As spring approaches, property owners should start preparing for summer. Each of the seasons presents its own strains on the systems, and summer is no exception. Instead of getting stuck in the hot air wondering where your AC went, educate and prepare yourself while it’s still getting warmer, and then have yourself a cold one—summer, that is.
Ever wonder what’s inside your air conditioner? Air conditioners are loaded with a coolant, a substance that is typically colder at liquid form than water and still cool when heated and brought to a gaseous state. Typically the heating and cooling of these chemicals is done through compression and decompression.
In the past, cooling units used gases known as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). However, CFCs have been scientifically proven to stay trapped in the upper areas of the atmosphere, damaging the Ozone Layer. Now, companies are working towards finding coolants that are safer for the Ozone Layer than standard CFCs.
A history lesson on CFCs – In 1977, the US Government officially banned the production of CFCs. In 1987, an international treaty known as The Montreal Protocol called for worldwide reduction of CFCs. Then, by 1993, the treaty called for a total end to the production of CFCs. So far, over 148 countries have signed onto the Montreal Protocol. Ask one of our technicians what we use instead of CFCs.
It’ll probably help if you know some basics about air conditioning system components. There are many elements within an air conditioner that work together to keep your property cooled. However, there are three major components: the Condenser Coil, the Evaporator Coil and the Compressor.
Let’s discuss how each of these pieces contributes to the system as a whole. As we touch upon each part, we’ll give you some tips to care for them. Take a few hours of your time to use these tips and enjoy the cool benefits all summer long.
The Evaporator Coil is typically attached to the “Air handler,” a device that helps drive air from inside your property into the AC system. In the evaporation coil portion of an air conditioning system, the pressure is greatly reduced on the liquid coolant within the system. As the coolant becomes depressurized, it is able to absorb heat from the surrounding air in the system, cooling it.
Typically, because of the evaporation and condensation process, sediment and dirt will build up on Evaporator Coils over time. This dirt and sediment will clog the system eventually and reduce its potency. Evaporator coils are guarded by a front plate that can usually be removed easily; then, the coils can be cleaned using several different methods, including using a “no rinse” foam cleaner. If this seems overwhelming, contact us at Cold 1 Services immediately!
Your AC’s Condenser is the large fan-based unit that sits outside of a property, and is the component of AC units that many are most familiar with. Compressed gases filled with heat from the air within a property are fed into the condenser. The condenser then allows the gas to condense down to a liquid by cooling it, which releases the heat to the outside air. This whole process is facilitated by the giant fan on the condenser’s system.
Since the Condenser is outside, it’s exposed to the elements all the time, whether it’s being used or not. At the end of the winter, be sure to go out and check your condenser for debris like twigs, branches, leaves, seeds and dirt. If you believe that the problem may lie elsewhere in the condenser, call us today to help at 215.634.0389.
The Compressor is located between the Condenser and Evaporator Coils. This element of the AC system facilitates the compression of the coolant by removing oxygen and other contaminants from the coolant and then expelling the excess gases into the outside air.
The Compressor has many different elements attached to it, including an output where air is expelled from the system. Make sure all of the valves attached to the compressor are not rusted, and are completely free of dust, debris and anything else that may obstruct it. All of the non-breathing elements of the compressor should be tightly sealed with fresh, strong components. On the outside, it’s safe to remove dirt and other debris. However, contents under pressure can be dangerous, and we advise that if you suspect issues with your condenser due to leaking water or the hissing sound of leaking gas, you should contact a specialist from Cold 1 Services as soon as possible.
You might think your AC unit is “cooling your home,” and for all intents and purposes, it is. However, it could more accurately be described as “extracting heat and removing it.” The evaporator, compressor and condenser work together closely to remove heat from your home. We understand these mechanisms and the best ways to service them. Call us today at 215.634.0389 to schedule an appointment and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about your system.