A central air conditioner keeps the air in your home cool using a system of supply and return ducts. Hot air is moved across the cooled evaporator coil and is then delivered through supply ducts into the home. After the air has circulated and become warmer, return ducts bring it back into the air conditioning unit to be cooled once again. A central air conditioner is either a split-system or a packaged unit.
Packaged Central Air Conditioner
If you have two or more rooms that need to be cooled, this is probably the best central air system for you. In a packaged air conditioner, the evaporator, condenser, and compressor are typically located together in one cabinet, which is either placed on the roof or next to the home. Supply and return ducts connect to each room through an outside wall or the roof.
Split Air Conditioner
If you are looking to install an air conditioner and you already have a furnace in your home, a split-system air conditioner is probably the most economical decision. In a split-system air conditioner, the condenser and compressor are still located in a cabinet outside of the home (like with the packaged unit), but the evaporator is in a cabinet inside the home.
Troubleshooting AC Problems
When it comes to repairing your central air conditioning, the most important components to consider are the condenser and the evaporator. Because they are each sealed, a professional AC repairman should be called for any maintenance problem besides routine cleaning. Remember, before you begin any repair work on your air conditioning system, make sure it is completely powered off.
If the unit isn’t turning on, check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers and replace as needed. If the unit is running but isn’t cooling correctly, make sure that the thermostat is set to the right temperature first. Then, ensure the condenser unit isn’t blocked by any debris, weeds, grass, etc. Finally, try cleaning the condenser and evaporator.
Cleaning the Evaporator
Your system’s evaporator may not be accessible. However, if you can reach it, begin by removing the insulation that is covering it and unscrew the access plate. Use a stiff brush to clean all of the little nooks and crannies, being careful not to bend any of the pipes. You should also clean the tray underneath the evaporator unit. Once the evaporator is clean, put everything back to how it was, screw the access plate back into position, and turn the unit back on. Wave your hand around the unit to check for air leaks. If you find any leaks, seal them with duct tape.
Cleaning the Condenser
In your AC unit’s condenser, a fan moves the air across the condenser coil. You must clean the coil on the intake side so before you turn the air conditioner off, make sure you know which direction the air is flowing across the coils. Begin cleaning by using a coil cleaner (available at refrigerator supply stores) and then use a soft brush to get rid of built-up dirt. Use caution when cleaning the fins as they are easily damaged. Finally, use a leveler to make sure the condenser is level. If it’s not, use gravel to level it.
If your air conditioning unit is still not working properly, check the air ducts for leaks and repair if necessary.
Finally, if all else fails, it is time to call in a professional. Don’t try to repair something that is outside the scope of your abilities, you might end up making the problem worse and more expensive for yourself! If you need AC repair in Mesa AZ, let Bid Boomerang connect you with prescreened tradesmen who will bid on your project.