Are you on the market for a new air conditioner installation?
Not happy with your current air conditioner and you’d like a replacement?
Not sure whether you sure repair or replace your current unit?
Worried about your utility bills increasing the more you use your current setup?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, learning more about the basics of air conditioning should help you understand your current situation in a better way. Cool Air Sam is here to help you learn more about the types of air conditioning systems currently on the market, the best maintenance procedures, and much more.
The majority of people buy or operate their heating and cooling appliances without fully understanding exactly what they need. If you don’t know anything about sizing, installation, maintenance, and correct use of HVAC equipment, you’re not taking the most cost-effective approach to owning and operating your appliance.
Air conditioners cool your home using a cold indoor coil called an evaporator. The hot outdoor coil (condenser) collects the hot air inside your home and releases it outside. A piece of serpentine tubing connects these two components, transferring refrigerant between them.
The main types of air conditioners are room air conditioners and central air conditioners.
As their name suggests, room air conditioners are built to cool individual rooms rather than an entire home.
When they’re used to provide cooling to a specific room instead of a larger space, they’re less expensive to operate than a central unit, though their efficiency may not compare to their central counterpart.
Central air conditioners cool your air using a series of supply and return ducts in your home. Supply ducts and registers (grill openings in the walls, floors, and ceilings) transfer cool air from the air conditioner to the home.
A packaged central air conditioner integrates the evaporator, condenser, and compressor all into one convenient cabinet, usually located on a concrete slab adjacent to your residence’s foundation. These types of units usually include heating coils for a natural gas furnace, eliminating your need for a separate heater or furnace.
Common causes of air conditioner failure include:
Faulty installation: did your technician fail to match your refrigerant charge (the amount of refrigerant added to the unit) to the manufacturer’s specifications? If so, your cooling won’t be as effective or efficient as it should be. Inadequate maintenance: have you allowed your air filters and air conditioning cools to become dirty and clogged? If so, your air conditioner won’t work properly, and your fans may go out prematurely, causing you to invest in a replacement much sooner than you should have. Improper operation: are you trying to use your air conditioner while your windows are doors are open, and your oven and stove are both in use? These have a drastic effect on your cooling efficiency.
Nowadays, the top air conditioners are the market use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as their predecessors. Since the 1970s, the many manufacturers of the HVAC industry have made major strides in increasing the efficiency of heating and cooling appliances. Even if your unit is only a decade old, you may be using up to 40% more energy than you would be had you replaced it with a newer, more efficient model.
Air conditioners are rated by the number of British Thermal Units (BTU) of heat they are able to remove per hour. Another common unit used to measure air conditioning size is “ton”, which equals out to 12,000 BTU per hour.
With that being said, the deciding factors for the size of your next air conditioner should be…
The square footage of your home and the number of windows it contains. The amount of shading is on your residence’s walls, roof, and windows. How much insulation you currently have in your home’s ceiling and walls. The number of air leaks found in your home. How much heat the appliances and residents of your home create.
When problems arise with your air conditioner, it’s always best to hire a professional service technician to eliminate your issues. However, it’s important to know what to look for before you trust someone to take care of your residential cooling. HVAC technicians have a direct influence on the indoor comfort of our homes, and choosing the right person is absolutely essential if you want to keep your cooling equipment in great condition.
A qualified technician should always…
Check your unit for the correct amount of refrigerantTest for refrigerant leaks using a industry-grade leak detectorSecure any leaking refrigerant that needs to be removed from the system instead of illegally releasing it into the atmosphere. Inspect the evaporator coil and measure the amount of airflow it allowsInspect the oil motors and belts for stiffness and wear and tear. Verify the accuracy of your thermostat.
Deciding which contractor to work with can sometimes an incredibly tough decision. There are so many HVAC technicians to choose from nowadays, and not all of them offer the same level of service.
Don’t hesitate to ask for references when choosing a contractor. A quality serviceman should have a proven track record of keeping customers satisfied and happy with the level of service they receive.
A written warranty that covers their workmanship is also a good sign that they’re deserving of your business. Quality technicians should be willing to stand by the work they do, and the ones who aren’t may not be able to provide you with the results you need and deserve.
Also, be wary of technicians who are constantly trying to upsell you on different services and products. It’s a contractor’s job to inspect your system, and try to identify malfunctions, pain points, and problematic areas that an owner should know about. This allows you to receive an in-depth look at your HVAC system so you’re always in the loop and aware of any potential repairs or replacements that need to take place.
However, no technician should constantly badger you about upgrading your furnace to a bigger size or purchasing expensive add-ons to your current system. It varies depending on the job, but proceed with caution when analyzing your service recommendations.
Sam’s crew here at Cool Air Sam understand how frustrating it can be to deal with technicians who don’t have your best interest in mind. Our team of HVAC experts are here to help whenever you have any sort of heating or cooling problems. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can eliminate your malfunctions.