Serving the Salt Lake and Park City Areas
In addition to knowing how to properly heat your home, at Custom Comfort we also know how to cool it. Air conditioning has become a very important and affordable means to keeping your home or business the ideal temperature. If your air conditioning system is having problems that you would like to solve, or if you would like to replace your old system or design and install a new one, please contact us.
Brands we sell, service, install, and repair:
- Baltimore Aircoil
- Cleaver Brooks
- Climate Master
- Comfort Maker
- Corse Aire
Air Conditioning Tips
If your air conditioning system is not cooling you down, take a look at these quick recommendations. They may save you a lot of time and money. Follow-up by having a competent licensed air conditioner contractor inspect and evaluate the system if necessary.
To test the air conditioning, the outside temperature should be above 60° for 48 hours (some manufacturers recommend 65°). If you turn the air conditioning system on when the temperature is below 60°, you may damage the compressor.Turn the fan switch to “auto” and set the thermostat below the room temperature (76° to 78° is recommended). The fan and condensing unit should come on, unless there is a time delay, which may slow its start.Let the system run for eight to ten minutes to balance the temperature in the ductwork. Check the temperature at the supply and return registers. The temperature at the supply register should be 14° to 20° Fahrenheit cooler than at the return ducts or current room temperature.
If the temperature differential is more than 20°, it indicates restricted air. This points to three possible problems: 1) a dirty filter, 2) improper ductwork, or 3) a fan that is sized wrong, not working properly, or moving too slowly.
If it is less than 14° differential, the possible causes are 1) refrigerant loss, 2) a dirty coil, 3) a laboring compressor, 4) an oversized fan, or 5) a deficient return air system.
There are two copper lines going from the condensing unit on the exterior to the air handler on the interior. The smaller line is the liquid or high-pressure line and will be warm, not hot, to the touch when it is operating properly. The larger line covered with insulation is the suction or low pressure line and will be cold to the touch. The suction line should be “sweating” or condensing, the way a glass of iced tea “sweats.” It should not be forming “ice.”
The refrigerant in the system may be low from a possible leak. The leak should be located, repaired, and recharged.Compressor failure is a problem, which usually requires replacement of the unit. Usually when a compressor is replaced, the entire condensing unit on the exterior is replaced. The typical life expectancy of a compressor in a central air conditioning system is 8 to15 years, depending on geographic location.
When discussing air conditioning system efficiencies, the SEER number is the typical guideline, and the higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit (E.g., a 12 SEER unit is 20% more efficient than a 10 SEER unit). This information can be a considerable help when evaluating the cost versus the value of a new system.
Air Conditioning Tools
It is important to choose a properly sized air conditioner for your room. A bigger air conditioner is not necessarily better because an AC unit much bigger than required will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing efficiency and the ability to control humidity inside the home.To figure out which size unit is best for your cooling needs, use the following calculator: BTU Calculator
Another common question is how many SEER should your air conditioning system be. Use the following calculator to figure out your desired SEER rating: SEER Savings Calculator
How Air Conditioning Works
Most people think that air conditioners lower the temperature in their homes simply by pumping cool air in. What’s really happening is the warm air from your house is being removed and cycled back in as cooler air. This cycle continues until your thermostat reaches the desired temperature.
An air conditioner is basically a refrigerator without the insulated box. It uses the evaporation of a refrigerant, like Freon, to provide cooling. The mechanics of the Freon evaporation cycle are the same in a refrigerator as in an air conditioner. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, the term Freon is generically “used for any of various nonflammable fluorocarbons used as refrigerants and as propellants for aerosols.”
The evaporation cycle in an air conditioner starts working when the compressor compresses cool Freon gas, causing it to become hot, high-pressure Freon gas. This hot gas runs through a set of coils so it can dissipate its heat, and it condenses into a liquid. The Freon liquid runs through an expansion valve, and in the process it evaporates to become cold, low-pressure Freon gas. This cold gas runs through a set of coils that allow the gas to absorb heat and cool down the air inside the building. Mixed in with the Freon is a small amount of lightweight oil. This oil lubricates the compressor.
Air conditioners help clean your home’s air as well. Most indoor units have filters that catch dust, pollen, mold spores and other allergens as well as smoke and everyday dirt found in the air. Most air conditioners also function as dehumidifiers. They take excess water from the air and use it to help cool the unit before getting rid of the water through a hose to the outside. Other units use the condensed moisture to improve efficiency by routing the cooled water back into the system to be reused.
This is the general concept involved in air conditioning.
Brain, Marshall, and Charles W. Bryant. “How Air Conditioners Work” 01 April 2000. HowStuffWorks.com. 28 June 2011.