Replacing or upgrading a central AC unit, whether it be a window-mount or portable AC, can be an important undertaking. Knowing enough to choose the right size and type of unit, as well as being familiar with key equipment features, helps to ensure that smarter decisions can be made. From learning a little basic terminology to finding equipment options that are able to produce superior performance while reducing energy usage, a little education can often make a huge difference.
There are a number of industry terms which can often leave prospective owners feeling lost or confused. Possessing the right vocabulary is often the first step towards finding the unit, system or equipment option that offers the best value. Here are some of the most common terms:
There are different AC systems that have been designed meet a variety of needs. AC units will typically fall into one of the following categories:
Current generation AC units can offer a wide range of features. Energy efficient systems offer comparable performance to older model systems for a fraction of the operational cost. Units that have been designed for quiet operation or those that offer superior filtration for enhanced air quality may also be worth considering. With so many options and choices available, prospective owners would do well to consult with a professional before investing in a new system or unit.
An AC unit is a major asset, and it is important that home and property owners understand the basics of their systems and how to identify problems when they arise. Improper maintenance or an inability to spot the early signs of a potential problem could lead to increased operational costs, reduced service life, and larger repair bills. Understanding how an air conditioner operates and how to fix the problems that may develop is a responsibility that no homeowner can afford to ignore.
While air conditioners may seem like complex machines, the basic premise behind their operation is actually quite simple. An AC unit uses compressors and a closed system of coils in order to compress special compounds, known as “refrigerants.” The compression and subsequent expansion of refrigerants within the system allows for the absorption and removal of heat from an interior environment. Major components of an AC unit include the fan, compression and evaporation coils, lines for transporting refrigerant, numerous electrical components as well as any ducts or vents used to circulate cool air throughout the home.
There are a range of problems that may impair the output or performance of an AC unit. While routine maintenance and periodic inspection of an AC unit can help ensure proper operation, mechanical issues and other problems may still develop. Properly identifying a problem is essential for ensuring that it can be addressed and resolved before it develops into a more serious or costly issue.
Although it is important as a home or property owner to be able to identify whether the problems that you are having with your AC unit is a maintenance or serious repair issue, the average individual often lack the training necessary to fix the problem themselves. When it comes to an operating system as complex, vital, and expensive as an HVAC, it is recommended that homeowners contact a professional once they have recognized that there is an issue so that it is properly fixed. It is better to pay to have the problem solved correctly than to ignore the issue until it magnifies into something costlier.