Keep Cool and Know Your AC Unit
Maintaining your air conditioning unit is the best way to increase longevity and efficiency. This isn’t easy to do when you know little about how air conditioning works. Your air conditioner’s job is to remove the heat inside the house to the outside. It is able to blow cool air into your home by removing the heat out of the air. Your unit has an evaporative coil. The warm air is pushed over these pipes and cooled by an evaporative effect. The refrigerant in the coil turns from liquid to gas as it absorbs the heat from the air. The refrigerant is transported to another coil, the condenser, outside the house where the heat is released as the refrigerant turns back to liquid. A motor is attached to a compressor that runs the whole system.
As long as everything is functioning properly, your AC unit does a fine job of cooling your home even during the hot summer months. Unlike your heating system, your air condition is fairly complex and depends on a variety of conditions to work properly. They are designed to meet a certain “load,” have a certain “charge” and have a certain amount of air flow. The load depends on the size of the house. The charge is the amount of refrigerant needed. If any of these things changes, you might have a problem.
If there is too much heat inside the house, your unit may not be able to keep up with the load. Increased heat can come from a house full of people or running appliances. Refrigerant leaks lower the capacity of the system as well. If airflow across the condenser is reduced, the system cannot release heat outdoors properly, and you will experience performance issues.
The filter serves the important job of removing particles from the air stream. This keeps the air conditioning system clean and the air fresh. As the filter gathers particles, the system will run more efficiently. Eventually, the filter will reach its capacity and start restricting the flow of air. When this happens, your filter needs replacing.
It is important to fix and maintain all your air conditioning systems. Routine maintains like changing the air filter can be performed by you. Other types of maintenance require professional help. At the beginning of the warmer months, it is a good idea to clean up the outside coils by removing dust, dirt and debris. Call a service professional at the first sign of trouble. What may start as a simple problem with an easy solution can quickly escalate without proper attention.
Everyone wants the most efficiency they can get. Better energy efficiency means lower utility bills. Regularly changing air filters helps. It is also important to make sure all the vents in your house are open. If vents are closed, it makes it harder for your system to cool properly. Try to run appliances during the cooler parts of the day, so you are not adding to the load on the unit.
Having a well-running air conditioner is important during the summer, especially in warmer climates. Know your unit and keep it maintained. It is always more affordable to maintain a system than replacing it.