Seven things you should know about Your Air Conditioner
- Air conditioners are made up of two motors, which utilize electrical power. One of them is the compressor, which is responsible for cooling the air with the refrigerant. The second motor is responsible for moving the air by driving the fan.
- Your air conditioning costs goes up by about 3% to 4% for every degree that the thermostat is set lower than 24 degrees.
- Make it a habit to regularly compare the room temperature with the temperature of the air being emitted by the air conditioner. The temperature of the air being emitted by the AC should be approximately 18-22 degrees lower than the room temperature.
- An air conditioner acts as a de-humidifier by effectively drying out the humidity in the air by converting the water vapor into liquid water. This decreases the humidity and increases the comfort level in the home. In a window unit air conditioner, this water drains out from the rear and in central air conditioning, the water flows to a basement floor drain. Check this water flow. If you can see it going where it is supposed to go, then that’s great. It means your air conditioner is working just the way it is supposed to.
- Schedule a pre-season maintenance that involves cleaning the drain and the drip pan. Failure to do so could prevent the water from draining. This stagnant water could form ice on the cold coil. As this ice builds up it prevents the outside air from coming in and flowing through the cold coil and thus prevent your air conditioner from functioning efficiently. It could even stop your air conditioner from functioning altogether. As soon as you notice that the air conditioner is not working as efficiently as it should and the house is not cooling down as much as before, you should take immediate action to rectify the situation. This is very easily done- The first thing you should do is turn off the air conditioner. Allow the ice to melt and then fix the drain problem. The AC can now be switched back on.
- If the air seems to be flowing as it should but the room does not appear to be getting any cooler, the problem is something other than ice. It could be the level of the refrigerant is low. An air conditioner will keep on running despite low refrigerant levels, but the problem is it does not cool the room down whatsoever. This is a complete waste of electricity.
- Dirty filters kill your AC's efficiency, so install a new one every month during the cooling season for central and window units (or clean them if you've got the washable type). Look for the filter's minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV, which ranges from 1 to 12 for home AC units; the higher the number, the better filtration it provides (and the more energy needed to pull air through it, so balance air-quality concerns with energy costs). 4-5 inch filters will last longer than 1 inch filters and will be much better at maintaining a cleaner (dustless) home, can give you better air flow and remove more contaminants out of the air.
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