When the mercury starts to rise, older, undersized or inadequate air conditioner units have greater trouble cooling inside air. GThis is because the cycle of air conditioning involves the circulation of a refrigerant. it is a fluid transitioning gas or vapor that in turn absorbs heat from the location and transfers it outdoors. As outside temperatures get warmer, air conditioners work harder to maintain that cooling equilibrium as the cycle needs the outside temperature to be lower than the heat that is the unit is releasing. Read on to learn more!
The Cycle of Air Conditioning
As air conditioners operate in a continuous cycle as we have already described, the cycle involves compression, condensation, expansion, and evaporation. Outside the home, the AC has to compress the gaseous refrigerant, increasing its temperature. A fan then blows air from outside across the coils of the unit that contains the neared high-pressure refrigerant. When the outside air is cooler than the temperature of the fluid, heat energy automatically flows from the refrigerant to the air, outside. When the high-temperature gaseous refrigerant gives up its energy, it returns to a liquid form.
That liquid then goes through what is known as an expander. its job is to convert the refrigerant to a low-temperature low-pressure liquid as it enters your home. Then another fan is situated to blow inside air across the coils where the warmer air sends heat into the cool coils, converting the liquid to gas once again. This gaseous refrigerant re-enters the compressor. The cycle is complete and ready to start once more!
The Outside Temperature
The rate of and the amount of heat at which the transfer takes place is dependent on the difference in temperature between the air outside and the refrigerant. When the temperature of the outside air is lower, the more cooling is performed by the heat exchanger as opposed to the compressor. When the temperature of the outside air increases, the air-conditioner works harder in an effort to keep the home cool because the compressor is working more.
SEER is an acronym of “Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio” – essentially it is a way of describing the ratio of the cooling capacity compared to its power input. Or if you prefer, the ratio of cooling expressed in British Thermal Units divided by the number of watts used by the electricity. The larger the SEER number, the better the unit cools. Older AC units have a lower SEER rating (usually about 6.) It is recommended if you live in the North to get an AC wit ha SER of 13 and in the South and Southwest a 14 SEER unit will suffice.
Increasing AC Efficiency
Regularly maintaining the AC unit is a great way to improve the efficiency of the unit. When the unit is covered with dust, dirt, debris and suchlike, the compressor has to work harder to bring the temperatures down. It is a good idea to cover the AC unit in winter to help keep it clean. This is where an annual contract for maintenance may be a good idea. The contractor cleans the unit, replaces parts that are faulty or replaces the refrigerant to ensure the unit will run well in summer.