Air Conditioning 101: What Homeowners Should Know About Air Conditioning Services | Mansfield, Tx
Photo By CAP53 at istock
Did you know that by properly insulating your home’s doors and windows, you could potentially reduce the energy consumption of your heating and air conditioning system by 25 percent?
The HVAC unit consists of many parts that work in tandem to regulate indoor temperatures and maintain good indoor air quality. These components, including the furnace, thermostat, condenser units, evaporator coils, heat exchanger, and ductwork, require maintenance every once to guarantee seamless operation during the summer or winter.
Homeowners should schedule an air conditioning service at least once every year, particularly during spring. Additionally, it’s recommended that you perform housekeeping tasks regularly to ensure the system works smoothly all year round.
However, the most amicable way of ensuring that your HVAC system works efficiently is by understanding the intricacies surrounding the unit’s functionality. Below is an in-depth look into the components mentioned above, how these components function, the types of cooling systems, and how to tell when you need an air conditioning service.
Parts of an Air Conditioning Unit
The air conditioning unit plays a crucial role in maintaining favorable indoor temperatures for homeowners in Mansfield, TX, and beyond. The unit fulfills this objective by actively monitoring and adjusting indoor temperatures via the thermostat. It has air filters that remove airborne particles from the unconditioned air.
Air conditioners act as dehumidifiers since water is an essential factor in relative humidity. By reducing the temperature of a specific volume of humid air, for instance, in one of your home rooms, they cause that air to release some moisture. That’s why these systems have drains and moisture-collecting pans to discharge water when they operate during humid conditions.
Other vital components manage the refrigerant and facilitate conditioned air movement outside your home. These components include the:
- Expansion valve
On the cold side of the air conditioning unit, there’s the evaporator that blows unconditioned air over the chilled coils and into the room. The hot side contains the condenser, compressor, and another fan whose purpose is to move the hot air originating from the refrigerant outside.
Between these two components is the expansion valve that regulates how much liquid refrigerant gets into the evaporator. Once the refrigerant is inside the evaporator, a pressure drop causes it to expand and change into a gaseous state. The compressor, a sizable electric pump, pressurizes the gaseous refrigerant to aid in returning it into liquid form. Even though there are numerous timers, sensors, and valves within an AC unit, the evaporator, condenser, and compressor handle the air conditioning process bulk.
Although this is the conventional setup for most heating and air conditioning units, there are a few exceptions you should know about based on the type of cooling system your home has.
For instance, in window air conditioning units, air conditioning service experts mount the above components into a small metal box that opens into an opening on the window; in this setup, when hot air vents from the back of the unit, the condenser and fan condition recirculate the indoor air.
On the other hand, more sophisticated AC systems share a thermostat with the home’s heating system. The hot side and the condenser and compressor are located outside in an all-weather housing compartment in such units.
Types of Air Conditioning Systems:
Even though air conditioners are collectively categorized with heating units, the cooling process is more complicated than heating. This is mainly because coolers or AC units utilize energy to heat away hence causing the cooling effect. Depending on your HVAC unit’s type, the system’s process to achieve this effect differs significantly. For instance, the most common AC system uses a compressor cycle to instigate indoor temperature change. That aside, first-time homeowners can opt for the following types of cooling systems.
Central Air Conditioner
For starters, the popular type of AC is the central air conditioner, which uses a pervasive duct network to distribute conditioned air into all the rooms of your home. These units are made of two parts, containing the condenser and compressor, located outside while the other, harboring the evaporator coil, can be found inside the house.
The two pieces are interlinked through refrigerant lines. To ensure these systems are working optimally, your trusted air conditioning service provider should conduct a comprehensive load assessment to determine the AC size appropriate for your home.
Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioners
This system is ideal for home and apartment dwellers. Like central air conditioners, they have indoor and outdoor units that work together to cool your home. However, ductless systems are much faster to install and require less space inside the house.
They comprise indoor air handlers that an air conditioning service technician can mount on your home walls or ceilings. The benefits of using these systems include smoother and quieter operation and evenly distributed temperature and zoned temperature control.
Also, they allow you to save a few dollars off your energy utility bill. This is because the conditioner’s units are conveniently located in individual rooms; hence, you can switch them off when not in use. This characteristic also allows individual family members to set their room temperatures according to their liking.
It’s an alternative to the ductless and central air conditioner. During the cold-weather season, heat pumps extract water from the air, and in the case of geothermal pumps from the ground, for redistribution into your home.
Conversely, they work in reverse during the summer and extract heat from the house and move it outside. Their ease of operation makes these systems an excellent energy-efficient air conditioning choice.
Evaporative Air Conditioners
First-time or existing homeowners looking to replace their AC may want to consider evaporative air conditioners. Otherwise known as swamp coolers, they are less prevalent than refrigerant air conditioners. Regardless, air conditioning service experts claim that they’re a cost-effective and energy-efficient cooling option.
Working best in hot, dry climates, swamp coolers use a fan to draw in unconditioned air and pass it through moist pads that cool it through evaporation. The cooled air is then circulated throughout the house. Swamp coolers produce an atmosphere that’s 20 to 30 degrees cooler.
How Air Conditioning Units Work
Many people may have difficulty explaining exactly how air conditioning units achieve the cooling effect when asked. Some may suggest it does so by creating cold air.
However, AC units don’t create warm air but remove the heat from inside your home and transfer it outdoors. This heat transfer is facilitated by a special liquid known as the refrigerant that serves as the cooling agent. It’s contained in the coils running through the enclosed system, and their primary function is to ferry the refrigerant from your home to the outside units and then back inside.
The refrigerant is manipulated to reject or absorb heat at a specific point through stations such as condensers, compressors, and evaporators.
On the first step of the cooling process, the evaporator coil absorbs the heat. Warm air from within your Mansfield, TX, home is absorbed through vents and later blown on the cold evaporator coils. The evaporator, located inside the house, absorbs the heat from the air hence cooling it. The air moves into the air ducts network through a fan that facilitates air distribution throughout your house. When the refrigerant absorbs the unconditioned air’s heat, it changes into a gaseous state and continues to follow the compressor’s loop system.
After that, the compressor raises the refrigerant temperature by squeezing the gas tightly between a couple of solid objects, thus reducing the gas’ volume.
The refrigerant reaches the condenser as a superheated vapor and gets exposure to the outside air, which absorbs the refrigerant’s heat, lowers its temperature and ultimately reverts its state from a liquid into a gaseous state.
Finally, once the now gaseous refrigerant has gone back into the evaporator coil, the process repeats time and again until your home reaches the desired temperature.
For this process to remain effective, your system may need an air conditioning service every once in a while. Here’s how to know when the time for completing the air conditioning maintenance routine has arrived.
Signs That You Need a Comprehensive Air Conditioning Service:
As a homeowner, you should know the warning signs that the air conditioning unit system needs repair. A few common symptoms are across all households that could denote the need for an immediate and professional air conditioning service are discussed below:
If your AC unit is having problems achieving or maintaining the cooling effect you may desire, it could mean you have a damaged condenser or significant refrigerant leak. At other times, you may find it difficult to adjust the indoor temperatures to the levels you prefer. This could indicate a problem with the thermostat.
Some thermostat issues may be relatively easy to determine. For instance, you may set the thermostat at 70 degrees only to find that the actual room temperature may be off by almost 10 degrees.
On the other hand, thermostat issues may be incognito, such that you may not notice that your home has different temperature zones. Regardless, a knowledgeable air conditioning service technician can quickly identify and fix all the above issues during AC maintenance routines.
Another sign of trouble can be identified by warm air blowing out of the AC. This problem is commonly attributed to thermostat issues. However, upon checking the thermostat and you realize that the unit’s still blowing warm air, you need to contact an HVAC professional near Mansfield, TX as soon as possible.
Your technician may tell you that the problem lies within the unit’s compressor. The compressor, located inside the outdoor heating and air conditioning unit, is responsible for circulating the refrigerant throughout the air conditioning coils to produce the cold air.
Warm air coming out of your vents indicates that your company may have a refrigerant leak, preventing the warm air from cooling down. Luckily, this is an issue a certified AC maintenance technician can resolve without much ado.
Restricted airflow could also mean that your home requires an air conditioning service. When the air pressure from the vents is substantially low, it affects your home’s cooling process. Due to the low pressure, air may fail to sufficiently circulate within all the rooms of your house, thereby resulting in reduced comfort as time passes.
According to air conditioning service professionals, this could be indicative of a ductwork problem. In other cases, the problem could also be a malfunctioning compressor.
Such issues warrant you to seek an AC technician’s services to evaluate the problem and provide practical solutions. Failure to seek such services makes the unit work harder to obtain the ideal temperature, leading to further damage.
Air conditioning service experts also advise homeowners in Mansfield, TX, to look out for small puddles or moisture patterns that could be forming on the side of their units. They recommend the immediate reporting of such issues since moisture occurring under such circumstances provides a fertile environment for mold growth.
Mold poses a serious risk to your well-being and that of your household members. It’s known to cause skin rashes, colds, coughing, and even chronic lung infections. Heating and cooling experts often attribute leaks from the AC system to clogging in the drain tube.
Also, they suggest that moisture formation around the unit could be as a result of refrigerant leaks. Regardless, this problem requires the immediate attention of a heating and air conditioning services expert who can identify and fix leaks and clogs with ease.
An optimally functioning AC unit should stay on for a certain period then go into rest mode once the desired temperature is achieved. During the warm seasons, this cycle can be expected more frequently. However, this doesn’t normalize an air conditioning system that goes on and off more times than typically expected. This could be due to wear and tear, an issue that a trusted air condition service professional can resolve by installing a replacement upon request or implementing component upgrades.
Either way, frequent short cycles can take a toll on your home’s unit, causing further damages, which can be quite costly to resolve in posterity.
Observing even one of these signs should warrant you to book an appointment with an air conditioning service provider of your choice.
A Trusted Air Condition Service Provider
Are you looking for air conditioner services? Our technicians at Minuteman Heating and Air in Mansfield, TX will help. They ensure that your home is cozy and warm by providing a full suite of exceptional air conditioning services. Our company focuses on AC installation and replacement and ensures the unit operates smoothly throughout the year through routine maintenance. Minuteman Heating and Air also provide AC repair services focusing on frozen evaporator coils, blocked condensers, and leaking ducts. Give us a buzz for quality air conditioning services.