Air Conditioning FAQs
How do I know what size of air conditioner I need?
HVAC contractors use Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) Manual J to calculate the correct size of air conditioner for your home. This manual may be purchased and you can do the calculations manually by following the instructions, or they can be calculated by software that uses the formulas from Manual J.
For the best results, you need to take complete measurements of your home. (A blueprint is enough for new construction.) This includes both width and length of each room, as well as height. You need to know the cubic volume of your home, because this is the amount of space that must be cooled.
Why has my air conditioner stopped cooling?
The first thing you should check is to see if the air conditioning unit is dirty. It is very important to keep the outside coils clean so the pressure doesn't rise too high. This could cause the pipes holding the coolant to burst, compressor failure or electrical overload. Fortunately, just cleaning the coils is often enough. You'll need to be extra vigilant when contaminants like cottonwood are floating through the air. They can clog up an air conditioner's coil very quickly.
The inside coils are also very important. When they become dirty, they tend to ice over. This stops air from flowing through the coils, reducing and eventually stopping cooling entirely. The best way to prevent problems with the inside coils is to change the air filters regularly. Don't use a high pressure blower as this can flatten the coil fins or break them off.
Is there anything I can do to reduce the risk of my air conditioner breaking down?
Preventive maintenance is one of the smartest things you can do. It’s recommended that you keep both the outside coils and inside coils of your air conditioning system clean at all times.
Who invented air conditioning?
Willis Carrier, a graduate of Cornell University's Masters of Engineering program, built the first air conditioning unit for a Brooklyn printing plant in 1902. The resulting even air temperature made it possible to print in four colors without misalignment of the inks. It wasn't until 1924 that Carrier's idea caught on for making movie theaters and department stores more comfortable in the summer months.
Should I be worried about the amount of noise my air condition makes when it starts up?
Most air conditioners are noisier when the air conditioning condenser unit first starts. This is because the compressor needs to build up pressure to operate. If the noise lasts more than 10 seconds, call a technician. HVAC techs will check for low refrigerant levels, compressor oil levels and other issues that might be occurring.