Central Air Conditioning Systems in Ottawa
There are two basic types of central air conditioner systems in Ottawa. The single package type where the entire system is contained as a package is commonly mounted on a roof for commercial applications, or smaller versions are often used in condominium apartments. The most common residential central air conditioner in Ottawa is split into tow parts, with the condenser and compressor outside the house and an evaporator coil which is typically installed above the furnace in the main duct work. This is often referred to as a “Split-System Central Air Conditioner”. Residential central air conditioners in Ottawa are “electric compressor-cycle” systems which work in a very similar way to your refrigerator, but on a larger scale.
How Air Conditioning Systems Work
The major components of a typical central air conditioning system are an evaporator coil, a condenser coil, with fans to circulate air over both coils. Copper tubing to carries refrigerant between the two coils. A compressor moves the refrigerant through the system, and a metering device to regulate the rate of refrigerant flow.
Air conditioners use several basic principles to remove heat from within a house. A refrigerant absorbs heat when it changes state (evaporates) from a liquid to a gas. A refrigerant releases heat when it changes from a gas to a liquid, and finally, heat will travel from a hot medium, in this case being a solid (coils), liquid or vapor (refrigerant), to a cooler medium. The cooler medium in the home is the evaporator coil, which absorbs heat from the air, while also removing humidity. This heat is then discharged to the outdoor air as it passes through the outdoor condenser coil.
Common Issues with Air Conditioning Systems
An important issue to consider, particularly with the humid climate in Ottawa, is central air conditioners not only remove heat from the air, but the primary central air conditioner function is to dehumidify the air. For your home to be comfortable, a balance of temperature and humidity must be maintained.
Since a central air conditioner can only dehumidify when in operation, it is important to strike a balance where the central air conditioner runs enough to dehumidify the air. It is therefore beneficial to avoid an over-sized system, while ensuring it has enough capacity to keep up with the hottest days of an Ottawa summer. It is well worth considering two-stage air conditioners, which operate at a lower stage, while reserving the higher capacity for extreme days.
Proper airflow is critical for the proper operation of any air conditioning system. Dirty filters or evaporator coils or poor duct work design or installation will result in poor air distribution and poor air conditioning performance. Likewise, too much air flow reduces efficiency and dehumidifying capability, so just jacking the fan to high speed rarely resolves poor duct design or other deficiencies.
Air Conditioning Systems Maintenance
Central air conditioners in Ottawa don’t require a troublesome amount of maintenance, but some regular attention is required to benefit from the unit’s maximum performance and life span. The major and most expensive replacement part in a central air conditioner is the compressor. Most manufactures nowadays provide ten-year warranties on the original compressor, but with some simple system maintenance most central air conditioner compressors will last well beyond this in Ottawa. Generally, when a central air conditioner compressor fails, the unit is at an age where this is not a worthwhile repair.
An annual check and servicing of all central air conditioner components can identify issues before they become expensive repairs.
To help achieve the maximum comfort and trouble-free service life for your central air conditioner in Ottawa, we also recommend the following central air conditioner maintenance and operation guidelines:
- Adjust dampers for air conditioning at the start of the cooling season. Typically, this means shutting the registers in the basement, and partially closing the ones on the main floor.
- Check to make sure all supply outlets and returns are free from obstructions.
- Clean and/or replace air filters regularly. Service the electronic air cleaner if you have one. (many filters vary in their requirements)
- Check and ensure the condensate drain extending from the evaporator coil is draining freely. If your unit has a condensate pump, keep it clean and working.
- Find a comfortable setting and don’t change it.
- In Ottawa, it is best to avoid ducts that pass through unconditioned areas such as attics, garages and crawl spaces are very well insulated. If it is necessary to run ducts in these areas, make sure they are very well insulated.
- Minimize heat and hot air infiltration by adding attic insulation and weather-stripping at windows and doors and using blinds or curtains.
- Make sure there is plenty of attic ventilation.
- Never operate an air conditioning system when the outside temperature is below 60° F degrees.
Need a Central Air Conditioner Price in Ottawa? Just contact Below Zero Heating & Air Conditioning today!