Air Conditioning 101
GRmetro Heating and Cooling is a locally owned and operated HVAC company serving homeowners throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan and the surrounding areas.
It’s the time of year when we start thinking about air conditioning and how much we’re going to need it in a couple of months. It’s true, but it’s also good news! AC season is also the season where you can work on your garden, enjoy some outdoor activities, and sit with the family by the fire when you take a camping trip. We understand the excitement to get out there and enjoy the activities!
However, we want to start off this season by educating all of our customers. Let’s talk about central air conditioners in Grand Rapids, MI, and more importantly, how they work and what they do! If you don’t understand the inner workings of your air conditioner, then it can be hard to know when there’s something wrong. Let us help you learn about your system to be a better AC owner and operator.
How an Air Conditioner Works
Central air conditioners are designed to take the heat out of your whole home (up to a certain point), and move that heat outdoors so you don’t feel it anymore. The system has two coils, an evaporator coil, and a condenser coil, and they both work to move heat from one location to the other.
The evaporator coil is located indoors where it evaporates the refrigerant which causes it to draw in heat. Then, the refrigerant is cycled to the condenser coil where it condenses, distributing this heat to the outdoors where it can be released into the atmosphere.
This process is very efficient, and depending on where your electrical energy comes from, it can also be environmentally friendly!
What Is Refrigerant?
Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioning system. Without it, it’s just an oversized fan that constantly blows lukewarm air into your air ducts. In fact, if your air conditioner is doing that right now, then you might have a refrigerant leak!
Refrigerant is a material that can evaporate and condense with very little energy needed. It’s basically a transfer medium that absorbs and releases heat without too much energy required.
You might think that we could just use water instead, but the energy and temperature required to evaporate water are way too high and the process just wouldn’t work. Refrigerant can easily be compressed to evaporate and condense, allowing the cooling cycle to work properly.
3 Fun Facts About Your AC
Here are 3 fun facts about your air conditioner that you can use as party tricks, or to help you plan out the maintenance and care of your AC system. We’re fine with either option!
- It should keep the same amount of refrigerant throughout its entire lifespan. Unless your air conditioner leaks refrigerant, it should never lose any refrigerant. It doesn’t consume refrigerant, the system only consumes electricity!
- AC systems actually move heat, they don’t create cooling power. Many homeowners think their air conditioner creates cold air, but it actually takes heat out of the air by moving it!
- Central air conditioners actually have an air filter built into them. This air filter needs to be changed every 1-3 months for maximum system efficiency.