Chase Away Those Back to School Blues With This Primer on Air Conditioning

Understanding How an Air Conditioner Works

It’s simple enough to understand what an air conditioner does and what it’s for. One of the most common household appliances that people practically can’t live without, especially in the thick of the summer season, ACs are meant to provide comfort and relief from the heat by cooling the air indoors. But while its convenience and practicality make it a hot commodity as temperatures soar, it’s worth asking if people know enough about it to maximize its capabilities and keep it performing at peak levels. For those who want to be in the know, here’s a brief primer on air conditioning just in time for the back-to-school season.

Popular Kinds of Air Conditioners

acWhile there are many different kinds of air conditioners available for the average consumer to choose from, some of the most commonly found in households usually fall into two distinct categories: the central air conditioner or the ductless mini split air conditioner. The main difference between the two is that central air conditioning systems use a network of air vents and air ducts to take in warm air from indoors and then redistribute the cool, treated air to different rooms and spaces within the home. 

Ductless mini splits, however, do not use ductwork. Instead of having the entire home at one set temperature using air ducts, ductless mini-split systems have multiple indoor units that control the air temperature in that particular room or zone in the house. This means mini splits offer greater flexibility and can save on energy bills by adjusting the temperature in unused parts of the home. Additionally, ductless mini split air conditioners are more energy efficient because they don’t experience energy loss in the ductwork like central AC systems, helping homeowners save money on energy costs. However, central air conditioning systems are typically cheaper to install. 

Does Your AC Need Repair?

Most air conditioners, whether central or ductless, are built to last for a long time. Still, every now and then, they encounter hiccups that may require some form of air conditioning repair, if not outright replacement. Some of the most common signs indicating problems with the AC include:

  • Unusually high energy bills: This may be caused by dirt and other debris that clog up the filters, preventing air from flowing efficiently or being cooled properly. Another possibility is that malfunctioning parts are causing the AC to function inefficiently.
  • Lack of cooling power: An AC that doesn’t seem to cool the space properly may suffer from a refrigerant leak or malfunctioning component.
  • Odd smells and noises: Strange noises and smells may be caused by many issues, including loose parts or the accumulation of moisture that allows mold or mildew to grow within the unit.
  • Weak airflow: Homeowners should be wary of any physical blockages or leaks in the system that may prevent air from flowing correctly and affect airflow.

How to Keep Your AC in Tip-Top Shape

maintenanceWhen it comes to longevity, AC maintenance is the name of the game because keeping the AC in excellent working order will not only keep homeowners from dealing with emergency repairs that cause inconvenience and unexpected costs but also keep them from having to fork over a serious amount of money to cover the cost of early air conditioning replacement. 

Engaging in routine air conditioning maintenance, such as changing the air filter once every three months and contracting the services of a professional HVAC technician to check for problems and tweak the system to achieve peak performance, goes a long way in making sure that air conditioners are working well and providing the comfort that homeowners need as they sail the heat waves of summer. Annual air conditioner maintenance will also ensure the system works efficiently and can prevent energy bills from rising. 

About Total Comfort Solutions

Total Comfort Solutions is a family-owned and operated business serving Walla Walla and the surrounding areas since 2008. They offer straightforward pricing, free installation estimates, and 24/7 HVAC emergency service. Call them today for air conditioning services in Walla Walla, WA.

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Air Conditioning Basics for Homeowners

Air Conditioning Basics

In the summer heat, it’s hard to under-appreciate the air conditioner. But, just because everyone loves to enjoy that cold air on a hot day doesn’t mean homeowners understand much about how they work. When homeowners are left in the dark about their home’s critical systems, they can accumulate repair bills and needlessly waste electricity with lost efficiency.

Take back control of the home. This guide from local air conditioning experts can help homeowners learn the basics about their home’s cooling system and how to care for it better so it will last longer and keep everyone more comfortable.

Options for Air Conditioners

ductless mini split One of the first things to learn about air conditioners is the variety of options available for cooling homes and businesses. Too many people shopping for a new air conditioning system don’t know what options are available to them simply because they have no experience with anything other than what is installed in their home. Luckily, the types of air conditioners can be boiled down to two main options:

  • Central Air Conditioning: This is the option that most people are familiar with. For over 50 years, central air conditioning has been the most common choice for air conditioning in homes, especially in new construction. Central air conditioning uses a central blower and a network of air ducts to distribute cold air.
  • Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioning: Innovations in air conditioning led to discoveries that central air conditioning isn’t as efficient as possible because of the energy loss that occurs in air ducts, and they cool the entire home instead of only occupied spaces. Ductless mini split air conditioners reduce utility bills by cooling only the desired rooms and because they don’t need air ducts to work. Mini-splits use special blowers to cool the home in zones, allowing different parts of the house to be set to different temperatures.

When to Schedule AC Repairs

higher cooling billsRegardless of the style of the air conditioner, there will come a time when AC repairs are necessary. Scheduling air conditioner repairs at the first sign of trouble can help prevent the problem from growing. Some of the early signs that air conditioner repair may be needed are:

  • Inconsistent cooling
  • Higher than normal cooling bills
  • Water leaks around the unit
  • Strange noises like grinding or squealing

Calling for professional help as soon as possible is always the best thing to do so any damage doesn’t worsen. Problems that are caught early can often be repaired in a single visit.

Benefits of AC Maintenance

To avoid unnecessary air conditioner repairs, homeowners must stick to a maintenance plan with professional help. Air conditioner maintenance can help AC units last longer, need repairs less often, and save money through better efficiency. Annual maintenance on the AC by a qualified technician is recommended to maximize these benefits.

For homeowners, ensure air filters are always changed on time. Air filters reduce dust and grime in the home and inside air conditioners. Get on a schedule and ensure air filters are replaced at least every three months or more often if a home has pets or allergy sufferers.

About Total Comfort Solutions

Total Comfort Solutions is a family-owned and operated business serving its neighbors in Walla Walla, WA, and the surrounding areas for over a decade. They provide straightforward pricing, free installation estimates, and a worry-free process. Call them today for air conditioning services in Walla Walla, WA.