It seems like a central air conditioner blows cold air into your house and that's all there is to making you comfortable. However, there's a little more to how an air conditioning system works. An AC has three important roles in treating your indoor air. One is to remove heat from the space, another is to reduce humidity, and the third is to filter the air. Here's a closer look at each of these roles and how you can ensure your AC does the best job possible at keeping you cool.
You probably know you're supposed to change the filter on your AC regularly, but you may not know how critical this is to the performance of your air conditioner. The purpose of the filter is to keep dust and dirt out of the air handler and air conditioning system. If you neglect to keep up with filter changes, dust gets pulled into the system and can affect the air quality in your home. Even worse, the dust will coat the coils, blower fan, and ducts and cause your AC to work less efficiently. Your AC may even break down due to being clogged up with dust.
Fortunately, this problem is easy to prevent when you change the filter as often as you should and have your AC cleaned at least once a year by an HVAC technician. If you have allergies or live with an indoor smoker, you can talk to the technician about installing additional filters or an air purifier on your HVAC that can make your indoor air even cleaner.
Your air conditioner pulls moisture out of the air when it runs. This is helpful because you don't feel as hot and miserable when the humidity is lower. With lower humidity, you can keep the temperature a little higher on your AC. The AC removes moisture from the air by causing condensation when warm air in your house meets the cold coils in your AC. The condensation collects in a pan and then drains outside. One way to keep this system working well is to have regular service so the condensation drain tube is cleaned to prevent blocking that causes water to back up in the HVAC. If where you live has frequent days with high humidity, you may want to talk to your HVAC company about having a dehumidifier added to your system so you get enhanced benefits from drier indoor air.
An air conditioner works by pulling air in your house through the filter and into the unit where the warm air passes over coils made cold by refrigerant. The cold coils cool down the air, and the air is recycled and blows out the registers as chilled air that cools your home. In order for this process to work, refrigerant levels have to be in a certain range and the coils the refrigerant flows through have to be clean. Dirty coils act as insulation that keeps the cool temperatures insulated from the warm air, and this reduces the cooling ability of your AC. A loss of refrigerant will cause a loss in cooling ability also. If your AC isn't blowing out cool air, seek the help of residential air conditioning services to check the refrigerant level because the refrigerant can leak out if a tiny leak hole develops.