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May 15, 2015

Air Conditioner Basics

Sponsored Content provided by Jimmy Williams - Owner, O’Brien Service Company

An air conditioner is an important part of your home, but it’s not uncommon to not know much about it. You set the thermostat to the temperature you like, and don’t think much more about it. Here we will discuss the basics of an air conditioner - how it works, how air conditioners differ from one another, and how to help them last longer.

An air conditioner is a central cooling system that uses ducts to push air and cool your home. The air conditioner works by removing the heat from the inside air. Here is a more detailed explanation of how an air conditioner works from the website of Trane, a high-quality heating and cooling system manufacturer:

The compressor condenses and circulates the refrigerant through the outdoor unit, changing it from a gas to a liquid. The liquid is then forced through the indoor evaporator coil or cooling compartment. The indoor unit’s fan circulates the inside air to pass across the evaporator fins. The evaporator’s metal fins exchange the thermal energy with the air around it. There, the refrigerant turns from liquid into vapor, removing any heat from the surrounding air. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled and blown back into the house.

From that point, the condenser or outdoor unit then turns the refrigerant vapor back into a liquid, removing any heat. By the time the fluid leaves the evaporator again, it is a cool, low-pressure gas, eventually returning to the condenser to begin its trip all over again. This process continues again and again until your home reaches the cooling temperature you want, as programmed and sensed by your thermostat setting.

An air conditioner and heat pump work in a similar way to cool your home by pulling the heat out. Air conditioners differ from each other based on two factors. One is the size of the system, which is determined by how much cooling is needed in your home. The other factor is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating. The SEER rating indicates how energy efficient your air conditioner is. SEER ratings start at 14 SEER and go up to 20 SEER, with the 20 SEER rating being more energy efficient. 

It is very important that your air conditioner is serviced annually, regardless of whether it’s brand new or an older system. See the post Improve the Longevity Of Your Air Conditioner And Ensure Its Warranty WIth An Annual Inspection. By having an annual inspection, parts will be cleaned and potential problems can be caught early. If your air conditioner is maintained properly, you will likely lower your energy bills and prolong the lifespan of your system. If you’re interested in having maintenance for your air conditioner, give our office a call and you can learn about the different options. 
  
Air conditioners are a must in southeast North Carolina in order to be comfortable in your home in the warmer months. During the winter, straight air conditioner systems will need to be matched with a heating system. Aside from air conditioners, we offer other products such as heat pumps, ductless systems and geothermal systems that will also cool your home.  If you have any questions about your air conditioner or are interested in a new system, give O’Brien a call.      
 
Jimmy Williams has owned and operated O'Brien Service Company for over 30 years. Our highly trained and versatile technicians can expertly handle complex repairs, installations, and advise you on the benefits of regular maintenance. O'Brien will work on both residential and commercial systems, and is a certified Trane Specialist. Call today to have your system serviced, or to have a free at home estimate. You can contact us by calling (910) 799-6611, or visit our website at http://www.obrienservice.com.  

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