What I'm Seeing Now

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Double Whammy

I like to look at where sayings and phrases come from. Where did we get the term "double whammy?"

It means a double setback or a double blow.  But when did it make it into our vernacular?

Apparently Al Capp used it in a "Lil'Abner" cartoon in 1951.  "Evil-Eye Fleegle is th' name, an' th' 'whammy' is my game. Mudder Nature endowed me wit' eyes which can putrefy citizens t' th' spot!. There is th' 'single whammy'! That, friend, is th' full, pure power o' one o' my evil eyes! It's dynamite, friend, an' I do not t'row it around lightly! ... And, lastly - th' 'double whammy' - namely, th' full power o' both eyes - which I hopes I never hafta use."

That's quite the explanation!  I don't know who is speaking to whom, but the teacher in that person just came out!

Well, the words "double whammy" came to mind when I saw this.  It is certainly a double blow! 

This is a 1960's apartment building, with one unit stacked onto another, converted into condos in 2005. 

The vent on the right services the dryer in the unit I was inspecting.  That dryer is literally 15" from that vent.

The vent on the left services the dryer in the unit below! 

That's two dryer vents blowing right onto the AC compressor.  I have never seen this before!

That is too close.  Why?  I have posted on this before.  That post shows what can happen to an AC compressor that is too close to the dryer vent.

This unit is drawing in air.  If that air is laden with dryer lint (OR A DOUBLE WHAMMY OF DRYER LINT!) the compressor will draw it in.

Over time that will clog its ability to suck in air and dissipate heat as it compresses to create conditioned air.

The rule of thumb is that any compressor, AC or heat pump, should be 12' or more from a dryer or kitchen vent.  That way there is little chance for accumulating lint.

My recommendation:  pay attention to where the dryer vents!  Your compressor will love you for it.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 26 commentsJay Markanich • February 26 2011 07:29AM

Comments

That sounds like a lot of hot air Jay. But for the lint clogging that could work to your benefit in a situation where that is also a heat pump.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 8 years ago

Wonder if there is a "code" for this or just common sense.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) about 8 years ago

Robert - some people vent dryers indoors to act as something of a heat pump!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I wouldn't know Ken.  I do inspections in 19 jurisdictions and they are all different.  And code does not always indicate common sense!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I would have missed that put as always it makes perfect sense. Good catch Jay.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 8 years ago

And another wonderful piece of advice -- thanks.

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) about 8 years ago

Randy - not a hard catch when it is right there!  I was surprised to see the one from the unit below however.

Tish - just another of a million things to think of!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Jay, the best "Clog Job" I've seen is when the home owner had a large Cottonwood tree next to the condenser.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) about 8 years ago

Whoa Bob!  That would do it!  Then they wonder why the upstairs is so hot and their electric bills are so high!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Always great advice, Jay; thanks for another valuable post!

Posted by Virginia Gardner, Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia (Roy Wheeler Realty Co.) about 8 years ago

A little thing here and another there, Virginia, and together we will teach each other!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Nice wiring too---my guess is that it was the HVAC installer that didn't know what theyw ere doing :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 8 years ago

Different post Charlie!  Not that it deserves one.  Also the brand of AC, did you notice?  Not going to say anything about that in a post however...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Good info to know, Jay!  Thanks so much for the heads up on this!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) about 8 years ago

Every house is a working system, DeeDee, and they all work together.  They must be situated properly and be able to interact without one harming another.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

How many times have I seen that? Actually never. It's always one vent I find never the double whammy.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 8 years ago

Yes I've seen dryers vented indoors. The idea is to save the heat in winter and boost the humidity.  Not a good idea. 

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 8 years ago

This is a definite don't do, Valerie, and the first time I have seen the double installation!

Jim - I haven't either!  Vents near the AC unit are pretty common.  But double?

Robert - when I do they drain into some plastic box which is supposed to contain water to "soak up" the lint!  The humidity can't be a good idea though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

They are always putting at least the one vent right on top of the AC unit.  Two, that is just a special occasion!

Posted by Jim Allhiser, Salem, Oregon Home Inspector (Perfection Inspection, Inc.) about 8 years ago

I thought the inspectors here would like that Jim!  It was new to me!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I wonder if they realize just how much energy they are wasting...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 8 years ago

The more clogged it gets Chris, the less efficient it becomes!  Right on!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Jay,

If you are going to do a job wrong, make it doubly wrong. Double the pleasure double the fun ; )

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

This is a company told to convert apartments into condos without an understanding of what it takes to do so Don!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I got it.  You should invent an interlock switch that only allows the AC to run when the dryer is off.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) about 8 years ago

Sometimes I see people build fences around the AC units, and I mean right to the edges, so nobody can see them.  That will work too!

So Reuben, when do we get started on that switch?  It would be a hard sell though. Around here anyway, if the AC was to be off for a half hour or so, or longer, the house would really heat up!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

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