There are 4 main pieces of equipment combined to make an AC work: a. The outdoor unit also called the condenser unit. b. A compressor pump refrigeration, which is inside the condenser. c. The evaporator coil d. The indoor blower motor
The compressor pumps the refrigeration, refrigerant PURON (R-410A)(current standard) or Freon (R-22)(obsolete), carries heat outdoors and then sends cooler outdoor air indoors. Then the blower motor sends the cool air to each room.
2. What is seer and ton?
SEER measures the ratio of cooling capacity to power input. The higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner. Air conditioning tonnage has nothing to do with weight. A ton, as used in the HVAC field, is a term that describes the amount of heat the AC unit can remove from a home in one hour. The measurement for heat is the British thermal unit (BTU). One ton of air conditioning can remove 12,000 BTUs of air per hour. A four ton unit can move 48,000 BTUs and so on. Therefore, the more tonnage an AC unit is rated at, the more air it can cool.
3. How long does a typical air conditioner or furnace last?
Average is 12 to 15 years.
4. Where is my central air conditioner filter?
There are three common locations a filter can be installed:
Inside the air handler: The filter is typically located on the bottom side of the air handler.
Inside the return duct, where the return duct and air handler/furnace is connected.
In the hallway return grill.
5. What does an air filter do?
The refrigeration line filter is used to catch dirt or any material that will damage or block the refrigeration from flowing, in order to allow the compress and refrigeration cycle to work properly.
6. Where are the central air conditioner coils located?
There are two coils: 1. The evaporator coil is located inside the air handler (also called the indoor unit) or located on top of the gas furnace. 2. The condenser coil is located around the outdoor condenser unit.
7. How does a heat pump work?
When it's cold outside a heat pump extracts outside heat and transfers it inside. When it's warm outside, it reverses directions and acts like an air conditioner, removing heat from your home. One advantage of a heat pump is that it moves heat instead of generating heat, giving you more energy efficiency.
8. Can your central AC run without refrigerant (such as Freon, puron)?
No, the compressor will burn out.
9. Does an air cleaner installed on a furnace extend the life of the HVAC system?
In theory, it should extend the life, but if the air cleaner is not kept clean, it will make the life of the unit shorter.
10. Can a dog ruin the outside condenser by repeatedly marking one of the outside corners of the unit? Over the past 2 years, the dog’s urine has caused the fins to corrode through to the condenser coil and caused the unit's coolant to leak.
Yes, dog urine contains lots of acid it will corrode the condenser.
11. Is it possible to have an ac unit with two (2) filter driers?
It is possible, but is not necessary to have more than one (1) filter drier.
12. Is it hard on air conditioner if I turn it off for months at a time?
The AC is designed to be turned on and off anytime during the summer, therefore you can turn it off for a month, or any longer time.
13. Is it more economical to operate the fan on my Ac unit continually or just turn on ceiling fans in the rooms in use?
The ceiling fan is more economical since it only needs 100 watts of power, whereas the AC blower motor needs 400 watts of power.
14. Is it more energy efficient for the air conditioner to come on for short bursts of cooling (running for five to seven minutes at a time) or to come on and stay on for longer periods? How about the wear and tear on the unit as well?
The AC unit works similar to a car, for instance, when you drive inside the city, gas is consumed more than on the high way, because the low gear is used more in the city. When the AC unit compressor starts, it draws about 22,000 watts, but when running it only uses 3,500 watts. Therefore, it is more energy efficient to have the AC run longer periods and the compressor will get less wear and tear.
15. Should I leave interior doors opened or closed during heating or cooling?
It is a good idea to leave interior doors open during heating and cooling to help the air circulation flow better.
16. Can you use central air system to control humidity?
Yes, but you need to add humidistat to monitor or have a thermostat that has humidistat function.
17. Is it better to have a mini-split system or central air system for a Ranch house of 1,800sqft?
One mini-split system can provide air to a maximum of three rooms. If you have more rooms, it is better to have a central air system.
18. is it better to set your thermostat at a certain temperature all the time or use a programmable thermostat in conjunction with the time-of-use price plan?
Both setting your thermostat at a certain temperature all the time and using a programmable thermostat is good for energy savings as long as there is not a big range in temperature throughout the day (no more than 4 to 5 degrees difference). The power company sets different rates at different times of the day and it typically increases starting in the late afternoon. Therefore, if you set your thermostat to a big difference in the beginning of the day when you leave for work, it will be more expensive to change the temperature when you return home at the end of the day.
19. What is a matching system important?
The two components are designed to work together to provide optimal performance, maximum efficiency, and comfort. When a new outdoor condenser is installed, you should install a new, corresponding and equally efficient indoor air handler at the same time. The installation of the two components that are designed to be used together comprises a matching system. A properly sized matched system enables the system to perform as designed, with proper cycle times, the intended humidity control, with the system sound minimized. These features are likely to be lost in a mismatched system. While replacing the outdoor unit only may be appealing to a lower cost, it is likely to cost you more over time. Modern HVAC systems are designed for greater efficiency, the compatible coils and other indoor components are designed to match the technology. The compressor is the costliest component of a modern air conditioning system, and because compressor reliability is extremely dependent upon proper system design and installation, the installation of a new condenser without replacing the existing evaporator coil can result serious issues for your heating and air conditioning system.
20. I want to have an enclosure for my outdoor unit, will it restrict the airflow for outdoor unit? is there anything I should know about?
If the walls can be at least 2 ½ feet away from each side of AC unit, then the air flow won’t be effected. The walls around the AC unit can prevent the AC unit from being damaged or hit by the lawn mower.
21. Are there advantages to shading your outside air-conditioning unit if you provide for proper air circulation?
There are several advantages to shading outside AC unit: 1. Prevents sunlight from directly hitting the AC unit, which helps the AC unit to run more efficiently. 2. Prevents tree leaves from falling into the AC unit. 3. Prevents heavy snow from damaging the AC unit.
22. Should I allow the upstairs to heat up even more during the day and cool the downstairs less at night?
No, it is better to keep upstairs cool during the daytime, and downstairs less cool during the nighttime to save on energy cost and it is better for your system since it’s not working as hard.
23. What is the purpose of auxiliary heat?
To help raise up the room temperature in a short period of time. Also as a backup heat when the outdoor temperature is extremely cool or outdoor unit is under a defrost cycle.
24. How can we improve the efficiency of an existing heating and cooling system without replacing the furnace or the air conditioner and without adding more insulation?
1. Clean the indoor coil entirely. 2. Change the air filter every two months. 3. Close the registers half way for the rooms that don’t need the air, but keep the registers completely open where the thermostat is located.
25. Can someone spraying the water hose do damage to the outdoor AC unit?
It is possible: 1. If the water gets into the AC control board, contactor, control wires, or power wires. 2. The coil can be damaged if the water pressure is high.