Yes, every air conditioner made dehumidifies a home to an extent. New technology built into equipment can enhance this process by manipulating fan speeds and staging of the air conditioner. You will never notice this occurring, but you will feel the comfort and it can have dramatic positive results.
Water and ice in the unit have the same root causes. Dirty drains, filters, coils, low refrigerant, blocked vents, or a defective indoor fan motor can all contribute to ice in a unit. For more information, you can read our blog “What Causes An Air Conditioner To Freeze Up?”
One culprit could be the dirty water drain that leads to the air conditioner. Since an air conditioners primary job is to remove moisture in the home, a dirty drain could cause a leak. Other times, leaking water comes from ice formed by a dirty filter, dirty indoor coil, blocked vents, low refrigerant or a defective indoor fan motor. Any of these can cause ice to build up on the indoor coil, and water to drip on the floor inside the unit.
Your air conditioner is designed for a 95-degree day and how many BTU’s it takes to cool the home at this outdoor temperature. Older models always operate at 100% capacity, meaning that they deliver all of the cooling they are capable of and use 100% of the electricity to do that, every time. When the temperature is only 70, 80, or 90 degrees, that extra capacity is wasted. Newer models are able to stage the equipment to deliver only the amount of cooling and use only the amount of electricity that is needed based on the outdoor temperature.
Tons is a shorthand phrase that refers to the total cooling capacity of the unit in BTU’s. A 3-, 4-, or 5-ton unit doesn’t refer to the weight of the equipment, but instead to the amount of heat the air conditioner can remove from the home in one hour. The term “tons” stems from a time before air conditioning when people cooled their homes with ice that had been harvested from lakes and rivers in the winter.
There’s a complicated mathematical formula involved in converting the weight of that ice into energy, but in the end a “ton” of air conditioning capacity represents roughly 12,000 BTU per hour. So a 2-ton unit has 24,000 BTU/hr capacity and a 3-ton has 36,000 BTU/hr, and so on. Check out our extended glossary to learn more about other HVAC terms.
If you already have central air conditioning and have not modified your home since it was installed, it is almost always sized properly to your home. If the size of your home has changed through an addition or other renovations, or you have made enhancements that affect air flow (such as window or door replacements or changes to your insulation), it may be time to have a professional perform a new Heat Load Calculation on your home to assess the proper size air conditioner and heater you will need. If you are installing central air for the first time in your home, you will need a Heat Load Calculation to identify the size.
First, be sure the thermostat is set to “cool” and that the set temperature is well below your existing room temperature.
Second, make sure there aren’t any blown fuses or tripped breakers. If this is the problem, simply reset the breaker or replace the fuse. If it continues to be a problem, you should consider modifying your electrical. Third, make sure the power switch is turned on and that the outdoor condenser’s power switch (mounted on the outdoor unit) hasn’t been turned off. Also be sure the 240-volt disconnect next to the compressor (usually in a metal box mounted on the house wall) hasn’t been shut off.
If you have checked these items above and your air conditioner is still not cooling, call 1-877-757-1141 or request an appointment online.
Adjust the registers in the room where too much heat/cooling is present so that the registers are partially closed. For example, to get more heat upstairs during the winter, close the registers downstairs to force more airflow to the registers upstairs.
Another possible solution is a furnace equipped with a variable speed blower motor. These furnaces are designed to overcome airflow problems and keep the airflow steady throughout the entire house. These types of furnaces can also save money in operating costs.
Always have your system checked annually to make sure that the unit is safe. In many cases, tiny cracks or perforations in the heat exchanger can occur. If your furnace is burning inefficiently or incompletely, carbon monoxide can escape and fill the house causing serious health problems and/or death to those inside.
You should at least cover the top of the condensing unit so no debris can get in (people usually do this with a piece of plywood and something to hold it down). This will also help to protect against damage from falling ice and rodents from entering your unit. Any cover, however, must be removed before the start of operations the following spring.
Yes. There should be a disconnect in your panel box or at the outside unit. By turning it off over the winter, you will save energy. However, when you turn it on again in the spring or summer, do it at least 24 hours before turning on the cooling unit to give the oil time to warm and lubricate the essential parts upon startup.
An air conditioning system consists of 2 parts: an outdoor unit (where liquid refrigerant is contained) and an indoor coil (where the refrigerant is pumped into). As the air moves across the air conditioning coil, the refrigerant removes the heat and moisture from the air by condensing it on the cold surface of the coil. Thus, an air conditioner not only cools, but also dehumidifies the air.