the attic air on the bottom of the pan, which
is eventually dripping in the to rubber catch pan.
Further question: Are the drain lines for the condensation pan free to drip
to the outside? In addition, is the rubber pan drained outside? If the condensation
pan freely drains, then there is less water sitting there cooling the pan (although
is still happens if the water is passing through the pan, just not as much
cooling effect), therefore you have a reduced chance of condensation.
One expert noted seeing new construction, in South Carolina; drain both pans
to the outside from attic units, as a method of protecting the drywall ceiling
under the unit and to allow homeowners to determine if the main pan is overflowing/leaking.
In a system under normal operating conditions, the main pan line will be dripping
water where the rubber pan line would be dry. If something happens to make
the main pan to overflow or leak, the line from the rubber pan would be dripping,
thus indicating a problem.
A side note: A/C drains should be directed away from the foundation structure
of the home. Wet, soggy ground near the foundation is rarely good.
Trying to keep the air temp in the attic as low as possible with the fans will
help with condensation some...the lower the temperature difference between
the A/C condensation water and air will reduce the exterior condensation by
a small percentage (every little bit helps).
The proper condensation pan drains into a small pump that pumps the
water down to the basement and into a drain. That pan is working properly.
It runs from both places, top and bottom of pan. There is a small manual
drain line attached to the rubber pan but it is too low and too flat
to be of much help.
Would gluing a piece of Styrofoam to the bottom of the drain pan keep the condensation
down? I know that having more attic airflow would help but cannot increase
it any more with out a major re-do of my venting system. It was hoped that
the two 8 inch duct fans fitted directly into the roof vents would flow enough
air but without soffit vents the other two 8 inch vents don't allow enough
air to do much good.
Ideally, you should only have flow out of the top pan, but if you have
condensation dripping into the lower pan, you will have flow from there,
Limiting the amount of attic air that is able to flow around your pan by blocking
off openings, may help. Whatever air that is trapped in there would have its
moisture pulled out in the beginning and be drier and since it would not be
replaced readily with 'fresh' air, the moisture in the 'fresh' air would not
enter, as well. Before you go sealing up the area around the pan, consult with
an HVAC tech to make sure that there isn't any equipment in the unit that requires
good ventilation. In addition, make sure the tech clearly understands your
There should be NO standing water in the attic from the ac system.
The condensate rolls off the evap coil into a catch pan at the bottom
of the coil and into a pipe usually PVC. The water then flows to a drain.
the pan below the unit should NEVER have water in it if there is water
in this pan there is a leak or obstruction in the drain line you mentioned
a pump, the need for a pump to force water downhill is not necessary
(unless there is a long horizontal run before the hose drops down).
The drain from the unit (evap) should enter the pump reservoir them
the pump activates making the water go away. The purpose of the pan
under the unit is to prevent water damage. It has a separate drain the
outlet of which should be visible so the homeowner realizes there is
top of page