Thursday, 9 October 2014

Know Your Air Conditioner

“Why should I know my air conditioner?”

“All I need is cool air inside my home and office and there is a machine that provides just that. Isn’t that enough?”

“I don’t need to know how the stuff works and what is inside it.”

“This knowledge is for the techies! After all they are always there when I need them.”

Do any of these lines sound familiar? Have any of these thoughts come to your mind? If you said yes to even one of them, you must read on.

Everyone likes a peaceful haven that a cool, dry house offers during summer. Like kids and pets, your air conditioner also needs a little love and care. For this, you need to know a little about your air conditioning system. Here are ten most important things you need to know about your air conditioner.
  • Basically, an air conditioner moves the heat from inside your home to the outside. It pulls out the hot air and brings in cool air.
  • There is an evaporator coil which is filled with a liquid known as the refrigerant. This refrigerant changes from liquid to gas in the process of absorbing heat from the air.
  • When you start the air conditioner, the refrigerant is pumped out of the house and into another coil. Here it releases its heat and changes back into its liquid form.
  • The coil that is outside is called the condenser as condensation (cooling of gas and changing into liquid) takes place here, just like moisture that forms on a cold window.
  • The energy for all this activity comes from a pump, the compressor. It provides the energy to move the refrigerant from one coil to the other and change the refrigerant pressure. This is how the refrigerant evaporates or condenses in the coils.
  • All air conditioning systems have a filter upstream of the evaporator coil. The work of this filter is to remove particles from the air stream. This keeps the air conditioner clean and the air indoors also clean.
  • The coils, also called ducts, need to be clog-free. Leakage of the duct can sap 20-40% of the energy from your air conditioner.
  • The thermostat displays the room temperature and a few other adjustments you can make to monitor indoor cooling comfort. A programmable thermostat is very useful as it saves energy. 
  • Your air conditioner needs to be maintained periodically. Filters need to be cleaned and the duct kept free of clogs. Depending on the usage, a service by a professional may be required.
  • Last, but not the least, ensure you have a voltage stabilizer if you live in a hot region. Places with tropical heat typically suffer from power fluctuations. A stabilizer adjusts the flow of energy thereby reducing or increasing it so that the compressor does not get affected.
These air conditioning maintenance tips will help you understand the working of your system. It is a good idea to clean the filters, brush the dirt and obstructions that get caked onto the coils and also clean the drains at the beginning of every warm season.

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