Effective, efficient operation of your central air conditioner results from an interdependent chain of components and functions. A weak link large or small can lower the comfort level in the home and/or drive up utility costs. Two parameters are particularly critical: airflow and refrigerant charge. A cascade of malfunctions and poor performance may result from shortfalls in just those areas. Conversely, keeping those factors up to manufacturer’s specs with professional maintenance can avoid many problems and/or restore capacity.
Airflow problems can originate from a clogged air filter, undersized or leaky ducts, or a defective fan blower. Here’s why airflow’s so important:
- Proper airflow in your home means the supply ducts have positive air pressure while the return ducts are negative. This creates neutral pressure in living spaces, the ideal cooling condition. Insufficient air low instead depressurizes rooms, continuously drawing hot outside air in through every crack and crevice and increasing the cooling load on your home.
- Normally, the evaporator coil temperature averages around 40 degrees. Inadequate airflow in the system can cause the coil to drop below freezing, eventually encasing the coil in ice and completely restricting airflow. When the ice melts, water damage can also occur in the vicinity of the air handler.
Insufficient refrigerant usually only means one of two things: The system wasn’t properly charged at installation or there’s a leak somewhere. Low refrigerant charge usually shows up as these symptoms:
- Warm air blowing from the registers. This usually occurs when most or all of the refrigerant has escaped
- The refrigerant maintains proper evaporator coil temperature. When levels are only slightly low, however, the evaporator may actually run colder than normal, causing the formation of ice.
- Total compressor failure. Since the refrigerant also contains the compressor’s vital lubrication fluid, low levels can overheat the compressor and eventually cause it to seize, requiring complete replacement.
Climate Control Company is the Western Slope’s trusted source of air conditioning sales and service. Contact us for more information about keeping your A/C unit’s airflow and refrigerant charge up to manufacturer’s specs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about airflow and refrigerant charge and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
Climate Control Company services Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado.
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