Don’t let the summer heat get you down.
When the thermostat outside is nearing triple digits, we need to make sure our air conditioning will be running with ease. Our homes are a sanctuary against boiling summers, but if we aren’t taking the necessary steps with professional air conditioning maintenance services, our sanctuary could turn into a sauna. When we think “professional,” we should think about Home Comfort USA and their all-star technicians.
How Does an Air Conditioner Work?
It’s like magic until you understand how it operates.
Most households have HVAC units. The term HVAC can be confusing because it makes it sound like our heating and cooling systems are one and the same, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The only similarity between how you heat your home in the winter and cool it during the summer is the ductwork. Everything else plays for the heating team or the cooling team, not both.
Our air conditioner’s work begins outside with the condensing unit (that box outside your house). The condensing unit consists of five C’s:
- Cooling fins
- Condenser coils
- Condenser fan and motor
- Coolant (or Freon)
The cagey appearance on the outside is where the unit’s cooling fins reside. When operating properly, the condenser fan draws the outside air in through the cooling fins.
Inside the condenser unit, the compressor turns the unit’s coolant from a gaseous state to a hot liquid state and sends it through the condenser coils. The condenser coils wrap their way around the entire perimeter (except at the top) of the condensing unit just behind the cooling fins.
The liquid coolant cools down as it travels through the condenser coils and is given an assist by the cooler outside air brought in by the condenser fan. As the heat dissipates through the coils, the condenser fan blows the heat back out into the open air through the top of the condensing unit.
After the coolant winds its way through the condenser coils, it makes its way inside the home to the evaporator coils where it turns back into a gas and is sent back to the compressor outside. The cycle continues as the air conditioning unit is running.
The second part of a common air conditioning system consists of the:
- Evaporator Coils
- Drip Pan
- Air Filter
- Air Ducts
When the liquid coolant runs through the evaporator coils, the warm air inside our homes is drawn over them. Some of the warm air contacts the much cooler evaporator coils, condensates, and collects into the furnace’s drip pan, which sends the water through a drain and out of the house. The air that doesn’t condensate, cools down and is sent through the duct system back into our main living areas—cooling the house down.
The cool air circulates through the house, warms, and is drawn back into the furnace through the vents near the ceiling. The house’s warm air is drawn into the furnace with the help of a fan and passes through a filter that collects dust and debris.
Understanding how our air conditioning units work is important. On the one hand, it allows us to communicate more effectively with professional technicians if we need our systems diagnosed. On the other, we can often identify the cause of some problems without needing to call a professional.
If our filters need to be changed, we can certainly take care of that ourselves. However, there are many issues we should absolutely leave to trustworthy professionals like those at Home Comfort USA.
What Needs to Be Maintained on Our Air Conditioning Systems?
Everything in due time and the team at Home Comfort USA can do it all.
Air conditioning units are so ubiquitous across the United States, we don’t often consider how much ingenuity goes into these comfort-providing systems. Thankfully, we just covered the basics and are better off because of it. Now, how do we make sure our AC units are ready for the dog days of summer?
- Clean the exterior of the condensing unit—it’s as simple as vacuuming debris from the outside with a soft brush hose.
- Straighten the cooling fins—using a butter knife or dull kitchen knife, apply pressure to any fins that are bent or crushed. Don’t insert the knife more than a one-half inch into the fins.
- Remove the fan and wipe down the inside of the condensing unit—be careful not to disturb any wiring.
- Hose down the cooling fins—spray the fins from the inside out.
Now that we have the condensing unit in top shape, let’s clean things up inside the house:
- Check the filter—simple observation is all you’ll need. If you know what filter you use, check online to see how often it should be replaced.
- Vacuum the blower compartment—There will likely be some minor dust that can be cleaned up in no time.
- Bring out the oil can—or a tiny bottle of lubricant. If the motor inside your furnace has lubricant ports, add a few drops into each port and you’ll be good to go.
- Flush out the drain tube—this is the tube that carries the condensation to the drip pan. Pouring a combination of bleach and water (1:16 ratio) will do the trick.
- Pipe clean the drain port—it’s common for some slight debris to collect here.
There’s no shame in lacking confidence in performing these maintenance tasks. The experts at Home Comfort USA are experts because they’ve been extensively trained on how to do all the tasks above.
If you want to make sure your system is running on all cylinders for the summer, give us a call, and we’ll make your system run like new.
Our technicians will assess and clean all of the items listed above plus:
- Perform a heater safety check and an air distribution check
- Test, calibrate, and level the thermostat
- Visually inspect the condenser coils
- Monitor the operating pressures of your coolant
Now is the Time to Call Home Comfort USA
At Home Comfort USA, we want to be your one-stop provider for all things related to your air conditioning system. Whether it’s maintenance, repairs, or installations, we have you covered. We will never sell you something you don’t need, and as you’ve likely noticed across our website, we want you to have the confidence making any easy fixes yourself. We want to save you money every way possible because that’s the kind of service that creates lifelong customers.