Just as you rely on your air conditioner to keep your home cool in the summer, the system depends on you to function properly, and this is where air conditioner maintenance comes in.
Everyone in the heating and cooling business stresses the importance of regular maintenance, how it can improve a system's efficiency and save money. However, unless you understand exactly how your air conditioning system works and why it needs attention now and then, chances are you will continue to neglect the unit’s maintenance.
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Maybe one of the most important parts of an air conditioner, the one needing periodical cleaning or replacement, is its air filter. To understand its importance, you need to understand the basics of air conditioning and how the system works. That is where the following information should come in handy.
How Air Conditioners Work
The goal of an air conditioner is to:
- Maintain adequate air humidity
- Provide adequate ventilation continuously
- Free the air from dust, soot, microorganisms and any foreign particles
- Provide cool indoor air during the hot seasons
The air conditioner blows cool air inside your home. To cool the air, it pulls the heat out of it and blows it over the evaporator coil, which is, in fact, a set of cold pipes. The process is similar to that of water evaporation on your skin.
- The Evaporator Coil - The pipes of the evaporator coil are filled with refrigerant, a liquid that turns into gas while absorbing air heat. It is pumped to the outside unit of the air conditioning, to a second coil, where it releases heat and returns to its liquid form. This second coil, placed outdoors, is referred to as the condenser because it condenses the refrigerant, just like moisture condensates on cold surfaces.
- Refrigerant - The refrigerant is moved between the evaporator and condenser coil with the help of a pump, also known as a compressor. The compressor also adjusts refrigerant pressure, thus ensuring that the evaporation and condensation of the refrigerant take place in the dedicated coils.
- The Air Conditioner Motor - The motor running the compressor uses energy required for all these processes. Because of this, the air conditioning system typically gives about three times more cooling power than what the compressor uses. It happens because the refrigerant evaporation and condensation allow the system to move more energy than what the compressor can use.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how air conditioners work and its main components, we can move on to the air filters.
How Air Filters Work
Almost all air conditioners have an air filter located upstream of the evaporator coil. The filter is usually located in the duct system's slots or the return grill and resembles a folded sheet of paper, looking quite fuzzy.
The purpose of the filter is to remove any particles in the air stream and thus keep both the system and the air indoors clean. As the air conditioner works, more and more particles load the filter. The capacity increases the efficiency of the filter, but reduces airflow and takes its toll on the air conditioner.
Why Air Conditioner Maintenance and Filter Changing Is Important
It is important that the air filters be replaced periodically. The frequency of the replacement is usually determined by the filter's dimension and by the quality (cleanliness) of the air. Without timely filter changes, the air flow is reduced, and the system's performance decreases.
Dirty Filters Can Have A Reverse Effect
Thus, the device starts consuming more energy than it used to, and your energy bills rise. The whole system could be in danger, if measures to restore its proper functioning, like scheduling regular ac maintenance, are not taken. More than that, dirty filters can turn into a source of pollution themselves.
Having No Filter Can Lead To Expensive Repairs
While removing the air filter may seem like a solution for reduced air flow, specialists warn that it would cause even more damage. The dirt and particles that would have been eliminated by the filter will accumulate on the evaporator coil and cause its failure, leading to much higher costs than a simple filter replacement.
Thus, regular air filter changes are an excellent way to save money on electricity and reduce air conditioner repair costs, also ensuring cooler and cleaner air in your home.
Regular Maintenance Check-Ups Can Save You From Costly Future Repairs
That is where routine air conditioner maintenance comes in, and homeowners have two options: replacing the filters themselves or turning to professional services. The replacement should be left to professionals because they can easily find matching filters at affordable prices and ensure faultless installation. While they’re changing the filter, they can also check and maintain the entire air system.
Another maintenance routine that should be scheduled periodically involves brushing off dirt and obstructions affecting the drains and the coils when the cooling season begins. Both methods are included in the regular maintenance packages provided by most HVAC companies, so it is all a matter finding the right service provider.
At The Cooling Company, we have affordable air conditioner maintenance packages and a 24/7 emergency service in place, so you’ll receive not only efficient and affordable service but also peace of mind.
Call us now at (702) 567-0707 or schedule an inspection of your air conditioner and your worries related to its proper functioning or air filters performance will be history!