Sunday, August 3, 2014

AC Not Working? Some Points for Troubleshooting

Has your AC ever failed you on a hot summer day? Maybe it simply won’t turn on, or only warm air comes out, or the fan runs but the compressor isn’t working. You check the switches, the filters and even the thermostat setting, but still nothing works. Is it time to call an air conditioning repair service?

How Does an Air Conditioning Unit Work?

Your AC uses refrigeration to chill indoor air. The process is called “phase conversion”, where a liquid is converted into a gas in a process that absorbs heat. The heat is absorbed from hot air, leaving only cool air behind. Air conditioners exploit the process by forcing special chemical compounds, called refrigerants, to evaporate and condense in an absolute manner in a closed system of coils.

The Hardware

The conventional AC has four major parts: an evaporator, a compressor, an expansion valve, and a condenser. The evaporator is located on the “cold side” of an air conditioning unit. It is placed over a set of chilled coils where the AC refrigerant expands into gas, which is what makes cold air that is blown out of the AC. The refrigerant comes in from the “hot side”, which contains the compressor, the expansion valve, and the condenser. While the evaporator is the part where the refrigerant turns into gas and makes air cool, the condenser, compressor, and expansion valve work together to ensure the refrigerant turns back into liquid; the heat generated from the process results in hot air that is blown out of the other side of the AC system. Filters and fans keep air moving through the unit while keeping dirt out, and moisture pans collect any water that is removed from humid air flowing through the AC.

The Usual Suspects

The most common air conditioning problem is improper operation; when your unit is on just make sure to close all doors and windows. Inadequate maintenance is also a factor; we may not admit it but we tend to neglect our unit. And clogged drainage occurs if the unit is not properly mounted at an acceptable level. These issues are not focused on a specific group; it can happen to anybody’s unit. When the problem is beyond your scope, better call an air conditioning repair service to address the matter.

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