Get To Know Your AC Unit

Get To Know Your AC Unit

Posted by
Ed Miller on Fri, Aug 01, 2014

If you don’t know a lot about your air conditioning unit, you’re not alone. When it comes to getting the most out of their systems, many Jacksonville homeowners could use a little more information about their AC units to make good decisions when it comes to maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Knowing your air conditioning unit is important if you want to know which things you want to take care of yourself and which things are better left to Jacksonville Air Conditioning Experts for the best results. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you know more about your AC unit.

Coils and Refrigerant: How Your Air Conditioning Unit Cools the Air

Air conditioners utilize a physical law called phase conversion to cool the air in your home, through which heat is absorbed when liquids are converted into gas. Your air conditioner contains a closed system of coils that are filled with refrigerants which can change back and forth between liquid and gas at relatively low temperatures. The refrigerant absorbs heat when it changes from liquid to gas inside the low-pressure evaporator coils.

To continue the cycle, your air conditioner then uses the compressor to place higher pressure on the gas and change it back into liquid. This process creates heat, which is removed from the air conditioner by the condenser coils and a fan. Because this is the “hot side” of your air conditioner, these parts are located inside the main part of your unit, which for central air conditioners is all located in a special all-weather housing outside of your home.

Your air conditioner also has an expansion valve, which is in between the evaporator coils and the condenser coils. The expansion valve controls how much of the compressed liquid refrigerant is moved into the evaporator, where a pressure drop turns the liquid back into gas and the whole process starts over again.

Fans and Ductwork: How Your Air Conditioner Distributes Cool Air

In addition to the fan that moves warm air outside, your air conditioner also uses a fan to circulate air over the evaporator coils and into your home. Once the chilled air is pumped from your air conditioning unit and into your home, a system of ducts provides pathways for the cool air to be distributed throughout the rooms of the house. If cool air isn’t reaching a certain area of your home, bad duct work might be the culprit. Leaks, collapsed portions, and blockages can prevent cool air from being able to reach its destination. Regular duct cleaning and inspections, along with buying the proper air filter and replacing it frequently enough, are important to ensure that cool air is properly distributed throughout your home and your air conditioning unit isn’t over-stressed.

When your air conditioner is ready to turn on, return air ducts pull in air from your home and run it through the air filter. The air filter traps particles such as dust, dander, and pollen, then cleaning the air that circulates through your home. This is why the right kind of air filter can be a big help if you suffer from allergies. Some types are even capable of removing microscopic pollutants and can make an enormous difference in improving the air quality in your home. It’s important to make sure you use the right type of air filter for your system, and depending on what kind you have, either clean or replace it regularly.

Your Thermostat: How to Control Your Air Conditioning Unit

Something has to be able to control all of the parts mentioned above and signal the system when it’s time for it to turn on and start cooling the air, and that something is your air conditioner’s thermostat.

It’s important to make sure your air conditioning unit is regularly maintained if you want it to perform optimally, monitor your air conditioner’s settings and use your thermostat to keep a handle on your unit’s energy consumption. The thermostat is your control panel when it comes to monitoring the temperature in your home and controlling how it changes, along with adjusting how often and how hard your air conditioning unit works. A programmable thermostat provides the best control of your system, allowing you to give your air conditioning unit a customized schedule to follow. Some types of programmable thermostats are even wifi-compatible and give you the ability to check your home’s temperature and adjust your thermostat from wherever you are.

Your Air Conditioning Unit’s Manual: Your Go-To Guide for Information

Of course, air conditioners can vary greatly, depending on what type you have, when it was made, and what specific model you have installed in your home. That’s why it’s important to know what specific model you have and to check the manual whenever you’re in doubt about details concerning your unit. We’ve covered the main parts of your air conditioner, but there are also other various sensors and parts that make your system whole so it’s important to call in a professional HVAC technician whenever you’re uncertain about what’s going on with your particular air conditioning unit.

If you have any questions about your air conditioning unit, please contact us at Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning.

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