Air conditioning forms part of heating and ventilation, better known as HVAC, and is a technology that provides thermal comfort both indoors and inside vehicles. It’s used for heating and air conditioning for a range of spaces, from small homes, hotels, office buildings, hospitals, trains, submarines and airplanes, where healthy and safe building conditions, regarding temperature and humidity, need to be controlled and maintained.
Since these systems provide cooling and/or humidity control, buildings often need sealed windows, as open windows usually reduce the effectiveness of maintaining constant indoor air conditions.
How Do Air Conditioning Systems Work?
Many people assume that air conditioning systems operate by creating cold air from scratch, which is untrue; they actually remove the heat from the inside and transfer it outside.
Refrigerants can either be ice, water, air or chemicals, which are contained inside coils travelling through a closed system. It is important that the power of the system is ample enough for the size of the area that needs to be cooled down. Otherwise, it will only lead to unnecessary power consumption and inefficient usage.
Most systems have a reversing valve that can switch between cooling in summer to heating in winter, by simply reversing the flow of the refrigerant. This means that an area can both be cooled and heated by one system and with the same hardware. There are basically 3 stations that manipulate the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant to absorb or reject heat at certain stages, which include an evaporator, compressor and condenser. The cooling happens in 4 stages. Read this for more on how air conditioners work.
- The Evaporator Coil Absorbs Heat
Warm air is drawn into a vent and blown over a cold evaporator coil, which is located indoors and absorbs heat. A fan blows the cool air into pipes that distribute it throughout the area. The refrigerant absorbs the heat and transforms it into gas, before it travels towards the compressor.
- The Compressor Heats Up The Refrigerant
The compressor reduces the volume of the gas by compacting it between two solid objects, which raises the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant and prepares it for condensation.
- Heat Is Transferred Outside
The refrigerant, which has turned into an extremely hot mist, reaches the outside condenser and gets into contact with fresh air, which absorbs its heat. When the temperature is reduced, it returns back to its liquid state.
- The Refrigerant Is Cooled Down And The Process Repeats
After the heat from the refrigerant is transferred outdoors, the cooled version moves back indoors. This process keeps repeating until the inside temperature of the room is at the desired level.
Many do-it-yourselfers don’t want to hire professionals to install or maintain their systems. However, using professional HVAC contractors have the following benefits:
- Choosing The Ideal System
There are several factors to consider before choosing a specific system, such as the size of the space, price, quality, energy efficiency, consumption, air quality and orientation. They will also help you identify brands to compare and choose the best air conditioner.
- Improving The Efficiency Of HVAC
Trained technicians know exactly how to operate any unit and improve its efficiency; from installations to repairs and maintenance.
- Safe Cleaning And Repairs
Professionals work according to certain safety and quality protocols to ensure units are clean; hence preventing unnecessary future expenses.
- Quick And Reliable Service
Technicians have the necessary experience and tools to do the job properly and swiftly.
- Avoid Unnecessary Damage And Expenses
Owners might over-or underestimate system issues and waste unnecessary time, money and energy on short term solutions. Professional services usually come with a warranty to provide peace of mind.
Certain parts may be dangerous to work with, such as sharp metallic edges, fan blades or electrical parts. Professionals know how to stay out of harm’s way.
Click on the link to read more about one such family owned and operated company in heating and air conditioning – Dowd Heat & Air, who can assist you with all your professional installation and maintenance queries.
When Should An HVAC Company Be Hired?
Air conditioning systems need to be repaired and maintained regularly. It might be time to summon the specialists in the following cases:
- It’s not turning on properly;
- Its temperature regulation is inconsistent;
- An existing system needs to be replaced;
- Weird noises are coming from the furnace or coils; and
- Unexpected high gas or electricity bills.
Maintaining Air Conditioning Systems
Regular maintenance and cleaning will improve its operation, extend the heat pump’s life span and ultimately save owners money. It is best to maintain systems before the start of spring or summer. To ensure your new air conditioner stays in tip-top shape, you should follow these tips on maintaining it: https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/cleaning/10-easy-steps-to-keep-your-air-conditioning-unit-running-smoothl.
- Keep It Clean
Use a soft brush to gently vacuum fragile fins. Fin combs also work well to separate bent fins on small units. Always wear gloves, as fins are extremely sharp.
- Repair Sinking Pads
The outside concrete pads that support the units may shift or degrade over time. Ensure that there is no stress on the copper coolant tubes or electrical lines and that the unit remains dry and level.
- Use A Programmable Thermostat
This allows the automatic setting of temperatures for different times during the day to save money on energy consumption.
- Use A Channeled Booster
If some rooms are still warmer than the others, use a channeled vent booster to increase the movement of cool air into those rooms.
- Fix The Fins
Fix bent fins by nudging them with a blunt knife, but don’t insert it deeper than ½ inch.
- Unclog The Condensate Drain Tube
If water is puddling around the furnace, the condensate drain tube is congested. This happens when condensation from the coils forms bacteria that produce slime, blocking the tube.
- Filter Replacement
After turning the power off, check the furnace filter for dirt buildup and change it if needed.
- Appropriate Unit Size
The size of the unit determines the cubic feet it needs to cool down. If it is too small for the area, it will work too hard and wear out much quicker.
- Fix The Insulation
Damaged or decayed insulation around the outdoor lines should be regularly replaced.
- Trim Surrounding Bushes
Prune shrubbery growing too close to the outdoor parts to ensure proper airflow.
- Clean Evaporator Coils
Clean and spray coils with no-rinse coil cleaner, which will drip into the drain pan. Clean drain pans with soap, hot water and bleach to prevent the growth of algae.
Read about tips to stay cool at home this summer.