The compressor serves as the heart of an air conditioner. Its function can be likened to that of the human heart. Similar to how the heart pumps blood to all parts of the body, the compressor pumps refrigerant in a closed loop between evaporator coils and condenser. This component should be checked at least once every six months during a maintenance check. This component has to be in topmost condition for an air conditioner to give maximum output at all times. If the cooling effect of your air conditioner begins to reduce, its compressor may be faulty. This component can be found in the outdoor part of the air conditioner
There are two major types of compressor – A reciprocating processor and a scroll-type processor. A scroll-type compressor is a little more expensive than the other because it is more efficient and quieter.
The condenser coil is a refrigerant filled network of tubes. It cools already hot gas refrigerant and then converts it into cool liquid. The removed heat is given off outside. This is why this component is at the back of a window unit and in the outdoor unit of a split air conditioning unit. This is the source of the cool air that the air conditioner gives off. This component should also be checked as it is a vital part of the air conditioner.
The fan blows air on the condenser to facilitate the condensation of refrigerant and to also avoid overheating. If the fan is faulty and not replaced, the condenser coil can get too hot and pack up. When that happens, it could affect some other components, or even lead to the damage of the entire air conditioning system. This is why a regular inspection is necessary. A stitch in time saves nine. Every component is important no matter how small it is. The fan is also an outdoor component.
The evaporator coil is another network of tubes that does something similar to what the condenser coil does. As its name implies, it plays a major role in the evaporation of the refrigerant. It cools and dehumidifies the refrigerant while it evaporates into gas. Both evaporator and condenser coils work hand in hand. So, when one is not working properly, the other is rendered useless. This is found indoor.
Air Handling Unit
The air handling unit is the blower that pushes cool air through the air ducts. It is also important as conditioned air will not be circulated if this component packs up. This is found in the indoor part of the air conditioning system.
The air filter is vital to the filtering of air that runs through the system. In other words, it traps all dust particles from the air running through the air conditioner. This in turn prevents the air conditioner from circulating dust-filled air into the home. It also enhances smooth operation of the system. This component should also be cleaned or changed as regularly as possible. This is also found indoors.
The draining system includes a drainage pan. A tangible amount of water emerges from the process of condensation. Every air conditioner has pipes meant to drain the water caused by condensation. These pipes need to be flushed during preventive maintenance as they can get blocked with algae or other similar organisms. If not, there won’t be free flow of water. As a back up to these pipes, the AC also has a drainage pan that retains water in case the drain pipes are blocked. To prevent water from overflowing from the drainage pan, there is an automatic cut-off switch that turns off the air conditioner. The smallest component of the draining system is the cut-off switch. As small as it is, can you imagine what can happen if the switch packs up? This underscores the fact that a regular preventive maintenance is more than necessary as it can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Apart from saving you a lot of money, regular maintenance ensures that your air conditioner gives you maximum performance all the time and it also lengthens the lifespan of your air conditioner. This rule is applicable to all other appliances and devices and not only air conditioners. In short, a regular preventive maintenance check is the best way to prevent unexpected failures in the system and major repair work.
At this point, it is worthy of note that there are several other components of the air conditioner, but the few discussed above are the most vital ones and they are the ones that should be checked regularly as they are indispensable to the proper running of the air conditioner.
When your air conditioner is still new, all its parts will be very new and its performance will be wonderful. You can schedule the preventive maintenance check for once a year. But as it gets older, its parts will become older, and it will require more frequent inspection. You can schedule a technician to check it once in every six months or twice in a year.
Sometimes, despite carrying out regular checks, your air conditioner may still develop one or two issues, each of which requires urgent attention.
Some of the issues that require urgent attention are:
- When water begins to leak out from either the drain pipes or water begins to overflow from the drain pan.
- When the conditioned air does not circulate uniformly, this makes some parts of the home cooler than other parts.
- When air still comes out from the vents, but the air is not cool or conditioned air.
- When air does not come out of the vent at all despite the air condition being on.
- When your AC does not show any sign of being on, but ice flakes are seen on the coils.
All these symptoms require a diagnostic inspection, repair or replacement work. They have gone beyond mere preventive measures at this point. Whenever you notice any problem at all, it is advisable to switch off your AC until the technician arrives. Leaving it on may damage more components than the already faulty ones.
Like all other appliances, the air conditioners being manufactured now are more efficient and more expensive than the older models, no matter the brand. The yardstick for measuring efficiency is known as SEER. This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Higher SEER rating means higher efficiency. That is, if all other factors are equal. To be able to discern the difference between two SEER ratings, an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 13 consumes about one-third of the power consumed by an air conditioner of SEER 10.
No matter the brand of your air conditioner, if you carry out regular maintenance checks, it will develop less problems and it will last much longer.