The air conditioning system is just a way of life. Homes are now constructed with central air conditioning in mind, and even vintage buildings can enjoy powerful air conditioning without using window units thanks to ductless mini splits.
But even though ACs are everywhere, they’re still poorly understood. Below is a list of five things we want people to know about air conditioning. These bits of knowledge makes it easier to care for an AC and to know when to call on trained HVAC professionals to fix and maintain them.
1. Air Conditioners Don’t “Create” Cooling
Yes, it seems like they do. They send out cool air the way a forced-air furnace sends out hot air. But the furnace is creating heat, which is a type of energy. Cooling is not a form of energy; it’s the absence of heat energy. To cool down the air that an AC blows out through vents of air handlers, it must remove heat from the air in a process called heat exchange. Your air conditioner is, therefore, a type of “heat pump”: it pumps heat from inside your house to the outside.
2. An Air Conditioner Doesn’t Use Up Its Refrigerant
Refrigerant, sometimes called Freon (which is a brand name), is the way an air conditioner carries out heat exchange. Refrigerant circulates from the compressor to the outdoor coils and then the indoor coils, going through a cycle of condensation (heat release) and evaporation (heat absorption). The refrigerant doesn’t dissipate as it does this, so unless the AC develops leaks, the refrigerant charge remains the same for the system’s service life.
3. ACs Must Have Annual Professional Maintenance
A spring maintenance appointment isn’t a luxury for an air conditioner. The amount of work they do makes it necessary for the air conditioner to receive professional inspections, adjustments, cleanings, and tune-ups each year. Missing maintenance shortens an AC’s lifespan, increases the chance of repairs, and cuts down on energy efficiency.
4. A High Energy Efficiency (SEER) Rating Doesn’t Guarantee Savings
The SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) shows how well an AC turns electrical power into cooling power. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system. Some air conditioners today can have SEER above 20. But simply picking the highest SEER possible won’t guarantee an air conditioner will cost less to run. A poorly installed, incorrectly sized AC will drain power no matter how efficient it is. SEER is only one factor among many.
5. Professionals Must Handle Air Conditioning Services
Except for changing the air filter, any service for an air conditioner must be left to a licensed and trained professional. This not only ensures the work is done accurately, it also keeps the warranty valid. Don’t risk amateur work on your AC—call on HVAC experts.
The Evanston, IL air conditioning service you might need this summer, whether a new system installation or a fast fix, is right here! You can reach our cooling specialists at any time of the day or night when you have an AC emergency. We also offer the regular AC maintenance that keeps your cooling system working at its best for many years.
Need your AC fixed—or a new one installed? Call on ServiceMax—We’re open 24/7, all day, every day!