9 Things to Know about Air Conditioning
A lot of homes situated in warm or hot climates now have air conditioning
of some kind or another, but for some people, air conditioning can be more of a luxury than a necessity. Due to the fact that air conditioning can be expensive to install and run, it is important that you understand the full facts about air conditioning, so that you can use it and care for it properly. In this article, we will take a look at the 10 most important things to know about air conditioning, from the basics to more in-depth analysis of how it operates, and how you can get the most out of your air conditioning system.
1. Air Conditioning Basics
The invention of air conditioning is credit to a G. B. Wilson, who first patented his ideas in 1908. His idea was to be able to control heat and humidity levels on a constant basis throughout all parts of a building, as well as being able to supply an adequate and constant level of ventilation, whilst at the same time, removing harmful particles and micro-organisms from the air. The device should also be able to heat a building during the colder months, as well as not being too costly to install and run on a daily basis.
2. How it Works
Basically, an air conditioning unit is used to remove warm air from inside a building whilst replacing it with cooler and fresher air. This is achieved by moving the warm air across cold pipes, which is known as the evaporator coil, which is filled with a refrigerant. This refrigerant begins as a liquid, but it turns to gas when it absorbs warm air, this air is then passed over a condenser coil, where it cools and becomes liquid once more. The refrigerant is moved between the two coils by a pump known as the compressor.
3. A Ton of Cooling
Prior to the invention of air conditioning, the only cooling method was to use large blocks of ice, but when air conditioning units came in to use, they rated their cooling capacity by the equivalent amount of ice that could melt in a day, and this is where the term ‘ton’ came from.
4. What can go wrong?
As opposed to furnaces, the average air conditioning unit is a complex system, which depends on a lot of different conditions in order to work properly. They are designed to meet a specific ‘load’, contain a specific amount of refrigerant, which is known as the ‘charge’, and they are designed to allow a certain amount of air flow between the two coils. If any of these things alter, then things can go wrong.
5. Why the Filters?
Nearly all air conditioning units and system are fitted with a filter near to the evaporator coil, and usually it takes the appearance of a felt or folded piece of paper. This filter is there to help with the removal of dust and other particles from the air, but as it gets used more often, so more and more particles become attached. When a filter becomes too clogged with particles, this can affect the airflow, and eventually, this will impact on the performance of the air conditioning unit. Therefore, it is important to replace the filter on a regular basis.
6. Maintaining the System
Regular maintenance of the system needs the help of a professional, although filter changing can often be done by the owner without too many problems. However, if you notice that your air conditioning is not cooling as well as before, this could be a sign of low coolant levels or another more serious problem, such as damaged duct work or coil and airflow problems.
7. Don’t Duct the Issue
One reason why your air conditioning may not be performing well is because of duct leakage. The problem with duct leakage is that it can waste as much as 40% of the energy used by an air conditioning system. Fixing leaky ducts, or insulating ducts that are outside, can give you as much as half a ton extra cooling capacity, which can help to lower costs dramatically.
8. Being more Energy Efficient
Even though fixing leaky ducts can be the biggest energy saver, there are other ways in which you can lower the amount of energy that your air conditioning unit uses. Replacing dirty and clogged filters, maintaining coolant levels and airflow, as well as keeping the coils clean, are all ways in which you can save energy.
9. Don’t Ignore Ventilation
As well as being able to cool the air (or heat it) air conditioning is also about proper ventilation. Inadequate ventilation can cause particles to remain in the building, which can cause health problems, so it is important that your air conditioning system is well ventilated.
For advice on finding the ideal air conditioning unit for your circumstance please contact us at Aircon 247.