Air conditioning terminology 

20 Mar. 20

How to prep your AC for long summers

When summer kicks in, your AC is something you definitely want working well. For many in Toronto, your air conditioner is equally important during the two major weather seasons. Summer sees us going from the very active use of our furnace to the constant use of our cooling system.

In no time, you and many other people living in Toronto will start to look to your conditioning system for comfort. When this time comes, it is important that your system works well not only when you put it on, but every time when you need it on. This is why checking your system, and preparing it towards summer is a task you cannot afford to leave out of your to-do list.

The weather in Toronto is not one that you should endure without a perfect conditioning system to help you regulate it. If you do not want the weather to get the best of you either in winter or in summer, it is important that you have a working air conditioning system. So, as summer slowly creeps in, you will be doing yourself a major help if you check on your conditioning system.

It is recommended that you check your AC system now, so as to know what to repair as early as possible. By checking your system early enough, you can decide which services you need, or which tools you need to make your summer experience smooth and more importantly – cool. Waiting and trying your luck every time you put on the system is not only risky but can also cost you more. It can lead to great discomfort for you while you have to wait for the repairs which you could have done earlier. 

When preparing for the summer months, there are certain steps that can be taken to ensure that you have a worthwhile experience. These steps will help you know beforehand if your system is up to the task, and if it is ready to work when needed. Unless you want to do yourself a disservice, you will not mind carefully going through this guide for assistance. 

In this guide, you shall be exposed to the reasons why you need to prepare your air-con system for summer. It also contains info on how you can do that by making use of some basic steps. We will explore your indoor and outdoor equipment, and factor them into consideration when providing you with these life-saving tips. 

AC

Here are few air conditioning terms to get you through the summer

Compressor 

When you hear talk about the component which changes low-pressure refrigerant to high-pressure refrigerant, the compressor is that component.

Compressor shaft seal

This is a seal which is built to surround the compressor and to permit the shaft to turn without loss of oil or refrigerant.

Compressor clutch

This clutch is made of electromagnetic coupling. It determines whether the belt-driven compressor pulley is connected to or disconnected from the compressor shaft.

Air conditioning

This connotes the absolute control of the temperature and humidity of a given place. When it comes to vehicles, homes and buildings, it simply refers to the control of temperature and removal of moisture by condensation 

Ambient temperature

This refers to the temperature of the surrounding air. When we talk of air conditioning, it simply means the outside air temperature.

Atmospheric temperature

This refers to the weight of air at different altitudes obtainable. 

Condenser

The work of the condenser is located in giving heat. This is the component responsible for the heat given off by the AC as a result of changes from gas to liquid. 

Condensing temperature

This refers to the temperature at which the condensed gas in a condenser changes from gaseous state to liquid state.

Condensing pressure

This is the pressure deduced from the gauge at the high side service valve.

Evaporator

This is the component where liquid refrigerant is caused to change to gas as it absorbs heat from the inside air.

Filter

As you make use of your air conditioning system, certain particles, dirt, and foreign substances are bound to get into the system. This is why your AC needs a filter. Filters are the device used with a drier or perhaps as a separate unit for the purpose of removing those foreign substances from the refrigerant. 

Recovery Equipment

This is usually a mechanical system comprising an oil separator, compressor, evaporator, and a condenser which draws refrigerant from a refrigeration system, and stores it in a container or something similar. 

Superheat

Sometimes, it may happen that the heat produced will not be enough to regulate the amount of cold in the room. Superheat comes in such instances. This refers to an added intensity to gas after there had been complete evaporation of a liquid. This process is subject to the control of increasing pressure in air-con systems.

Having learnt certain key terms that can help you get through the summer effortlessly, it is important that you understand your indoor and outdoor equipment. The indoor and outdoor components are the major parts of your conditioning system. Knowing how to check them, and what to check for will help you make use of your AC during Toronto summers.

How to check the indoor components of your AC

Before you get into the major part of checking your indoor components, ensure that your thermostat is placed in “off” position. Equally, make sure that the temperature is turned to a high setting around 80 degrees. Thereafter, you can check the following components:

Take a careful look at your thermostat:

Often times, your thermostat may be out-dated, and you would not know. If you don’t check, this leaves you with the risk of running an AC that can’t be regulated. This is why it is necessary to check your thermostat and ensure that it is still active and healthy. If it is not, you can easily purchase a new programmable one or request the assistance of an HVAC expert.

Check your ductwork

When it comes to HVAC systems of any kind, your ductwork is a delicate component.  They can easily give up on you without prior warning. As a result of the fact that they contain connections to different holes, they can easily loosen. When they do, they may be a source of cooling loss thereby reducing the efficiency of your air conditioning system. 

We are sure you do not want to experience this. Therefore, it is pretty important that you take a careful look at your ductwork, to determine if they need a change. 

Have a look at your home air vents

Air vents around your home are responsible for allowing air in and out. However, they can easily get blocked especially when the air is filled with substances that are not friendly. They can also be blocked by items that are disposed of carelessly. So, look around your Toronto homes to ensure that you remove any item that may block airflow.

Your drain line is your next stop

If you must use your AC during Toronto summers, then you have to ensure that your drain line is at its best. A common problem with drain lines occurs when it gets clogged by dirt. The drain is located by the indoor cooling coil which is practically placed above the furnace in the basement. For this drain to work well, it must be kept safe from potential blockages.

If you can get chlorine bleach, flush it down your air-con drain, and then rinse it all with about a gallon of water. If you do this efficiently, your drain lines will be clear throughout the summer. The main reason why your air con’s drain keeps getting clogged is   dirt keeps accumulating in it.

If your drain gets clogged, and you do not take the right step as quickly as possible, it leads to a greater problem. The water otherwise meant to go through the drain would have to go somewhere else. Often, this water ends on the pan which further complicates the entire problem itself. This is why, at best, you should always have an expert check your drain at least, once a year.

Purchase another air filter

Air filters are integral to your air conditioning systems. You cannot afford to have your air-con running on a bad air filter if you want to have a nice summer. This is why your air filters should be changed every three months or as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Most importantly, if a new cooling or heating season will be starting, it is highly necessary to change your air filters, and get a new one to replace it. 

Emphasis on your circuits

Always be at the top of your game with your circuits. It is important that you ensure that your electrical connections are spot on. Having one faulty electrical connection can cost you a great deal if proper care is not taken. So, ensure that your circuits are well checked, and optimized for efficiency. Also, be sure that power is rightly turned on at the furnace or at the air-con unit as the case may be. 

How to check the outdoor components of your AC

One key thing you must ensure is that there is no blockage anywhere close to the equipment. You must ensure that the surrounding area is cleaned so as to avoid leaves and the likes from causing blockages. Also, it is necessary to make sure that there is no loosening of panels, as these panels were made to tighten electrical connections.

Other components to look out for are:

Refrigerant lines

The lines must always be insulated, as adequate insulation makes for efficiency. However, if the refrigerant lines are to be insulated, it is advised that it should be done by a professional. 

Ensure the outdoor electrical wiring is still up and doing

As a result of regular use, the electrical wires of an air-con are subject to wear and tear. As such, if you are to use your AC during Toronto summers, you have to make sure that your electrical wiring is not damaged. If there has been damage or wear, then you should immediately request the services of a professional. 

Know when to get a new air-con

Every appliance, tool or equipment we make use of has an expiry date. Nothing goes on and on for life. This is why it is necessary that you know when to get a new air conditioner. Even if you have invested adequate maintenance culture in your air-con, it is still bound to wear out. 

In fact, it has been said that when your air-con reaches its retirement point, it causes cooling loss. At that time, changing it would benefit you a lot more. 

How to turn on your AC after a long time

Once you have gone through the process of checking your indoor and outdoor equipment, you can run your air-con without any fear. So, what are the things to do?

  • Firstly, you have to lower the temperature on your thermostat to a level of your choice, and then turn the AC on
  • Secondly, step outside to listen to ensure that the condenser’s fan is running well. You should also feel warm air emitting from the air conditioner while outside. 
  • Finally, let the AC run for some 15 minutes. By this time, you should feel the inside of your home gradually getting cool.

Troubleshooting tips for summer

There is hardly any way to avoid problems when using your air conditioning unit. Generally, you should request the services of a professional at least once in a year so as to maintain the upkeep of your system. If you are currently facing any problems now, you should call an HVAC professional immediately so as to make your summer comfortable.

Amidst all of these, a simple way to reduce how much you incur on your energy is by reducing the temperature on your thermostat by a few degrees.

Thermostat settings for your AC

There is a lot which depends on how you set your thermostat. How you set your thermostat can determine the cooling level of your home and also affect your energy bill. See why it is necessary to understand how to set it?

To enjoy your AC during Toronto summers, what is the best temperature to set your thermostat? It is generally advisable that in such warm weather, you should set your home’s cooling system to 78°F, especially when you are home. When you happen to not be around, set it to a degree which is a little higher. This way, only when the temperature reaches 88 degrees Fahrenheit will the cooling system come on.

As a matter of fact, it is generally estimated that for every degree higher in which you set your thermostat, you are bound to save nothing less than 6% of your home energy bill, per degree.

The simple lesson here is that when you master the art of keeping your home’s temperature relatively higher, you can save yourself some money.

Using a programmable thermostat in summer

The reason for making use of a programmable thermostat is not far-fetched. It is because it allows you to run an orderly cooling programme in the summer without manual inputs. Once you set it to work, it carries out your instructions accordingly. That way, you can regulate your air conditioner while sleeping, and in fact, when you are not at home.

Majority of these programmable thermostats can regulate the temperature of your air conditioner up to 6 different times per day. The ease of use is exactly what makes it interesting to use. It allows you to take into consideration factors such as: who you are, and how you cool like to have your home at different times of the day.

For instance, if you would like yo wake up to warm room, you can set the thermostat to start heating the room some 2 hours before you actually wake up.

Here are a few tips for using your programmable thermostat:

  • To really enjoy the use of your programmable thermostat, interior walls are best for installation. Install your thermostat away from heating, sunlight, lightings and so on. 
  • If no one would be around for long periods, keep the thermostat set at energy-saving temperatures.
  • In the case where your programmable thermostat runs on batteries, ensure you change the battery every year. This helps it to function adequately.

Final thoughts on how to prepare your AC for long summers

Summer can be nice or awful depending on how well you prepare for it. If you have your air conditioner, this guide has provided ways in which you can stay ahead of the weather. Ensure that your air conditioner is well checked beforehand and that the necessary parts are either changed or repaired. 

If you want your AC at its best during Toronto summers, this guide is for you. Our professionals can also help you implement the processes in this guide. Call us today!