Usually most of the homes that are in warmer climates have air conditioning. For some people having air conditioning is a luxury however, for a lot of people it’s a necessity. If you are in need of an air conditioner repair you can check out Maximum Comfort Heating Air Conditioning. If you factor in the cost of the equipment and the overall power to then run the air conditioner it’s important that consumers know everything about air conditioners.
These 10 tips should help every consumer be more aware of their AC system and help them to care for it better so they don’t have to replace it.
What is Air Conditioning?
The very first functional type of definition that was used for air conditioning was established in 1908, and the person who it was credited to was named G.B. Wilson. Willis Carrier who happens to be the father of air conditioning that was the definition he subscribed to:
- In all parts of a buildingㅡmaintain suitable humidity
- During certain seasonsㅡfree air of excessive amounts of humidity
- Ventilationㅡhave a continuous and adequate amount of supply
- Effectively remove all microorganisms, soot, foreign bodies, and dust from the air
- During certain seasonsㅡcool the air in all rooms in a building
- During Winterㅡheat up all rooms efficiently
- A system that is cost effective both in the initial purchase and maintenance
How An Air Conditioner Works
The specific job of your air conditioner is to effectively move the heat from inside of your house to the outside, therefore, cooling it in the process. AC systems are able to blow cooler air into your home by removing the heat out of the air. In order to cool the air it is done by blowing the air over what’s called an evaporator coil. This evaporator coil is filled up with a certain kind of liquid which is called refrigerant, and that changes from being a liquid to a gas as it removes heat from the air. The refrigerant is then pumped outside of your home to another kind of coil which then gives up the heat and essentially transforms back into a liquid again. The coil that is outside is referred to as a condenser, it’s called that because the refrigerant is condensing itself from a gas to a liquid. There is a pump that is called a compressor, it is used to move the refrigerant from the evaporator coil to the condenser coil and then changes the overall pressure of the refrigerant that way the entirety of the refrigerant either condenses or evaporates in the correct coil. A motor is used to run the compressor and the whole system will usually cool up to three times the energy used by the compressor.
What Can Go Wrong?
Unlike your furnace, an air conditioner is a much more complex mechanical system that actually has to depend on a number of factors for it to work properly. The air conditioner itself will have to be sized to meet the load amount of cooling the house down. Known as the “charge” AC systems are designed to always have a specific amount of refrigerant. And AC systems are also designed to have a specific amount of air flow that goes across both coils. When any of these specific things change, the system will end up not working properly. Your air conditioner may not be able to keep up with the amount of heat that is in the house such as when you have a lot of people over.
If for instance the refrigerant charge that’s a part of the system ends up leaking out, it then ends up lowering the capacity of the entire system. You will just have less cool air coming into the house and the system will not be able to handle the load when it gets too high. If the airflow that goes across the condenser coil is decreased, the overall ability to remove heat to outside is then decreased which also means the system may not be able to handle the load especially when it’s hotter outside.
How Filters In Your Air Conditioner Work
Just about every kind of air conditioning system utilizes a filter that is upstream from the evaporator coil. The usual places you can find the filter is in the return grille or in special slots that are in the duct system. The filter is used to essentially remove particles from the overall air stream to remove any particles such as dust from being in the air. And it also makes sure the air conditioner is clean. Overtime as the filter does its job properly it becomes built up with more particles. This can increase its efficiency somewhat but it can mainly cause increased resistance and can end up reducing airflow.
Once you’ve used a filter for a long period of time it’s time to change it, that way your air conditioner can run more smoothly. Depending on how dirty the air is in your home and also how big the air filter actually is may determine when it’s time to change it. If you don’t end up changing out the air filter when you’re supposed to then the airflow will decrease substantially. And if the air filter is really dirty such as never changing it throughout the years it can actually become a cause of air pollution inside of your home! If you don’t happen to use a filter at all then the particles in the air will then build up on the evaporator coil which will ultimately cause your air conditioning system to fail. It’s easier and cheaper just to use a filter that way you don’t have to replace your whole system.
Maintaining The System
Typically routine maintenance can be done by the consumer, but sometimes there’s a problem that needs to be seen by a professional. At the beginning of each cooling season you should always brush away dirty and other things that may be obstructing the coils and drains. Depending on what kind of system you own will determine whether or not you need a professional to do this for you and depends on the consumer and whether they have the skill set to take care of it as well, if you don’t think you can it’s best to call someone. If perhaps the AC system isn’t producing enough cold air or less cold air than usual, this could indicate that there’s a problem with the charge or airflow. Problems like these require professional intervention.
Why Do Ducts Matter So Much?
If you have any kind of duct leakage then that can cause your system to not produce enough cold airflow into your home. If the ducts pass outside of the space that’s being cooledㅡthe leakage can cause 20-40% of the energy to be lost. If your ducts are outside of your house then they need to be properly insulated. There are plenty of products that are specifically used to insulate ducts that any consumer or professional contractor can install. You could possibly receive an extra half ton of your air conditioners capacity free of chargeㅡsealing the ducts properly. If your ducts are accessible, then some consumers can actually go ahead and use mastic to paint on the ducts to insulate them. If not then you may need to call a professional instead.
How to Increase Energy Efficiency
One of the bigger things you can do to cause your air conditioning system to work more efficiently is by sealing the leaking ducts, however, everything mentioned before now can also help which includes:
- Replacing dirty filters
- Keeping the range of charge and airflow
- Keeping both of the coils clean
Also you can help it run better if you make sure there is nothing blocking your condenser coil/unit from things like leaves or other organic matter that could be blocking the airflow. If you do end up needing to replace your system you should make sure to purchase one that has high efficiency equipment. (EER,) or Energy Efficiency Rating is how you can know the efficiency rating of the system you buy. The lowest rating is EER 13, you can go with that one if you like, but a system with higher efficiency will save you a lot more money throughout the years. Depending on your overall climate, you may want to consider buying a system with more efficiency because the hotter it is the harder your air conditioning system will have to work which means it could end up failing a lot sooner if it is a low efficiency air conditioner.