In the warm summer months, we are so grateful for our air conditioning, but do you really understand how it works? You turn it on, cold air comes out – simple as that. Right? Here is some basic information to help you understand how your air conditioning system works and some signs that it is not working correctly.
Your air conditioner and your refrigerator operate in very similar ways. Your air conditioner uses chemicals that convert from gas to liquid and then back again quickly. These chemicals transfer the heat from the inside of your home to the outside air.
There are four main parts of an air conditioning unit that you should know. The compressor, outdoor condenser, metering device, and indoor evaporator.
Compressor – pumps low-pressure refrigerant vapor into high-pressure refrigerant vapor
Outdoor condenser – rejects heat energy turning high-pressure vapor into high-pressure liquid
Metering device – meters the high-pressure liquid into the low-pressure liquid
Indoor evaporator – absorbs heat turning low-pressure liquid into low-pressure vapor
And the cycle repeats…
Signs Your AC Is Not Working Correctly
- It seems like it runs all the time
- It makes loud or unusual noises
- Your home constantly feels ‘clammy,’ humid, or sticky
- You cannot hear the TV when it comes on
- You always need a jacket in your house
- There are black dots on your bathroom ceiling
- Your utility bill seems too high
It is important to catch little problems before they become a big expense! If you EVER need to add refrigerant you have a leak! Don’t just “top it off.” Always find and fix the leak.
Keep It Clean
No one can correctly charge a system with even a slightly dirty coil. All coils must be clean and the proper amount of air moving – both indoor and out. It takes about an hour or more to properly clean and check an AC system. Verifying correct refrigerant levels is the last step in the process.