Savannah, GA air conditioning repair and installation can help keep your home cool.
Air Conditioning Repair & Installation
Frequently Asked Questions About Residential Air Conditioning Systems
Clients come to us to get information about air conditioners. Listed below are eight of the most popular questions we are asked by Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island homeowners:
HOW DOES AIR CONDITIONING WORK?
Air conditioners circulate chilled air throughout your Savannah, Georgia or Hilton Head Island home. This is accomplished via a system of air ducts. Refrigerant travels between the indoor and outdoor units of your AC. When liquid refrigerant turns into a gas, it absorbs heat. The warmth from your home is thereby removed from the air, transported to the outdoor unit condenser coil and released.
HOW DOES AN AIR CONDITIONER COOL INDOOR AIR?
A fan circulates warm indoor air over the AC evaporator coils. Compounds in the refrigerant turn into a gas and absorb heat. That causes the temperature in the room to drop. After the refrigerant turns into a gas, it cannot absorb any additional heat. Instead, it must travel to the outdoor unit condenser coil where it expels heat and is returned to its liquid form.
The outdoor unit of your air conditioner houses a condenser coil and a compressor. Compressors are basically electric pumps that pressurize the gas that’s inside the condenser coils. Heat from your home in the form of gas is transported to the outdoor unit and pushed through the compressor. subjected to high pressure, the gas from the refrigerant condenses into a liquid and releases heat. The liquid drains out of the system via the condensate drain pan and the condensate drain pipe. Meanwhile, a blower fan moves heat away from the condenser coils.
Air conditioners work like refrigerators. They create coolness in one place and will move it to another place. A blower fan forces cooled air into your ductwork and through the vents to cool off individual rooms, A thermostat controls how much cool air is produced and distributed throughout your home. Thermostats monitor indoor temperatures and by turning off and on, they maintain a consistent indoor temperature throughout your home that matches the thermostat setting.
When the thermostat setting calls for more cool air to maintain a given indoor temperature, the air handler pulls in air from the individual rooms via the return air vents. That air is pushed through a filter that traps debris, particles, dust, and dirt that’s present in the air. Your air conditioner may be equipped with a filter drier. Filter driers act as filters as well as driers. They prevent impurities like acid, contaminants, moisture, and wax from getting into the refrigerant and circulating inside the cooling system.
An expansion valve determines how quickly the liquid refrigerant returns to the evaporator coils.
When it does return to the evaporator, the cooling cycle repeats itself.
AC is powered by electricity. The longer an air conditioner runs, the more electricity it consumes. The goal for homeowners who want to save money is to generate as much cooled air as possible whenever the unit is running. Industry studies show that you can cut HVAC operating costs by as much as 40 percent when you schedule AC maintenance every spring. AC maintenance maximizes AC efficiency. The more efficient the air conditioner, the more cooled air you’ll get for your money and the more money you’ll save on energy bills.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY AIR CONDITIONER IS BROKEN?
Here are some common signs that your cooling system is broken and needs air conditioning repair. If you notice any of these problems, call for AC repair immediately. Some of these issues can cause widespread damage to your system if they’re not addressed early on:
Won’t turn on
Blows warm air
Makes unusual noises
Doesn’t maintain or match the thermostat setting
Puddles around the indoor unit
Frozen evaporator coil
Unusually high electric bills
Poor air flow
High indoor humidity
The fan stops blowing
WHAT DOES A TECHNICIAN LOOK FOR DURING AN INSPECTION?
Air conditioner maintenance is performed in early spring. During an air conditioner tune-up, your service technician will thoroughly inspect the unit for safety issues and for operational integrity. If there are any irregularities that could cause trouble in the future, you’ll be able to correct those issues now instead of waiting until they get out of hand.
It’s important to perform air conditioning repairs promptly. AC problems only get worse if you ignore them. Performing a simple repair now saves you the expense of having to perform a major repair later.
Industry research shows that having your air conditioner serviced every year can prevent up to 95 percent of breakdowns and air conditioner repairs.
WHICH TASKS WILL A TECHNICIAN PERFORM DURING A MAINTENANCE VISIT?
An air conditioner tuneup should include deep cleaning of the unit in addition to all of the following services:
Check thermostat for accuracy
Calibrate all controls
Lubricate moving parts
Check and clean the condensate drain line and drain pan
Measure motor current and voltage
Tighten electrical connections
Check AC startup and shutdown cycles
Check refrigerant level and adjust if necessary
Thoroughly clean the unit
Change the air filter
Check ductwork for leaks
A ductwork inspection is optional and should be performed every several years.
In between annual air conditioning maintenance visits, change your filter every 30 to 90 days. The outdoor unit should be kept clean and free of debris.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT AIR CONDITIONER FOR MY HOME?
The most popular AC choices include central air conditioning and ductless mini-split air conditioners. Central systems cool your entire home via a system of ductwork. If you want central air conditioning and your home lacks ductwork, you will have to install it. Mini-split systems cool individual rooms or zones. Ductless air conditioners are highly efficient and do not rely on ducts.
When it comes to a new AC installation, accurate sizing and proper installation are key. Aks your HVAC contractor to perform a Manual J load calculation to ensure that the system will be correctly sized. Also, ensure that your contractor is licensed to perform air conditioner installation in your state.
If energy efficiency is important to you, look for a system with a higher SEER rating. Seer ratings start at 13 or 14 and go up to 26 for maximum efficiency.
WHY IS MY AIR CONDITIONER RUNNING CONTINUOUSLY OR CONSTANTLY TURNING OFF AND ON?
This is called short cycling. The most common reason for short cycling is an oversized air conditioner. However, there are other reasons why your system could be doing this. Here are the most common reasons for short cycling:
Clogged air filter
Frozen evaporator coils
Dirty evaporator or condenser coils
WHY DOES MY AIR CONDITIONER HAVE A FOUL ODOR?
Unpleasant and musty odors wafting from your air supply vents usually mean one of three things:
The condensate drain line is clogged, and the drain pan has become slimy with bacteria.
your ductwork is polluted with dust, moisture, mildew, mold, and bacteria.
Your evaporator coil is coated with mold and bacteria.
Foul odors can be prevented with annual air conditioner maintenance.
WHY IS MY AIR CONDITIONER LEAKING?
If moisture is puddling around your indoor unit, it signifies a water leak or a refrigerant leak. Both situations require AC repair on the double. Refrigerant leaks pose a health hazard. Water leaks can destroy your HVAC equipment and cause extensive damage to your property.
Air conditioner water leaks are usually caused by one of three things:
The condensate drain line is clogged.
The evaporator coils are frozen. this is usually caused by a clogged air filter. The refrigerant flowing through the evaporated coils requires sufficient air flow to absorb heat. A dirty filter obstructs the flow of air. Because air cannot pass through the filter, the coils freeze up and your air conditioner develops leaks.
The condensate drain pan is cracked or missing. If there’s a problem with your AC drain pan or if the drain pan is missing, water will collect on the floor because there’s nowhere else for it to go.
Your AC might also have dirty evaporator coils, a broken blower motor or insufficient refrigerant. If your air conditioner has any of the problems listed above and they go untreated, your system could be ruined and your property could be damaged. Your cooling system will eventually blow only warm air or no air at all. That could lead to compressor damage.
Never operate an air conditioner with frozen evaporator coils. Newer air conditioners come with a feature that turns the air conditioner off automatically if it should ever ice up.
To learn more about how residential cooling systems work in Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, visit our website or call us directly.
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