Clearly, an air conditioner is one of the most important appliances to own at home, especially if you are living in hot areas/climates. These systems use the same principle as a regular refrigerator; whereby it pulls heat from a room and releases it outside the home.
The truth is that every part of an air conditioner is very important and has a role to play. In other words, every part of an AC has a specifically assigned function (even screws). However, when we talk about important AC parts, we simply refer to those parts that demand a lot of attention, and maintenance, and an AC cannot function without. For example, an air conditioner can function without a few screws but cannot function without a compressor or fan.
Therefore, we can say: – an air conditioner’s Efficiency is determined/achieved when all important parts work together smoothly.
These parts include: –
The air filter has an important role or duty in an air filter system. It protects the unit’s components from accumulating dirt and debris. It also helps protect AC consumers from paying a lot of money for energy bills. Remember, a dirty evaporator coil loses its cooling efficiency, and may even ice with time.
As such, the filter helps keep the fan motor clean and prevents premature failure. It is important to remember that there so many different types of AC air filters on the market ranging from HEPA filters, electrostatic filters, pleated filters, and others.
In a conventional Split-system AC, the evaporator coil is located inside the home or close to the air handler where the fan is. The evaporator coil is a section or part where the cold refrigerant vaporizes and draws heat from the warm return airflow. If the evaporator coils become dirty, it decreases efficiency. For this reason, the coil must be cleaned every year to achieve maximum cooling efficiency.
Homes with a central air conditioning system have a split air conditioning system. as such, in these units, the compressor is located in the outdoor unit. Compressors are generally the noisiest component in the unit. The main function of the compressor is to compress the refrigerant from the evaporator coil, which prepared the refrigerant to release heat through the condenser coil.
The compressor is powered by a motor and has a piston and cylinder. The piston in the compressor compresses the refrigerant, which increases its temperature and hence increases the gas pressure.
The condenser coil is designed to function the same way as an evaporator coil. However, its function is different from the evaporator. Remember, the function of an evaporator coil is to draw in heat from a room (indoor air). The primary function of the condenser is to expel the heat collected into the outdoor air while cooling the refrigerant gas.
An AC mainly has two fans whose function is to pull and push air through the evaporator and condenser coils respectively. A fan blade is a rotating blade-like structure in the unit. If you own a traditional cube-style AC system, you can easily see the fan when you look at the top. The fan will only rotate when the unit is running and actively cooling.
On the other hand, a fan motor is what powers or creates the rotational force which rotates the fan blades. The fan motor, just like most moving parts should be cleaned and lubricated/oiled as a preventive maintenance measure. Doing this guarantees its life span and cooling efficiency.
A thermostat is a temperature-sensitive device that plays a part in signalling the AC system to either start or stop. Smart and programmable thermostats offer advanced features that help their users to not only save money through saving energy but also create a cooling plan that works with their needs. If you are using the old thermostat technology that used mercury or digital, you should consider investing in modern technology.
Maintenance is important when it comes to these systems. They guarantee the system’s good working order and maintain its efficiency. For this reason, if you are looking to improve the efficiency of your unit and save money in the process, then you should consider scheduling preventive aircon services.
This is important, particularly for those air conditioner parts that are prone to damage/wear due to one reason or the other. If you own an air conditioner, you should pay regular attention to these parts. In fact, it is recommended to have a professional check them after a few months (about 4 to 5 months). These parts include:
• The Filter
A filter is a component that demands regular maintenance as it affects the unit’s efficiency directly. Therefore, if you notice that your system is not cooling as it used to do, the first thing you should do is check the air filter. When dirt and debris build up, it will prevent airflow through the condenser and evaporator.
The good news is that you can DIY-maintain this by washing the filter each month with water and detergent – and replacing it after a few months or a year of use.
• Expansion Valve
The main function of an expansion valve is to control the quantity of refrigerant entering the evaporator. The truth is that an expansion valve is one of the most complex parts of an air conditioner and demands regular checks by a professional every few months.
• The Thermostat
A thermostat is important in controlling the unit or setting the desired room temperature. The AC will continuously cool until your desired temperature is reached. A thermostat is a component that demands regular maintenance by a professional to prevent technical issues.
• Drain Pipes
An AC system drain clogging is very common and one of the causes of AC failure or not cooling. Drainpipe clogs when dust particles build up in the drain channels and accumulate over time. With time, it will eventually lead to a blockage in the drain system.
How do you identify a clogged drain? Well, one of the ways to know there is a problem with the drain pipes is; when there is excessive moisture in the room or when the AC unit is leaking.
If you identify the problem in its early stages where it is not completely clogged, you can perform a DIY unclogging by running a solid copper wire through the channel and then flushing the drain with water.
If the drain is completely clogged, you will need help from a professional aircon service contractor who will perform a chemical cleaning.
• The Muffler
This is one of the most ignored and underrated parts of an AC system. However, what many people do not know is that the primary function of the muffler is, to control the sound created by the compressor. As such, the muffler helps you enjoy a comfortable temperature in silence.
You will know the muffler needs maintenance the moment your unit becomes noisy. If this happens, consider contacting a professional to replace these parts.