What You Should Know About your Air Conditioning Unit

Air Conditioning unit maintenanceIn this article, we are giving some information on what you should know about your air conditioning unit. An air conditioning unit is a system that uses a series of ducts to distribute cool air to more than one room. It may also use pipes to distribute water that is chilled to heat exchangers in more than one room. Air conditioning units also come as stand-alone units for single rooms and some types can be used as heating systems too.

A typical split air conditioning system has a condenser and compressor in an outdoor unit, with an evaporator in the air-handling unit. Some systems have all components situated outdoors. Air moves into vents inside the home from the condenser via one or more air filters. These air filters help purify the air and keep any harmful particles at bay. Air filters need cleaning and replacing regularly.

Knowing about your air conditioning unit, enables you to operate it much more efficiently once you know some basics

General Information

The compressor is a motor that cools refrigerant, and a fan pushes the cooled air into the building. It is helpful to become familiar with the normal amount of airflow you unit generates, and then you can tell if there is anything wrong with the flow if necessary.

A useful check is to check room temperature and the air temperature of the flow from the air conditioning unit. The air from the unit should be around 20 degrees F below room temperature.

Coils

The coils in your unit should be regularly checked to make sure they are clean. The build up of dust on coils is one of the main reasons air conditioners become inefficient. Your maintenance engineers will clean them in the regular yearly check up of your unit, but will always come and check them for you if you are concerned.

Refrigerant

The refrigerant allows your air conditioning unit to cool the air that passes through. Refrigerant gases have become a lot more environmentally friendly, but there are huge efforts all the time to develop new refrigerants that are better for the environment. In Europe, carbon dioxide (R-744) is increasingly being used as a refrigerant with a global warming potential of 1, which compares well to older refrigerants that are still in use that have a global impact potential of 1800. The air conditioning unit is charged with refrigerant at installation.

Efficiency of Your Air Conditioning Unit

Simple common sense helps to reduce the amount of energy expended by the air conditioning unit.

  • On hot days leaving curtains drawn and avoiding the use of appliances like fans helps. Heat generating activities such as ironing or cooking are best left until the evening.
  • Always make sure the thermostat of your air conditioning unit is not near any heat generating devices such as a TV set of lamp as the sensor will detect the heat and keep the system running for longer than necessary.
  • Make sure windows and doors are properly sealed. Whether you are using your unit for cooling or heating the same rule applies.
  • Check the sealant in the space between the air conditioning unit and the wall. This sealant can be damaged by moisture so regular checks will alert you if the seal needs attention.
  • The unit’s drain should be looked at occasionally. If moisture is not coming out, then it is likely the drain is clogged which will cause the unit to ice up.
  • Every degree you set your air conditioning below 78F, costs increase by 3 or 4 %, so obviously running your system very cold or very hot will increase energy usage.

While it is important for all owners of air conditioning units to be familiar with their appliances, nothing substitutes for a professional engineer experienced with all kinds of makes and models. When things do go wrong, it is more cost effective in most cases to call out an engineer rather than risk a DIY repair. We are always on the end of the phone for any advice you may need and we look forward to hearing from you.

One Response to What You Should Know About your Air Conditioning Unit

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    Mark January 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Thanks for the helpful and useful advise on efficiency of aircon. Well explained even for someone who doesn’t know much about the subject.. Thank you.

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