Southern Florida’s heat and humidity have you relying on your central air conditioning system to work effectively and efficiently. Air conditioner service is the key to making sure you have cool, dry air when it’s unbearably hot outside.
What is the science behind an air conditioner? How does this system work, and why is air conditioner service so essential?
The Physics Behind Air Conditioning
Here’s a simple experiment that can help you understand how your home’s air conditioning works. Go stand outside in a dry shirt and shorts. How long before you’re feeling very uncomfortable? Now, go inside and dampen your shirt. Go back outside and see how long it is before you’re uncomfortable. You probably found it a lot easier to be outside as the water in your shirt evaporated.
What happens is that the liquid water droplets pull heat from your body as the water evaporates and turns back into a gas. That process of evaporation is also happening within your air conditioning system. All of this work helps cool your home. Here’s the general process.
A central AC system contains interior and exterior units. They’re connected by copper tubing that is filled with refrigerant. That refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas and back. It’s the key to cooling your home.
The outdoor unit contains a fan, compressor, and condenser coil. The copper tubing comes from inside the home to the compressor. As it travels through the compressor, the gas is converted from low-pressure to high-pressure and goes to the condenser coil. Within that coil, refrigerant releases the heat it collected from the interior of the home. A fan blows the hot air into the atmosphere.
Once this process is done, the coolant is now liquid and goes back into the home’s interior unit.
The interior unit has an evaporator coil, fans, and connections to the ducts. One duct is your return and the other is the supply. Return vents are usually larger, while the supplies are smaller and you’ll feel cool air coming from them.
There’s also a thermostat on your wall that tells the AC system what temperature needs to be maintained. Electricals need to be in working order for the signals to make it without any glitches.
As the liquid coolant enters the evaporator coil, it absorbs heat and becomes a low-pressure gas again. To absorb the heat, cooled temperatures from the refrigerant are released. That cooler air is blown into the ducts using the blower fan, and it travels into the home through supply vents.
Hotter air is forced into the return air ducts where it travels through the air filter to remove dust, hair, and other airborne particles. It passes over the evaporator coils where the refrigerant is waiting to capture the heat and return outside to repeat the process.
For all of the different steps to effectively cool the air, the different components need to work together. If even one part fails to do the job correctly, you can end up with a home that’s too hot and humid. Proper AC serving is essential to make sure your system is doing its job.
What Happens During an Air Conditioning Service?
Most expert AC technicians will clean or inspect these nine areas during an air conditioning service.
Check for Leaks
If there is any refrigerant leaking, it’s important that it gets repaired. Not only are leaks harmful to the environment, but they also impact how well your AC system can cool your home. A technician will have to find the leak and troubleshoot why it’s happening.
Inspect the Electricals
When your AC is inspected and cleaned, the system gets shut down. A check of all of the electrical connections is made to ensure everything is tight and makes a good connection.
Clean the Condenser Case and Condenser Coils
The outside components must be cleaned of any debris. If shrubs have gotten too close, they need to be trimmed. The covering over the fan needs to be clear of leaves, branches, twigs, etc. The condenser coils also have to be cleaned. They can get covered in dust and pollen, and that build-up can impact how well the heat is released to the outside air.
Clean the Evaporator Coils
The interior unit has evaporator coils that can get dirty from dust or ice build-up. Those coils should also be kept clean. While using a spray-on cleaner, the technician can clean the coils and inspect them at the same time.
Inspect the Condensate Drain Tube
The interior system has a condensate pan that collects any moisture that drips off the evaporator coils. That pan drains to the outside through a drain tube. If any algae or slime builds up in that tube, it will block the water from flowing and create an overflow of the drain pan.
An AC technician will inspect the drain tube to make sure it’s flowing well. If not, a mixture of white vinegar and hot water can be used to clean it out. Condensate drain pans used to be made of metal, but they could rust. Most of them are plastic now, so they do need to be checked for any cracks or damage.
Check the Blower
The AC system’s blower is responsible for moving the cooled air into the ducts to go to the different rooms in the home. If that blower isn’t working correctly, the air won’t move. It should be kept free of dust and hair. It’s also important to make sure any bolts that secure it in place are tight.
Look at the Ducts
The technician will look at the ducts and make sure the connections are tight. There should be no signs of holes or cracks, and the insulation should be intact. There shouldn’t be any unusual smells coming from the registers. If there are issues, it may be time for duct cleaning or inspection.
Replace the Filter
Finally, the system is turned back on and checked to ensure everything sounds right and is cooling the air properly. Before this happens, the filter that’s located on the return is replaced. This filter catches all of the dust, allergens, pet hair, and dust in your home. It should be replaced every couple of months. Some homes may need to replace it monthly, especially if there are many pets within the home.
Perform a System Test
Once the filter is replaced, it’s time to power up the central AC system and test it. This includes testing the static pressure to ensure airflow is not too low. It’s also important that the temperature be checked to verify that the rooms are cooling to the temperature shown on the thermostat. It can take a couple of hours for this entire process to take place. Try to schedule it for the off-season when it’s not as hot outside.
Tips for Finding the Best Southern Florida AC Technician for Your Needs
It’s time to have your central AC system services. How do you find the best AC technician? Start by verifying that the Florida AC repair and cleaning company is licensed in the State of Florida. If the company isn’t licensed, move on.
How many technicians does the company have? If they only have two or three trucks, it’s going to be a long wait for help if you have an emergency.
Is the work guaranteed? Are there other offers that appeal to you, such as same-day service or discounts to current and former military members? These are other considerations.
Look for the length of time the AC experts have been in business. All Year Cooling has been in business for 50 years, so you’ll find the experts here have a wealth of experience. Give us a call, reach our team via chat, or send an email to arrange your South Florida AC service appointment.