Air Conditioner Deconstruction: How It Functions

You know that an air conditioner brings joy to your life during the hot summer months, but are you ever curious about how it works? An air conditioner essentially works by transferring heat and humidity found inside your home to the outside. In order to understand why an air conditioner would fail (covered in next month’s blog), you must first understand how it functions.

To break it down, there are 7 essential parts of an air conditioner.

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The evaporator, comprised of cooling coils, removes heat from the air using a refrigerant. A refrigerant is a substance that changes states from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid as it absorbs heat. As a blower ‘blows’ air over the coils, this substance cools the air. At the exterior of the house, a condenser, made up of hot coils accumulates all of the hot air and releases it back into the outside world.

In order for the evaporator and condenser to work together in unison, a compressor, with the aid of a fan, exists to pump refrigerant between the two, chilling the air, dispersing and dissipating it as it travels. Within the air conditioning unit, there is also a filter whose job it is to remove particles, like dust and debris, from the air in your home. Lastly, a thermostat exists to regulate the level of cool air being distributed.

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These 7 parts are essential for the lower temperature bliss you crave during the humid summer months. If you are in need of an air conditioner, contact us! Our knowledgeable technicians would be happy to help you find the right unit to fit your home!

Top 3 Frequently Asked HVAC Questions Heading Into The Summer

HVAC systems keep your home comfort and safety in check, but do you know how they work to maintain this comfort and safety? For the average homeowner, these high-tech systems can be tricky to understand. That is why we have honed the expertise of our Afterglow specialists to answer our most frequently asked questions leading into the summer.

“We made it through the winter with our old furnace/boiler. Can we wait for the fall to replace it?”


We get it, everyone wants to save money if they can. But when it comes down to your furnace or boiler, we highly recommend that you don’t wait! Just because your furnace or boiler survived the winter does not mean it is working efficiently. You may be investing more money the longer you wait. Why? Your air-conditioner relies on your furnace to blow air throughout your home. If that furnace is not in good shape, it could cause your AC to stop working entirely. In the summer months —this is not a problem anyone wishes to have! Do not suffer from heat in vain. Replace your furnace or boiler now so that you are not rushed when the colder weather hits!

“Does the efficiency of an air conditioner really make much of a difference?”


If you like saving money and the environment, yes, air-conditioner efficiency matters! AC efficiency is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which is the rating calculated by the amount of cooling outputted during a typical cooling season divided by the electrical energy (BTU) inputted during that same time period. Essentially, the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit is. For the average Canadian home running their AC from March to September, a bump up one point in SEER may result in savings of $10-$15 per month!

“If I have a boiler at home, can I even get air conditioning?”


Many of our clients think that if they have a boiler installed, they are out of luck with an AC system because boiler systems do not use ducts to transport heat throughout the home. That is not the case! Air conditioner technology is becoming more and more inventive! Ductless options with wall-mounted AC heads are available and can be quite cost-effective. These powerful systems can cool rooms or even entire floors quite rapidly, saving you at the hottest time of the year! Ducted systems are also available and can work alongside your boiler.

You asked, we answered! Do not suffer in the scorching heat this summer. Bask in the cool air you always dreamed of! Do you have any HVAC questions nagging you? Contact us —our HVAC specialists would be happy to help provide you with some clarity and expert advice!

Vacation-Proofing Your Home While You Are Away

Vacation-Proofing Your Home While You Are Away

The warm weather hits and one of the first things we start planning is our summer vacation. Before you pack your last bag and drive to the airport, be sure the thermostat is prepared to take care of your home while you are away. Here are some tips for making sure your energy bill isn’t as high as your sand castle.

Adventure

Change your thermostat temperature. We don’t recommend turning your thermostat off completely, because you could potentially damage structural components in your home should it be too hot and humid.  However, if you don’t have any pets in the house, we recommend leaving your thermostat at 90 degrees. This could result in a 32% savings on your electric bill. If you do have pets, contact your vet about safe temperatures for your animals.

Unplug everything. Lights and appliances from small to big, can be know as “energy vampires.” Simply turning something off does not save it from using electricity. Unplugging all of your appliances, except of course fridges and freezers, will not only save you on your energy bill, but save you potentially lost property by eliminating the chance of a fire hazard in your home while you are away.

Appliances

Close your curtains. Keep the hot summer sun out and you can conserve a resting temperature in your home more easily. The sun pouring in your windows can heat up the air in your house and raise your home temperature a lot during the day. Give your AC an easy job this vacation and remember to close your blinds.

Use tech to your advantage. We mentioned the EcoBee3 in a previous blog, and it has one vital feature we find extremely useful for homeowners temporarily going away – it can sense when you are in your home and when you are away and temperature control with respect to that. If you don’t have the time to fiddle for the ideal temperature, invest in an EcoBee3 today and Afterglow technicians will be more than happy to help you install it.

EcoBee

Turn off your water main. A small water leak can cause lots of trouble. Consider turning off the main water valve to stop the water pressure from pushing on fixtures and toilets.

Don’t forget the water heater. It’s easy to get concerned with just the air temperature in your house. Don’t forget – no one will be having hot showers in your home while you’re away. Switch the circuit breaker on your water heater off, or turn your gas water heater on vacation or unplug it. When you come back, remember to turn your water to hot and let it run before switching these heaters back on to avoid damage to the units.

Regular Inspections. Most insurance companies require someone to come and look inside your house if you are away for a period of time. And document the visit!

The last thing you should be thinking about on vacation is what’s going on at home. Follow these simple steps so that you can easily leave your worries behind and enjoy your well-deserved break.

Cheers

Contact Afterglow today to have your AC checked before you go away!

Humidity Control

Not only does it get really hot during our summers in Southwestern Ontario, it gets really humid too. All that water in the air makes the heat feel really wet and heavy and makes us feel sluggish and sweaty. Humidity control is not only important for your comfort, it’s also important for your health. Too much humidity in the house can cause mould to grow, which can lead to all kinds of health problems. 

How can you control humidity in your home this summer to make life more comfortable?

A good quality Air Conditioner in good repair is designed to draw out humidity as well as cooling the air. But if an Air Conditioner isn’t right for you or your home, there are also whole-home humidifiers which work great and are less expensive. Instead of having de-humidifiers in each room, you can have one for the whole house.

Humidity control is part of your overall home health – for your family and the house itself. If you need help with humidity problems in your home, give our experts a call at Afterglow. We are committed to your comfort and well-being. After all, summer is a season to be enjoyed!

Until next time, stay cool and dry!

Ontario ACs

Back when I was a kid, a while back now, there weren’t many families who had Air Conditioning. They were a novelty item during the summers. I remember my friend Mike and I throwing grass clippings into his family Air Conditioner and watching the fan blow the grass into the air. It sure was considered a luxury item, in fact, back then only 12% of homes in Ontario had central Air Conditioning units. Nowadays the figure is more like 80%! Boy have things changed.

Instead of being a big luxury item, central Air Conditioning in homes has become more commonplace as people want to escape the really scorching hot weather during heat waves. Sleeping at night is easier and more comfortable when the air is cool, and we know that sometimes during the summer the air at night isn’t very cool at all. Instead of being a luxury, it feels like Air Conditioning is a necessity.

If you want to service your existing Air Conditioning unit, or if you would like to purchase a new unit for your home before the weather gets really unbearable, call Afterglow for great service and prices. 

Until next time, stay cool!