AC is important, there is no denying it. What is important to understand is that we can prolong the lifespan of our ACs and minimize the risk of sudden breakdowns by simply following a few steps.
There are a lot of different types of ACs in the market. However, all ACs share some common features. If you can master a few basics and know about your particular AC type, maintenance will not be an issue anymore.
This is a guide to help you navigate in the confusing land of ACs.
How do ACs work?
Your AC system’s primary function is to transfer heat from your home to the outdoors. For this, your air conditioner consists of the following:
- refrigerant piping
Other components of your AC system include the compressor which pumps the refrigerant around; your air filter and the condensate pump. These parts may vary from unit to unit but then there must exist some commonality amongst the functions of the parts. Knowing about these components and some basic physics will help you understand AC completely.
An easy approach to grasp exactly how the AC s works, is to consider the refrigerant in the pipes that flow between your interior and outdoor unit as a heat “conveyor belt.” Your internal heat exchanger delivers heat onto the conveyor belt, and afterward, your outer heat exchanger unit removes the heat off the conveyor belt. And that’s how heat is evacuated from your house. So even though you may conceive the AC as producing “cold” air in your house, it is really blowing heat-removed air. The other parts of the AC are there to help this process happen effectively. For example, your compressor not only pumps the refrigerant throughout your system but also boosts its pressure so that it can absorb and release heat more efficiently. The blower distributes the air around the residence. And your thermostat enables you to choose your chosen room temperature.
You should have observed that when standing near your outdoor unit, you can feel it is blowing out hot air. Your home’s internal heat is expelled in this manner. If anything obstructs the passage of air around this device, then it can’t fulfill its function of eliminating heat. So you will want to make sure that the AC is not crowded with leaves or obstructed by plants, etc.
And about your interior unit, you may have observed a water condensation pump positioned adjacent to the unit. The reason for this is that in the process of chilling the air, your AC operates as a dehumidifier. To understand this, consider a cool drink of water especially on a hot day. In a short time, you will notice water droplets collecting on the outside of the glass. Condensation occurs as a result of warm air hitting a cold surface, causing water vapor to condense. Your air conditioner’s interior unit experiences the same phenomenon when warm indoor air meets cold refrigerant pipes.
What are the common problems in an AC?
Compressor: The motor in the compressor might become poor, or it can have valves that cause complications. Or you might have leaks that form around the compressor.
Condenser: The fan for the condenser might develop issues, or coils may start to leak.
Refrigerant Lines: The refrigerant lines can start leaking for various reasons.
Air filter: If your air filters are dirty due to dust and debris, your AC will become extremely inefficient.
Evaporator: The evaporator coils may be burnt out and start to leak
Condensate drain: the condensate could be clogged and if the system uses a pump, it will fail.
Power: During a power surge the circuit breaker can trip off causing a temporary power cut to your AC.
These are some of the most common problems with an AC. However, there are certain unorthodox problems as well. If there are any oddities with your AC you should immediately contact an Experienced company to repair the AC and who can resolve all the general as well as specialized problems with the AC.
Maintenance checklist and guide!
Since you now understand how AC works and what are some of the common problems. We should start with the maintenance checklist.
To minimize shocks when the temperatures begin to climb, it is vital to undertake a pre-season checkup of your AC system. Skipping this checklist might leave you suffering in the hot weather. You should contact a technician with experience if there are any problems.
- Locate and remove the outside condenser
- Verify the condenser unit on the roof. Make sure that it is not blocked by leaves, debris, etc. Inspect the condenser for obstructions such as plants and the like.
- Change the AC’s air filters.
- Inspect air distribution registers in the rooms to make certain that they are open. Also make absolutely sure that the registers are not obscured by furniture, rugs, or curtains.
- Inspect the condensate drain lines and drain pan. Sometimes the pan is banging out of position. Be certain that the pans are not fractured and the piping is unobstructed. If you have a condensate pump, then put water in it to make sure the pump instantly turns on.
- Test your air conditioner by turning it on. You don’t have to operate it for long, just verify that it is alright and provides cold air.
Here are some more maintenance tips for the people who know more and are willing to take extra steps.
- Inspect condenser coils. A dirty condenser coil can lead the AC to be wasteful. A dusty condenser coil will function as an insulator and restrict the heat transfer rate. Clean and straighten all bent fins of the AC. And test the condenser fan and use proper oil in the motor if required.
- Thoroughly clean the evaporator coils. The coil’s ability to absorb heat will diminish if it is filthy. Clear out the dust from the air conditioners and heaters in the house. The fan belt on an earlier model should be inspected for rips and wear before using the blower. Clean the blades of the blower if it has them since debris on the blades might impede airflow.
- You can inspect your uncovered ducting in unfinished sections to discover whether there is any sort of air leaks. You should be able to thoroughly clean from inside your registers using a special vacuum attachment, but, more complete cleaning of the whole system would need a professional. Therefore call someone you trust
This is a guide to help you maintain and prepare your AC for summer. But this is not all. AC’s are machines and like all machines, they are susceptible to problems. What is best for your wallet is if you keep a close eye on the AC unit while providing regular maintenance. You should call the technicians at the first sight of any trouble.
Author Bio:- Robert Wong
A robot is a marketing manager at EZ Electric. He has an interest in writing articles related to HVAC installation, maintenance, and repairs. The HVAC system has made our life convenient regardless of the climatic changes. Read Robot’s articles to know step-by-step installation guide for ceiling fans, smoke detectors, lighting, and electrical appliances in California as well as how to repair them in case of malfunctioning or breakdown.