An air conditioner cleans, circulates, cools and dehumidifies (removes undesirable moisture from) indoor air. A filter cleans the air by trapping dust and other small particles. An air handler (blower built into the system) circulates it, while the cooling and dehumidifying are accomplished by a process called refrigeration.
Refrigeration. Refrigeration cools a home by transferring heat inside a home to the outdoors. All central air conditioners employ two main units in this process – the indoor unit and the condensing unit.
The indoor unit. This unit removes undesirable indoor warmth and humidity. It includes the filter, the air handler and the evaporator coil. The air handler blows filtered air through the evaporator coil.
The evaporator coil is kept cold by the circulation of a substance called a refrigerant. Air that travels across the evaporator coil gives up heat (the colder coil absorbs it) and humidity (moisture condenses upon contact with the cold surface of the coil).
The cooler, drier air that continues through the air ducts is vented throughout your home to maintain your desired comfort level. Depending on the structure of your home, the ductwork may be above the ceiling or below the floor.
The condensing unit. Outdoors, at the condensing unit, an air conditioner releases the heat that was captured indoors. The same refrigerant that absorbed the heat indoors at low pressure is now pressurized – by the compressor – and is circulated through another coil, the condensing coil.
In the condensing coil, under high pressure, the refrigerant releases its heat very quickly, making the coil itself hot. A fan blows across the coil, cooling its temperature down and transferring the heat to the outside air.
The best ones are efficient, operating on minimal electricity to hold utility bills down. They provide steady, dependable performance year after year when properly maintained. Good systems are quiet, long-lasting and low in service needs.
Obviously, an air conditioner that’s too small won’t keep your home sufficiently cool. But what many don’t realize is that an oversized system will cycle (turn on and off) more than necessary, wasting expensive energy and possibly putting undue strain on the compressor. A-1 Heat & Air will determine the optimum size for your home by making a careful study of your cooling requirements. Window dimensions and exposure. Floor space, insulation and local climate. Heat-generating appliances. The direction your home faces. Even the amount of your home’s exterior shaded by trees.
We’ll specify the cooling capacity of the system in either Btu/h (British thermal units of heat removed per hour) or refrigeration tons (one ton being equal to 12,000 Btu/h).
Much like automobile manufacturers, today’s air conditioner manufacturers are required by law to evaluate and rate their equipment according to its energy efficiency. This rating is known in the industry as a SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment.
Most new homes with central air come equipped with a standard builder’s model. However, when replacement becomes necessary, property owners can upgrade their air conditioning by specifying a more energy-efficient system.
High SEER models are generally more expensive, but can easily make up the difference by reducing your home energy bills over the long run.
Preferably auto. That way, the fan operates only when the temperature requires it. This is the most used and the most efficient setting. However, there are advantages to using the “on” setting. Air is constantly filtered through the unit’s air filter, and the constantly circulating air results in an even temperature throughout the house.
Yes. However, we recommend that plants be no closer than 18 inches to the unit. This allows for plenty of room for air circulation in and out of the unit. Without this room for air circulation, the unit could overheat, resulting in a premature need for service.
Yes. Air conditioning and heating units are designed to operate as a complete, matched system. The efficiency rating is based on the entire system. Replacing the entire system ensures the system will be reliable and efficient.
A split system uses indoor and outdoor components to provide a complete home comfort system. A package unit or self-contained unit requires no external coils, air handlers, or heating units.
There are several reasons for an air conditioning system to freeze up and they are ALL related to a lack of maintenance. Air conditioning coil freeze up is caused by a lack of airflow or a lack of refrigerant (FREON). Both of these conditions are easily and routinely found on a service check. A-1 Heat & Air will make sure airflow passages are free and that you are refrigerant (FREON) charge is up to standard.