Your air conditioner is an important part of your home or office, and it can be a lifesaver during those steamy summer months. But if you’ve never taken care of an air conditioner before, then you’re probably wondering, what are the basics of air conditioning care? This is a great question to ask! Without proper care and routine maintenance, your air conditioner will become clogged, damaged, and eventually break down completely (and at the worst possible time)!
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So then, what are the basics of air conditioning care? How can I make sure my air conditioner is functioning properly year-round? Let’s break it down.
Air conditioning works by removing heat and humidity from the air in a room and replacing it with cool, dehumidified air. This process is accomplished using a refrigeration cycle that involves four main components: the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and expansion valve.
The compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant gas and sending it to the condenser, where it is condensed into a liquid by releasing heat to the outside air. The liquid refrigerant then flows through the expansion valve, where it undergoes a pressure drop and becomes a cool gas. This cool gas flows through the evaporator, where it absorbs heat and humidity from the air in the room. The now-warm refrigerant gas is then sent back to the compressor to repeat the cycle.
The cool, dehumidified air is distributed throughout the room by a system of ducts and vents. The temperature and humidity of the air can be controlled by adjusting the thermostat, which signals the air conditioning system to turn on or off as needed.
Like any mechanical system, air conditioners require regular maintenance to ensure they are running efficiently and reliably. Without proper maintenance, an air conditioner can become less efficient, consume more energy, and eventually break down altogether.
On average, you need to have your air conditioner inspected by a professional at least once per year. Some units may require more checkups than annual maintenance, especially if they are small units or have been damaged in the past. Keep up with your regular air conditioning maintenance, and you’ll never have to worry about your unit breaking down unexpectedly in the middle of a dry Colorado summer!
One of the most important aspects of air conditioning maintenance is keeping the air filter clean. The air filter is responsible for removing dust, dirt, and other particles from the air before it is cooled and distributed throughout the room. If the filter becomes clogged, the air conditioner has to work harder to circulate air, which can reduce its efficiency and increase energy consumption. It is recommended that air filters be changed at least once every three months, although more frequent changes may be necessary if you have pets, allergies, or live in a dusty environment.
Other maintenance tasks include checking the refrigerant level, inspecting electrical connections, and lubricating moving parts. It is recommended that air conditioning systems be serviced by a professional at least once a year to ensure they are running optimally.
So, what are the basics of air conditioning care? It all starts with proper understanding of your unit and knowing when it’s time to get your unit looked at!
Even with proper maintenance, air conditioners can sometimes break down or malfunction. Some common signs that your air conditioner may need repairs include:
If you notice any of these signs or suspect that your air conditioner isn’t functioning properly, it’s best to speak with an HVAC professional right away. Contact us today to speak with one of our HVAC professionals about your unit, and we’ll help you set up a maintenance schedule that works best for you!