air conditioning unit winter care

air conditioning unit winter care

The Anatomy Of A Highly Efficient AC Unit

Lori Harris

To understand the claims that AC manufacturers make about the efficiency of the units they produce, you need to understand the anatomy of an AC unit, and what manufacturers can do to maximize the function of each component. While understanding the science behind the function of an AC unit might seem daunting, the good news is that you don't need a degree in thermodynamics in order to have an appreciation of how an AC unit works.

The Coils

An AC unit uses one set of coils inside your house to vaporize the refrigerant running through them. These coils are appropriately named evaporator coils. When your AC fan pushes the hot air from your home over these coils, the vaporizing coolant absorbs heat from the air, which in turn cools the air. A separate set of coils, called condenser coils, located outside your home pushes the relatively cool outside air over the refrigerant to cool it down until the point that it turns back to a liquid and is ready to cycle back to the evaporator. The larger the surface area of these two sets of coils, the more efficiently they can accomplish their purpose. While large coils might take up space in your yard, the lost space is worth reducing your cooling costs. 

The Compressor

Your AC unit uses a compressor to pump the refrigerant through your system. A low-efficiency AC unit will only have one compressor unit, which means that it can only run at one capacity—full blast. The problem with this is that your home does not always require a heavy dose of cooling. A high-efficiency unit will have two compressors. When the cooling demand is small, the smaller compressor will operate; as the cooling demand increases, the larger compressor will run; and when the cooling demand is at its peak, both compressors come on line. Operating smaller compressors uses less electricity than running larger compressors, so having multiple compressors will help you to save money. 

The Fan

For the most efficient system, you not only need multiple compressors, but you also need a fan with a variable-speed motor. This allows your fan to run at lower speeds and use less electricity, which once again helps to reduce your heating costs. 

As the description of these major components should illustrate, building a highly efficient AC unit requires knowing the weaknesses of each component in an air conditioner and then designing a version that uses less electricity and uses what electricity it does require as efficiently as possible. At the very least, now that you are armed with this knowledge, you can have an intelligent discussion with an HVAC technician as you work together to choose the best AC unit for your home. Contact a business, such as #1 Air Source, for more information. 


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air conditioning unit winter care

The air conditioning unit outside your home needs to be taken care of if you want it to keep you cool for many summers into the future. During the winter, should the unit be covered? Do you really need to do anything to winterize the unit? Our blog will show you several ways for you to protect your air conditioning unit through the winter. You will learn how to build a cover, determine if you need to do any work to it and much more. Hopefully what you learn here will help you to keep your unit running well for many years.