Do you fully understand how your air conditioner works and how to maintain it?
Stay cool this summer by properly maintaining your air conditioner. Five frequently asked questions about your air conditioner are answered below.
How Do Air Conditioners Function?
In order to make the air in your home cool, air conditioners expel the warm indoor air outside. The cooling effect is achieved as vents blow air over an array of pipes, which form the evaporator coil. Refrigerant contained in the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air and cools it before blowing it into your home. Immediately, the refrigerant passes into the condenser coil outside your home to release trapped heat before cycling back into the evaporator coil to repeat the process. The refrigerant is able to move between the coils with the aid of a pump referred to as a compressor, which also controls the evaporation and condensation processes in the coils. The working of an air conditioner is largely reliant on the compressor pump. HVAC experts believe that when properly maintained, your air conditioner can provide around three times more cooling energy than the compressor uses.
What Does a “Ton” Mean When Describing a Cooling System?
The term “ton” might sound confusing to you when used to describe a cooling system. This could be especially confusing because air conditioning systems do not usually weigh that much. A ton of cooling is actually the same as 12,000 BTU per hour of cooling. The abbreviation BTU means “British Thermal Unit,” a unit of measure for heating (or cooling) energy. You may find it surprising that BTUs are not used to describe air conditioner capacity in Britain.
What Are Possible Air Conditioner Problems?
You can have problems with your air conditioner if you happen to generate too much heat in your home, either from indoor appliances or having too many people in your home. According to HVAC experts, issues may also crop up if there is a reduction in the level of airflow across the coil for reasons such as defective blower fans or blocked air filters. The capacity of your cooling system will also be compromised if the refrigerant starts to leak.
What Purpose Do Air Conditioner Filters Serve?
As you may be able to tell from its name, an air conditioner filter removes or filters out impurity from the air. Air conditioner filters help to eliminate harmful substances or organisms such as bacteria, viruses, dust, and smoke from the air your family breathes. While these filters become more efficient with time in trapping particles, they could also block airflow. It is recommended that you buy a filter with a minimum efficiency rating value (MERV) of between six and eight.
Is It Important That I Contact a Professional For Air Conditioner Maintenance?
This is not necessary in all cases. There are some maintenance tasks you should be able to carry out yourself. For example, you can change your air conditioner filters without professional assistance. But other more technical tasks such as voltage reading and system coil inspection are better handled by an HVAC expert.
If you are having problems with your air conditioner, call Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating LLC at (314) 471-7625.
Photo credit: HomeSpotHQ via Flickr