AC units actually are Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Systems we call HVAC Systems. There are a variety in use today, some are strictly air conditioning and these are found in older homes. Others consist of a furnace and air conditioning unit called Central Heat and Air that uses a heat pump as well as an air conditioning system. Each of these will have an interior unit (an evaporator & blower) and an external unit (condenser coils & compressor). Do-it-yourself (DIY) maintenance such as cleaning the compressor, evaporator coil and the fins, clearing debris from the HVAC System, and leveling the unit can help keep AC repair costs minimal. Additional maintenance such as checking the thermostats, electronic components, refrigerant and drain pipes can mean extending the life of the HVAC system past its full capacity.
Thermostats are integral to proper operation of the HVAC system, when they fail, it could create a very sticky situation. Many modern thermostats are easy to change, it’s important you check with your air conditioner fixer to make sure that it is compatible with your system and that you are not voiding the manufacturer’s warranty if you are changing the thermostat.
Electronic components can often be overlooked when preforming DIY HVAC maintenance. Common whole home heating and cooling system electrical component failures can start with a resistor or capacitor and end with compressor or fan motors. It’s important that homeowners inspect all of the electrical components when they preform DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance.
Refrigerant such as Freon or R-22 is the gas that when compressed makes the air conditioning part of the HVAC system run. When working properly, the compression process makes the gas really hot; as it moves through the coils it begins to cool changing to a liquid form. The cooled Freon absorbs heat from the outside air and pushes cool air out resulting in a constant cycle of heat in and cool air out making your home a comfortable temperature. Finding leaks in the coolant lines can be an important part of keeping your ac system running properly, always let your HVAC professional take care of any leaks you may find.
When referring to the coils of an air conditioning unit people are talking about the evaporator coils. They are the component of the A/C system that transfers heat from the inside of the home to the outside. When they freeze, the evaporator coils cannot transfer heat properly which means they get overcooled. This overcooling causes water formation and eventually freezing. Performing regular maintenance and monthly checks can help catch this fault before it becomes a bigger issue.
Humidity – Another function of the central air conditioning system is to remove humidity from the air. This causes it to consistently run but turn off once they reach their selected temperature. Sometimes they have to work harder to keep the air regulated. People often choose to use dehumidifiers not just to remove the humidity in the air, but to remove pollutants. Humidity can be a catalyst for asthma or allergies, bedding and clothing gets that damp and sticky not a clean feeling, indoor pests become nuisances, smells, bacteria growth, corrosion, and warping. All of these contribute to decline in air quality and ultimately health conditions.
The best way to eliminate these nuisances is to ventilate homes and workspaces. Open windows as much as possible. Change air filters regularly. Adjust humidity, during winter months especially when the air is dry, it is important to add a humidifier to your home to keep your air healthy. The professional air conditioners at Rainbow Lakes Heating and Air Conditioning can help you ensure that your home is pollutant free by completing an inspection as part of your annual service.
Where does the moisture go? Well, in drier climates approximately 5 gallons/day drip through the drain pipe, in Florida and other humid areas, about 20 gallons/day pass through the drain pipe. The ac unit drain pipe is one of the most forgotten parts of the whole home air conditioning system. It quietly shuttles water either into a drip pan or out of the home. Always damp and dark, the drain pipe is a fantastic breeding ground for bacteria and algae since water doesn’t move quickly through it. Growing algae and bacteria can cause clogs in the AC unit drain pipe which could damage the unit beyond repair. Keep the drain pipe free of algae by pouring a cap full of bleach or ¼ cup of vinegar in it each month, suck any blockages out with a shop vac, run a plumbers’ snake through the drain pipe or flush the drain pipe with water.
Saving money is always a topic of conversation, discussion, or debate in many households. Most people don’t know how simple it is to make your HVAC systems more energy efficient. In fact, many homeowners can achieve maximum energy savings with little effort or cost. A few things homeowners can do to save money is to clean air ducts, inspect the air conditioning systems, upgrade or replace parts as needed, and stop drafts as you feel them. The hands down number one way to save money is the always preform annual maintenance. This will keep air conditioning and central air conditioning systems operating within 90-95% of their original efficiency. Overtime without proper service air conditioning systems lose their efficiency and in as little as 10 years their efficiency can be at 50%. Checks for Freon levels, coils, filters are all great ways to detect any problems early.