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Air Conditioning 101

Air Conditioning 101 by ATN Mechanical

The topic of “air conditioning 101” is popular at this time of year. Of course, everyone is trying to stay cool. And, what better way than to crank up the AC unit? Then, you can enjoy the outdoors but come inside to comfort. If you read last month’s blog, you learned about how to keep your house cool and your hydro bill down. However, this month, we decided to bring you our Air Conditioning 101 guide.

At ATN Mechanical, it’s our job to know about your HVAC. Yet, it’s not everyone’s specialty. So, we are here to help you learn a little more about what goes on inside your AC unit. Additionally, we have some fun facts for you. It’s cool to be in the loop.

How Does Air Conditioning Work?

First, in our air conditioning 101 guide, we want to go over a few basics. We won’t bore you and get into too much detail, don’t worry! But, it’s essential for you to understand how your air conditioner works. It may even help you identify problems in the future. On that note, let’s dive in.

Inside your AC unit, there is a tube. In that tube, there is a substance that is called coolant. The air passes through the coolant and changes from one state to another. To clarify – warm air becomes cool as it passes through. 

Next, it’s important to remember that your AC unit contains 2 parts. The first, is the compressor that you see outside. The second, is the evaporator inside your home.

So, how does it work together? When the liquid coolant hits the evaporator, it absorbs the heat. Consequently, it turns to gas. The warm gas then heads to the compressor. Lastly, the compressor changes the state again into a liquid by removing all heat. The hot air then blows outside. This cycle repeats over and over.

In short, your AC takes the warm air, cools it, and then shoots in back outside. Therefore, the cool stays in, and the heat stays out.

AC Maintenance Checklist

Above all, maintaining your AC will help it last longer. In turn, saving you money. Although, most people have no idea where to start. It’s about more than just an annual service. There are a few things you should be doing to keep your AC unit in tip-top shape.

  1. Change filters more frequently. If you are someone who always forgets to change the filter, you could be hurting your AC. When the filter is dirty, your unit must work harder to cool your home. More air conditioning = more money.
  2. Keep your AC unit clean. In the spring, remove any debris that’s built up. You can do this by turning the power off, and taking off the fan. Unfortunately, it is common for leaves to build up over winter. So, don’t forget this crucial step.
  3. Check for air leaks in your home. As a rule, you should always be checking for places the air is escaping. During summer, your air conditioning will be heading outside. All the while, the hot air will be heading back in. It’s a lose-lose situation you don’t want to be stuck in. This simple step will save you the hassle.
  4. If you just moved into your home, you should have the size of your AC unit assessed. Proper sizing is also key to efficiency. Any of our technicians at ATN Mechanical can help, just give us a call.
  5. Maintain the space around your AC unit. It’s no surprise that homeowners don’t always love the look of the compressor. But, it doesn’t have to be an eyesore. Check out our blog Home and Gardening Tips for Your HVAC. Here, you will find tons of tips and tricks to turn your AC into a backyard oasis.

5 Interesting Facts About Air Conditioning

Old School Air Conditioning

A long time ago, there was a basic form. It involved a form of evaporative cooling. Reeds were actually soaked in water and hung in the window. The blowing wind evaporated the water and made the air cooler. Your AC probably seems like a real luxury now. 

The “Firsts”

Did you know, the first public place to use air conditioning was the movie theatre? Large groups of people needed comfort. So, they gave it to them! People were looking for a place to cool down, and the movie theatres took advantage. During the summer months, movie ticket sales skyrocketed. Today, it would be strange to find a public place that didn’t offer AC.

Another interesting fact comes to play when thinking of the first AC in a car. It wasn’t all fun and games. In order to activate it, the driver would have to stop the car. From there, they must detach the compressor. It may not have been the easiest, but it worked.

Summer Break

The term summer break comes from the need to cool down. Before air conditioning was around, the heat was overwhelming. Therefore, schools shut down during the summer. The teachers and the students couldn’t bear the heat any longer.

In some places, businesses even allowed workers time off. Employees had the option to take a whole month off due to the heat. Air conditioning allows us to work all year round now.

Air Conditioning 101 (Recap)

This month, we tried to give you as much information on AC units as possible. We hope it helps you better understand the air conditioning in your home. As a quick reminder, we have created a recap of this blog:

First, remember that you need to take care of your AC unit. If you love it, it will love you back. That means annual maintenance and following the checklist, provided above. The more efficient your HVAC is, the less money it will cost you. You can even give your outside space a facelift with one of our tips and tricks.

Lastly, always remember how your AC works. It takes the warm air from inside, cools it, and pushes the heat outside again. On that note, keeping your house cool is about more than just AC. There are many ways you can keep your home cool during peak temperatures.

For more information on how to keep your air cool, and clean, check out some of our other blogs on our website.

For all your HVAC needs – don’t hesitate to call. As always, customer satisfaction is top of our list.

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