Unusual, unthinkable, even unbelievable! Nevertheless, true. Ants can be some of the most determined yet destructive little critters around. If your air is not flowing properly, check your heat pump or air conditioning unit for an ant invasion.
Within the past twelve days, I have spent well over $400 to get my heat pump working properly again. I first realized the air was not blowing cool air during the heat of the night on August 12. I called out Blackwell Heating and Air in Pensacola to conduct a review of the system and troubleshoot to determine the problem. The technician arrived eight hours after the initial call. After arriving, he went through the system and told me it needed a coil cleaning. Within 1 1/2 hours after arrival, my unit was working properly again.
Or so I thought. At least, I was getting cool air flowing through the house again and I was happy because it is almost certain that I will have cool air now through next summer.
Not so! On August 21, the same problem occurs. Late at night, I wake up hot as heck. Checking my unit for the temperature in the house, I discover I have the unit set at 73 yet it is 78 degrees in the house and rising. Once again, I make a call to Blackwell. This time it takes them approximately 10 hours before arriving. Between the time I called and the time of arrival, I turned the unit off and turned on the ceiling fans in the house. With a ceiling fan in every room flowing, the house is still cool and I am not ready to kill anyone.
Upon arrival, the technician turns the unit on and goes outside to check the heat pump. After approximately ten minutes, he returns and asks what the reason for my call was. Now, this is a young man, he has only 5 years of experience working with heating and cooling systems. So, he states that the heat pump is working, the air is cooling, and my house is cool again without the fans blowing. I am totally and completely confused.
My questions to him returned void. He had checked everything and had no idea why the unit was not cooling properly. However, at the time he is there, there is no problem, temperature is decreasing and the house is cool. Everything checks out. With a few more questions and a threat that if the unit goes out again, I am going to hunt him down and his head is mine.
That same night, I awaken to a hot home again. This time I know there was something not connecting properly. It’s either my thermostat or something in the unit that is shorting out. Once again, I call Blackwell. They do not even call me back until they are preparing to come out. The firs technician to work on my unit arrives around noon on 08/23/2010. He tells me he is going to try to make sure he determines the problem this time. I advise him to get the unit cooling, I must turn it off, wait ten minutes or more, turn it back on and it once again blows cool air. The cool air continues to blow for about three or four hours before I have to turn the unit off and perform the same procedure again.
I guess this clicks and something registers. Because he goes out and several minutes later returns from the unit stating he discovered the problem. There were ants housed in the unit at the defibrillator. For some reason, the heat or constant humming from the unit attracts these little boogers. Or so I am told. They will converge on the unit and never consider the fact that with a zap of over 200 units of electricity that will hit them they are gone, they converge on it in the thousands.
My unit had a cluster of ants continuously travelling through the switch that controls messaging signalling for air preventing the switch from connecting. The ants made somewhat of a cushion and prevented the connection from taking place.
Therefore, to make this long story short, when your unit is not cooling, turn it off. Wait ten to fifteen minutes and turn it back on. If this works and the unit begins to cool properly, call out the H&A business of your choice and tell them to check the unit for a problem with the defibrillator switch. You might just have a cluster of ants preventing the connection.