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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    14

    Low Ambient Control

    I had a new Rheem HVAC system installed last year and it’s functioning very well. I wish I could just enjoy the comfort, but I’m concerned about the Low Ambient Control (LAC) I had my contractor install. I insisted that he install it because the installation instructions for my condensing unit state in part, “ Low ambient control should be used on all equipment operated below 70 degrees Fahrenheit ambient” My brick house seems to retain a lot of heat and so sometimes my air conditioner is running even when it’s below 60 degree Fahrenheit outside. If you are wondering why I just don’t open a window, it’s because I don’t like the noise.

    In any case I’ve observed this accessory in action and it kind of freaks me out. When the temperature drop below 70 degree the fan stops and starts. I expected that but the cycle is only about 30 seconds on and then 30 seconds off. This makes me cringe. Perhaps I’m just overly empathic with capacitors and motors.

    Has anyone seen this LAC to cause premature failure?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,062
    There is a control that modulates the fan.
    Ask your installer.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,347
    The fan cycle kit most use does just what you are seeing. Perfectly normal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Joplin,Missouri
    Posts
    310
    As stated above you can get a modulating control if it bothers you but what you are seeing is normal low ambient operation. No need to worry about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Totally normal. I also don't open my windows for noise as well as dust and pollen (nasty tree pollen season is just around the corner). Power consumption for most AC unit in low ambient is pretty small anyway, so it doesn't really cost you that much just to leave the windows closed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,080
    I can't imagine that Rheem unit being that loud, I have never heard of anyone installing a low ambient control on an X-13 motor, come back and let us know if it take out the board or motor after a while, it may be perfectly fine. I just don't like the constant up and down pressures that the compressor has to deal with, seems like stable pressures would provide a longer life for the compressor, it would be like going down the road in your car, peddling your accelerator, vs keeping it on cruise control. But maybe not, it may be perfectly fine, just some thoughts outside of the box.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    14
    Thanks for your replies. I feel a lot better

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