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Archive for May 29, 2012

Tips from Contractors for Long Compressor Life

In order to keep an air-conditioning system running efficiently, it is crucial to keep the compressor in tip-top shape.  There are a few vital areas to take into consideration when focusing on the life of your compressor– troubleshooting, maintenance, and tools. Be sure to follow these tips to keep your air-conditioning system running efficiently, especially in the up-coming warmer weather:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Keep your condenser oil clean. A dirty condenser will cause higher than normal head pressures, which creates heat and will cause your saturated suction temperatures to be warm, causing compression failures.
  • Check superheat settings. Too low of superheat may cause liquid flooding, which is bad for the compressor.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Test electrical integrity. If you question any readings- get to the terminal to retake the readings. However, before you go and pull wires off, carefully inspect the terminals and the surroundings for any burn or fatigue signs. If an area is showing signs of terminal failure or burns, proceed with extreme caution.
  • Be sure to check: the capacitor, superheat, subcooling, crankcase heater, contractor voltage drop, and the disconnect condition
  • Lubrication is Key. Be sure to have enough oil to make sure the system is not flooding back and diluting the oil. Test the oil safety control, if there is one, by verifying the pressure setting and checking the timing.
  • Well-Trained Technicians

Tool Tips:

  • Measure compressor winding insulation integrity using a megohmmeter
  • Measure refrigerant pressures and compare them to factory data
  • All measurements need to be done with an instrument! Your hand is not a thermometer, and simply saying “it feels cold” is not correct data!


Source: The NEWS “Contractor Tips for Long Compressor Life”

There’s an App for That

Smartphone market leader Apple has transformed the way people access data, with 98% of iPhone users using the data features on their phones. Even though Apple has made it consistently harder to publish an app over time, the HVAC industry was lucky enough to launch two iPhone apps in the past three months!

The most recent app is the “Ideal Gas Flow Rate Calculator” which helps installers by timing the gas flow and processing the formula.  Complicated conversion charts are needed no more, all you have to do is choose the type of meter, and follow the simple steps. Features within the app include:

U6 Meter Function:

  • A start/stop timer which automatically converts the time taken to burn 1ft3 of gas into a flow rate in ft3 and m3
  • Automatically converted heat input in kW and BTUs/hr

E6 Meter Function: All you have to do is type in the meter reading, start the two-minute timer, enter the new reading when prompted, and the results just simply pop up.

This is the first time that heating engineers can be provided with access to such an accurate measurement, and the best part is the app is free to download!

The predecessor of the Ideal Gas Flow Calculator is the “Ideal Boiler Sizing Guide” app which over its lifetime has already averaged around 500 downloads per month! Sizing a modern condensing boiler is a vital part of any central heating quote and is essential to the efficiency of the boiler. As the accuracy of sizing increases, so does the efficiency rating.  The Ideal Boiler Sizing Guide will make this task a lot easier by accurately calculating the boiler output required for a property in just a couple of minutes after entering project details. Entering the property type and measurements, location, window, and wall and roof type of the project are the details needed to complete the calculation. The app also conveniently stores customer details and the corresponding boiler output required for access wherever it is your job may take you. You can download it here:

So now for any need you may have, even carrying over into the HVAC industry– there’s an app for that!

A Closer Look at One of our Project Coordinators: Micah Alexander


Working for Bruner for 13 years, Micah Alexander holds the title of Project Coordinator. She considers herself a “concierge” because she helps with all projects here at Bruner, ranging from small to large. Because of her role, her favorite part of working for our company is that she never knows what is going to happen when she walks through the door in the morning. This exciting uncertainty is a good thing for Micah because it prevents her from ever getting bored with her job. She also firmly believes that you can do anything you put your mind to, and tries to be a walking example of that every day.

Outside of Bruner, Micah loves to swim at her local gym. She says that it “gets rid of a lot of stress” which helps her relax. Her favorite food is simple, as she enjoys cheese pizza. The sports teams that she cheers on the most are any teams that her sons play on. Along with her love of winter, coincidentally her favorite holiday is Christmas. When she takes time off for vacation, Micah’s favorite spot is the internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and fine dining—Las Vegas.

Boiler Replacement: Start to Finish in 4 Days

On Friday, February 17, around noon, Service Technician Steve Haag received a call from the Kroger regional office in Westerville indicating that they had a leak into the first floor offices below the mechanical room. Haag’s immediate action was to find the leak and identify its cause. Once at the Kroger office, he found that the leak was coming from their thirty-year-old Ajax fire tube boiler.

Project Engineer Chip Neville was contacted to come up with options for which to rectify the situation. “A repair of that style boiler requires special certification welding that only a couple of people in central Ohio have,” Neville said. “Unfortunately, our certified technician was out of town on another service until late the following week.” By the time he arrived at the Kroger office at about 2:30pm, Haag had the system opened and they found more than just a few tubes were leaking.

The two deduced that a repair was not an option and turned their focus toward a new system. Neville had checked options on his way over with Kevin McGovern Associates and Herbert & Conway, and while on site, he received pricing from both. With those costs in mind, the Bruner team discussed options with Kroger representatives with regards to equipment availability, efficiency, cost, and timing.

By 5:00pm that day, Neville presented firm budgets and a recommendation to Kroger’s Senior Engineer, Eric Wagonknecht, with a target of having the new boiler in place by the end of the following week.

Wagonknecht asked the Bruner team to proceed with a modular boiler option called EVO by Hamilton Engineering. Thanks to Kevin McGovern and the late night put in by the Hamilton Engineering team, the boiler was ordered and its assembly started by 6:00pm.

After tremendous effort by the entire Bruner team, the system was ready to be started by the end of the day Thursday – less than one week after discovering the problem. By 10:00am on Friday morning, the Bruner team had the heat back on in the building just as outdoor temperatures dropped. The replacement even managed to increase system efficiency from 76 to 95 percent.

Thanks to the Bruner team for their incredible diligence and efficiency in delighting our customer with excellent service: Steve Haag, Larry Carver, Don McNeal, and Rocky Carr, with assistance from Kevin McGovern Associates and Hamilton Engineering.

If you’re worried about your mechanical systems, check out our e-book for 9 tips to keep them in tip-top shape!