What Is a Fin Comb and How Do You Use It?
A fin comb is one of those strange things that make perfect sense when one thinks about it. In short, interested individuals should be familiar with the sight of thin metal fins on air conditioners and other HVAC systems. Those allow airflow, thus making it much easier to move heat one way or the other. Unfortunately, thin metal fins aren’t the sturdiest structures, which is where fin combs come in.
The Spruce and other sources make it clear that fin combs can come in more than one form. Sometimes, they have a single stiff comb mounted upon their head. Other times, they are a bit more unusual-looking. This is because they have either multiple combs or a single interchangeable comb mounted upon their head. The latter kind of fin comb is useful because different HVAC units. They have different-sized fins. This means that a single-sized fin comb can’t be a single-size-fits-all solution when it comes to straightening them out.
Why Would You Need a Fin Comb?
As for why people would want a fin comb, the answer is that it can help them keep their HVAC units performing as intended. The fins on HVAC units are so delicate that they can be bent out of shape by even small mistakes, so there is a high chance that people will wind up with bent fins at some point. That is bad because bent fins will obstruct airflow. Consequently, HVAC units will need to work harder to do whatever it was supposed to do in the first place. The longer that is permitted to remain the case, the more issues that will come up. After all, poorer performance plus increased energy consumption is a painful combination, particularly when it repeats in month after month.
In the long run, the increased strain on the HVAC unit can even cause faster wear and tear, thus necessitating repair and replacement sooner than if it had been receiving proper maintenance. Having said that, there is one more reason why people would want a fin comb. Like the Baltimore Sun noted, straightening bent fins is either the easiest or one of the easiest HVAC maintenance procedures that exist, so much so that everyone should be able to do it. Under those circumstances, having a fin comb can empower people to do something that they would otherwise have to call in a professional for, which can be a very pleasant feeling.
How Do You Use a Fin Comb?
Using a fin comb isn’t as simple as just jamming it into the fins before running it down the length of those same fins. Fortunately, it isn’t much more complicated than that. People should start by turning off the HVAC unit. Subsequently, they are supposed to use a shop vac to remove the dirt, dust, and debris that might be clogging the fins. Then, it is time to use a no-rinse foaming cleaner for condenser coils to get rid of anything that remains.
Once the fins have been cleaned, people should use a tape measure to figure out the fins per inch on their HVAC unit, which will tell them what size of fin comb to use. After that, it is just a matter of inserting the fin comb in between the fins before running it downwards with a firm hand. Please note that severely-bent fins might need multiple passes for satisfactory results.
What Are Some Other Ways to Keep Your HVAC in Good Condition?
Straightening fins is just one of the things that people can do to keep their HVAC units running in good condition. Build Review mentions some other suggestions that can be very useful. Some of these can be practiced by people on their own. Others will need the help of a professional technician.
For starters, people should do their best to keep the area around their HVAC unit clear. This means anything that can obstruct airflow. This doesn’t just mean keeping it clear of dirt, dust, and debris. This also means putting furniture and other larger items further away. Simultaneously, people should keep a watchful eye on their monthly power bills. If they see a sudden jump in price even though they aren’t doing anything unusual, that could mean that something is impairing their HVAC unit. The same is true for the performance of their HVAC unit as well. If people find that their home isn’t being cooled or heated as it should be, that could also mean a serious problem that needs to be investigated. Vigilance is important. This is particularly true because existing problems can worsen over time, thus making them that much harder to fix.
Moving on, people should also arrange for a professional technician to inspect their HVAC unit from time to time. Essentially, they can’t be sure that they will catch every single issue that can show up in their system. As a result, getting a professional technician to conduct regular inspections is a good way to give themselves peace of mind by thoroughly checking out everything.
At the same time, a professional technician can even perform routine maintenance such as changing filters, lubricating moving parts, and cleaning the internals, which should make for a longer-lasting HVAC unit than otherwise possible. Of course, people will need to choose a reliable and reputable contractor to do these things. Due to this, they should make sure that their chosen candidate has both the credentials needed to do the job and the insurance needed to cover costs if anything goes wrong with the job. On top of that, people should check out online reviews to choose someone who has a good track record with similar jobs.
Besides this, people who are willing to spend more money can do even more things to ensure their comfort year-round. Programmable thermostats have become very popular as a way for people to turn HVAC units on and off. This way, they can keep their homes comfortable while reducing their energy use in the process. Similarly, HVAC units have their limits, there comes a point in time when people look into more effective and efficient replacements. Finally, people can even improve the insulation of their home. This is because they shouldn’t be looking at just the performance of their HVAC units. Instead, they should approach everything in a more holistic manner. This means going over everything from their doors and windows to the insulative material within their walls.