Choosing the Right Residential Air Conditioning System

All Temp Air Conditioning & Refrigeration come in different types to suit all homes. Choosing the right one can be a complicated process. You want to find a pro familiar with this bonded and insured equipment. Look for affiliation with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

air conditioning

Air-conditioning adoption rates follow the stylized “S” pattern of other durable goods, with slower uptake in credit constraints and higher penetration as income rises. But climate conditions are only part of the story.

Choosing the right size for your air conditioner is critical. A unit that is too small will need help to cool your entire home. It will run constantly to try to keep up, and it will wear out faster. It will also use more energy than a unit that is properly sized. That means higher utility bills.

A professional will perform a residential load calculation to determine the size of your AC unit. That involves assessing the square footage of your home and other factors, such as ductwork, number of occupants, and energy efficiency. However, you can make a rough estimate using the following methods.

Start by multiplying the length and width of your rooms to calculate the square footage. Then, add the square footage of each room that is not separated by doors. This total will give you the base BTUs needed to cool your house.

Then, divide this total by 12,000. That will provide you with the number of tons of cooling capacity you need. Cargo is the heat an air conditioner can remove in one hour, measured in BTUs. Residential air conditioners usually come in sizes of 1.5, 2.5, and 5 tons.

Other important factors include:

The type of insulation your house has, the geographic region where you live, the average summer and winter temperatures, the amount of shade your home receives, and how old your ductwork is. The more efficient your home is, the lower the cooling needs.

Many utility companies offer free energy audits and will provide you with a Manual J report. That will help you get a precise picture of your home’s cooling needs and can save you money in the long run. You can also hire an HVAC dealer or energy auditor to complete a Manual J calculation. That will consider all the factors listed above and provide you with a more accurate estimate of your desired AC size. This method is the best way to get a true idea of what size AC unit you need for your home.

The thermostat is the control hub of your home heating and cooling system. It regulates the temperature of your living space and controls other devices, like electric attic fans and furnaces. While many different types of thermostats are on the market, they all use a basic mechanism to sense the environment and trigger the fan and heating system accordingly.

 The thermostat uses an internal bimetallic strip that expands and retracts based on temperature. When the strip is warm, it coils around a microswitch in the center of the thermostat and turns an electric circuit on. When the strip cools down, it snaps back into place, turning the course off. By adjusting the temperature dial, you can set the desired temperature at which the strip will trigger the heating and cooling system.

In some older systems, a mercury switch was used instead of a bimetallic strip. This type of thermostat needed to be more accurate, and you could only set a single temperature for the system to turn on and off. These old systems are rarely seen anymore, as they could be more efficient and reliable than modern programmable thermostats.

If you have an old, non-programmable thermostat, disconnect the power at the breaker box. That will prevent any accidental shocks and injuries to you and your family while working. Then, remove the thermostat’s faceplate and plate to expose the wires. You should follow the manufacturer’s installation guide for more specific directions.

Once the wires are disconnected, you should look at the color code on each to determine its function. The W or white wire connects to your heating system if it’s a two-wire heat-only thermostat. The Y or yellow wire connects to your air conditioning unit. The C or common wire provides smart thermostats with continual power and is usually blue. The Rc and Rh wires give the thermostat its heating and cooling functions, respectively. When you’ve finished, reconnect the cables and faceplate to complete your job.

Your air conditioning system produces a lot of moisture, and it’s important to ensure it does not pool inside the air conditioner. That is why your AC system has a condensate drain line. The line is responsible for removing the condensation that forms on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil and dumping it outdoors. Without this line, your air conditioning would overflow and damage your home.

Depending on your home’s configuration, the condensate drain line may be connected directly to your air conditioner unit or a drain pan beneath it. The drain pan will also serve as a backup if the primary line becomes clogged or fails to perform.

The condensate drain line is a PVC pipe that runs from the air conditioner to the outside of your home. That is a simple and cost-effective solution for transferring the moisture from the evaporator coils to the outdoors. However, this line can become clogged with debris and other contaminants. That can lead to mold, mildew, and algae buildup and impede the line’s ability to function as it should.

 It’s important to clean and flush your air conditioner’s drain lines regularly. It’s also a good idea to install an in-line filter in each drain line to help reduce dirt and debris buildup. In addition to these preventative measures, your drain lines should be cleaned and flushed twice a year as part of your air conditioning maintenance and service plan.

The first step in determining whether your drain line is clogged is to walk outside and look at the piping. If you can see water dripping from it, it functions properly. If not, you’ll want to try to remove the blockage with a wet-dry vacuum or by using compressed air. If this doesn’t work, you may need a professional to unclog the line. Lastly, you should always ensure the drain line is drained to a safe and appropriate location, such as a rain gutter or drain tile.

You should expect to hear some whooshing noises as air moves through your home’s ductwork. That is a normal sound and does not signal that your system needs repair. You may also hear clicking sounds at the end of a cooling cycle as the machine shuts itself down until needed again. These clicks are also a normal part of your AC system; you should not be alarmed.

However, if you hear a buzzing or humming noise, this is not something to ignore. That could indicate a problem with the motor in your outdoor unit, or it could simply be a piece of debris stuck in the indoor blower fan or the fan in the outdoor unit. If you can get the amount of trash out, this should solve the problem, but if you need more time, call an HVAC professional.

Squealing or screeching noises may indicate that the bearings in your compressor’s fan are worn out. It could also mean that there is a refrigerant leak. Banging noises are another sign that your compressor is not working properly. There could be high internal pressure in the compressor, which will normally trigger a sensor to turn the machine off.

You can silence some noises by installing a sound-reducing barrier. These are available from many home improvement stores and can be fairly inexpensive. You can also install shrubs or a sound-dampening fence with overlapping boards around your outside unit. That will also conceal it, which many homeowners find appealing. However, consulting with an experienced professional is important to ensure that the noise-reducing barrier is properly installed and effective.