In the summertime, staying cool is important. It’s so crucial, in fact, that AC units are being stolen from children. Just last week, an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) unit was stolen from a Boys and Girls club in Sanford, North Carolina. Talk about air conditioning problems. Fortunately, the club received several fans as donations from the Sanford Housing Authority to keep the club up and running until new units could be installed.
But there’s no need to steal cool air from others. Central air conditioning installation is relatively simple these days, and having an HVAC unit doesn’t need to cost you a fortune in the warmer months if you’re smart about using it.
Types of Air Conditioning:
AC units come in many shapes and sizes. People with smaller homes or apartments won’t necessarily utilize the same type of air conditioning unit as someone with a larger home. And those who wish to save money and energy will look for more cost-effective options when it comes to air conditioning.
Central air conditioning, like it sounds, is used to cool the entire space. The unit is placed outside the home and funnels cool air into the home through ducts. For those who live in climates that heat up in the summer and reach freezing temperatures in the winter, investing in a heating and air unit is wise. Fortunately, central heating utilizes the same ducts that central air conditioning uses, so less work needs to be done during installation.
Room air conditioners are designed to cool a single room. For small apartments, these units are a pretty safe bet and don’t suck up too much energy. Typically a room AC unit is placed in a window (with the compressor outside the house) with the surrounding area insulated to keep out creeping warm air.
Then there are evaporative coolers, which use water to cool a home or apartment. Hot air is brought into the unit and then converted into cool air via water pump and cooling pads. The cool air is then blown into the room.
Air Conditioning Maintenance Checklist:
No matter what kind of AC unit you decide to use this summer, there’s always a chance something could go wrong. The best way to avoid and address potential air conditioning problems is to have a checklist of what needs to be maintained in your AC unit.
1) Know a Professional or Two
First thing’s first: unless you specialize in HVAC installation and maintenance yourself, you’ll want to have a professional on call just in case you need a quick fix or just have a question. Typically, this would be the person and/or company that installed your unit in the first place.
2) Filter Out Old Filters
Filters in AC units can get clogged up with dirt and dust if not cleaned properly and regularly. Check the filter every month, but be sure to replace it entirely about every three months.
3) Keep Debris Away
For those with central AC units, be sure to clean up any fallen branches, leaves, and other outside debris whenever possible. Once a week couldn’t hurt.
4) Keep it Level
Make sure that the central AC unit is always resting on a level surface. If the ground beneath the unit is starting to shift or sink, seek help immediately and address the issue.
5) Check Refrigerant Lines
The insulation on refrigerant lines that come into the house or room shouldn’t be mangled or missing. If they are, replace them immediately, or seek help from a professional.
No matter how you choose to keep cool this summer (don’t steal anything!), avoiding air conditioning problems is just as vital as having AC installed in the first place.