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Old 05-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #1
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Air Conditioner Leak Check

Like many of you I frequent multiple RV sites. On another site (not sure which one) there was talk about checking your A/C opening for potential leaks. What I mean my leaks is areas where cold air can escape without going through the duct work. I found several areas on mine which I took some pictures of. I am going to head out to the hardware store and see what options I can have to repair these leaks, but I am thinking some sort of metallic tape. I removed the mounting hardware to make it easier to check everything (and one of my mounting screws was completely lose again!

Shot of a gap which will need to be sealed up.


Same shot without flash which makes the gap show better:


Left hand duct work:


Right hand (curb side) duct:


I have no idea if the efficiency of the A/C will be better, but I have to believe that stream lining the ducts and sealing all leaks can't hurt! More pictures to follow once complete.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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Turns out I had the stuff. Some sort of metallic tape...

Here's the taped up ducts:





And just to help out with the return, I blocked off the holed made for the wiring and sealed the gaps. This should help the condenser stay clean, I don't want to clean that one.



Not pictured is the divider. When putting everything back you need to be sure that the divider is sealed properly. If not, cold air can enter the return and freeze the condenser.

I tested the fan operation and it seems to blow a little stronger, like mentioned before, RV A/C's are not the most efficient, so EVERY little bit helps, and it's quick and inexpensive (since I already had the tape) and it just makes sense (to me anyway).

NOW my A/C's are ready for the summer.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Nylon thanks for the info and great shots! While I haven't opened mine up since checking the bolts last year I was thinking that since the air is being forced down and then out some of the volume might be lost due to turbulance in hitting the quick cool vent plate.

Possibly adding some flashing that funnels the air towards that duct would further improve all our flows. Sure you would risk loosing the quick cool dump feature which I hardly ever use anyway it might make the units more effiecient overall. Depends on how many ducts I have behind mine too. You have one it looks like which would probaly increase your flow.

I'm going to play around the next couple of days while doing some of my other mods and see what I come up with.

Maybe that is the pizza box mod I have yet to try or look into .
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:21 AM   #4
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I had read something about that and there was a link to a Heartland site with details. To see the pictures, you had to be a member. I just didn't bother, but I would be very interested to see what the hoopla is all about. My "Chill Grille" is about 8' high making it rather difficult for anyone in my family to open (aside from me). I think that I used that feature once, and that's it. Having the 2 A/C's now, I doubt that it'll get used again.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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There are a couple of more things that will increase efficiency.

Pull the ceiling registers out and seal any gaps that occur between the dusct and the grill opening. Otherwise, you are pumping cold air into the ceiling.

The ceiling duct probably extends past the end register. There is no reason to allow air to go to the end of the duct and stop. Seal off the duct just past the last register. You can do it with cardboard and duct tape, a piece of pool noodle cut to fit, or whatever you have on hand. By doing these and retaping the plenum at the unit, I almost doubled the amount of air getting into the trailer living spaces.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:48 AM   #6
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An additional note on this. I ended up taking everything back apart again and added staples to insure that the aluminum tape stayed secure since it was being applied to wood. Don't want to have tape in the ducts now do we.

My front A/C was recently installed by my dealer, so I checked there for leaks as well. The dealer really did a great job installing the A/C and had already taken care of the duct sealing which I was happy to see. So far I am very pleased with Campers Barn in Kingston, NY as a dealer. I think that they have treated me very fairly and have done nice work.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #7
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I pulled my AC grill cover and outlet covers. All were well sealed with the silver tape, much like your after pictures.

I did find one small (2") strip that had come loose. I added tape and tacked it down.

I was pleasantly surprised that Sunnybrook did the job right the first time.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:12 PM   #8
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Well I popped off the cover today and low an behold there were 2 bolts loose. The rear 2. They were tight last year so it was not the plant.

On to the ducts...and looking at them suprised me to find just how shallow they really are. My ducts are only 1.5 inches in height which would exlain some of the air flow issues. The unit and ducts though are foamed in tightly with no visable air leaks.

I started with the metal duct tape that I had on hand to smooth out the foam areas which should help with air flowing to the ducts from the fan once installed. I also came up with a simple mod for the vent plate to direct the air towards each vent from the fan which right now is just blowing straight down at the plate and creating a lot of turbulance. Once completed I will post some pictures of the mod should it work.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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I have enough of poor airflow too!!! I took the chill grill off and this is a poor installation at best. The supply air short cycled due to a gap in the frame and cover. Gotta get that sealed. I cant see where the air gets to the ductwork unless its "forced" to the outside of the aluminum frame. I am a general contractor by trade and would have never installed this way. Does anyone have a picture of what this should look like? Also how do you post pictures on these threads.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #10
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3's enough, I would love to speak to you by phone about this issue. Would you be willing to call me or email a phone number?
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