The lowered temperatures and reduced humidity afforded by central air conditioning make the hot, sticky Virginia summers bearable. For some people with health problems, A/C is essential to health, as heat stress can be deadly.
Guirkin has over forty years’ experience installing, repairing, and maintaining whole house air conditioning systems of all types. We are also authorized Trane dealers.
If your home doesn’t have an all in one heating & cooling unit like a heat pump, you most likely have a standalone air conditioning unit. These systems operate on a similar principle as a heat pump, transferring heat from one air space (inside) to another (outside) with a chemical refrigerant. They move the cooled air through ductwork with a fan, to distribute it evenly within the space.
Like heat pumps, AC units’ efficiency is rated in units called SEERS. The higher the SEER rating of a unit, the more effectively it uses electricity to cool. A higher SEER rating means lower operating costs.
It’s important to understand that most residential AC units operate at about a twenty degree “split” or difference, in temperatures between the outside and inside air. That means if it is 100 degrees out, your system won’t be able to chill your entire home to 60 degrees. That doesn’t mean that your unit is broken, it’s just at it’s maximum cooling capacity.
Not only does your air conditioner remove heat from the air, it pulls out humidity too. But that water has to go somewhere, which is why your AC has a drain pan and outputs water. Clogged drains & a full condensate pan will throw a switch in your unit that stops it’s operation to avoid damaging it, and it’s one of the top reasons for a service call. Cleaning your drain pain is simple enough, but if your drain line is clogged & your system shuts down, you should call a pro. A trained tech should check & reset your system and clear the drain blockage with compressed air.
Another extremely common cause of service calls for AC problems is dirty filters. Air conditioning systems will freeze if the flow of warm air over the coil is impeded, as the coolant has nothing to warm it back up during the cycle. Regular filter changes are essential in summer for efficiency.
Of course, the best way to ensure that your system is running properly is regular seasonal maintenance. A well maintained unit can cost 20% less to run and last twice as long as a neglected one. Schedule a cooling check up in the Spring and enjoy reliable AC all Summer.