It’s common knowledge that the summer weather in Arizona gets hot. Really, really hot. This means that the operating costs of your air conditioner can skyrocket if your unit is outdated or improperly maintained. Additionally, the extreme heat can simply leave your unit overworked. If you don’t want to be dealing with massive increases in your energy bills, it’s vital to maintain and prepare your unit to handle the summer heat.
Understanding the Parts of Your AC
A typical central air conditioning unit for a residence has four main parts that are connected to each other by pipes and ducts and are essential to proper function. If any one of these parts is not working properly, the entire unit will not be able to effectively cool the home.
The evaporator is located on the cold side of the air conditioner.It’s often installed inside of a furnace unit and is paired with a fan that blows air over the coils and into the home.It receives the liquid refrigerant and converts it to a gas through a drop in pressure.
- Condenser Unit
The condenser unit is the portion of the air conditioning unit that most often comes to mind when people think of air conditioning.This is the part that sits outside the home, usually placed on a concrete slab.It performs the opposite function of the evaporator and converts the evaporated refrigerant back into a liquid.
- Expansion Valve
The expansion valve is located between the evaporator and condenser.Its job is to remove pressure from the liquid refrigerants to aid in the conversion of gas that occurs in the evaporator.
Like the condenser, the compressor is responsible for the opposite job of the expansion valve.Its purpose is to re-pressurize the refrigerant gas to turn it back into a liquid.
Maintain Peak Condition For Your Air Conditioner
Heat naturally travels from hotter areas to colder areas which means that the excessive heat outside will inevitably do its best to make its way into your colder home. This is where your air conditioner kicks in to keep your house cool. Unfortunately, if the unit isn’t properly maintained, it will be forced into overdrive to handle the heat, putting unnecessary wear and tear on the unit as well as significantly rising energy costs for your home. The following are four simple ways to keep your unit in optimal condition:
- Invest in an AC tune-up for proper preventative maintenance. Preventative care will keep your unit running at maximum efficiency and will be far less costly in the long run than waiting for something to go wrong.
- Change the air filter in your air conditioning unit. A filter that’s clogged with dust and debris can’t properly pass through air and adds strain to the unit.
- Seal off entry ways and other areas of your house that can potentially leak hot air into the home. Also, make sure that your duct work is in good shape and not leaking.
- Check your condensate line or condensate drain. The condensate line helps drain excess moisture out of the home, but water can back up and overflow if the drain line becomes clogged, causing water damage to the home and decreasing the efficiency of the AC unit.
The outside temperatures in Arizona can get to unbearable heights in the summer, but the inside temperatures and your energy bills don’t have to experience the same spike.Routine maintenance and basic knowledge of how your air conditioning unit works can help keep you cool all summer long.