All air conditioning systems operate under the same principles; even your portable window versions. They all use the same five parts that make them work, and to keep your space cool; they are the compressor, refrigerant, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator coil: if that really means anything to you?
Without getting all technical; each has an important role to play in order to take your home's existing heat and suck it outside the building. The compressor could be looked as the 'heart' of our system pushing the refrigerant by way of a pumping action through the rest of the components in a looping manner. This refrigerant first enters the compressor in the form of a low pressure warm vapor. One of the key advantages in using a refrigerant is that it has a very low boiling point; and if you remember your high school physics or chemistry, this basically means that it changes from a liquid to a vapor at low temperatures. Thus providing the coolant to keep your home cool!
The condenser is usually the shapely metal unit you have somewhere in your yard or at side of your house. It is where this high pressure and very hot refrigerant vapor is cooled by way of fans that blow cooled air over and through these finned coils.
The expansion valve and evaporator coil work in sync; the valve receives this hot liquid refrigerant at high pressure; in turn, becoming cool low pressure vapor on the other side of the valve as the gas expands, it cools. This low pressure cold liquid coming from the expansion valve will now move into and through the evaporator coil. This evaporator coil takes any hot air within your home and converts it to cool air. From here it gets recycled back into the compressor and the cooling cycle continues for as long as everything works and runs just right!
Keep in mind that these units are all electrical, and they must be turned off before you can examine the 'repair' problem; especially, huge home units; in this case, the main power must be turned off. They carry enough current to kill!
If you are considering buying, upgrading or replacing an existing air conditioning system, regardless of the size; know this, with some companies, they will even offer you insurance, for around $15-20.00 per month, as an ongoing contract to maintain and repair the cooling appliance should any problems occur. You can't beat that, especially when the average service call is about $200-300.00 a visit!
Warranty's and guarantees are one thing; read yours before you buy your unit so you know exactly what they cover and what they don't, and for how long. Most experts insist that you contact a licensed and insured company for any maintenance or repair work that you are considering.
The most common repair problems for portable and home air conditioning units have to do with the fan, motor, or coolant. They should all be properly maintained and toped up as needed.
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