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Air Conditioning

Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines

 Air conditioning can greatly enhance the comfort of your home, but if it is used improperly or inefficiently, wasted energy and frustration will result. These hints and suggestions are provided to help you maximize your air conditioning system.

Your air conditioning system is a whole-house system. The air conditioning unit is the mechanism that produces cooler air. The air conditioning system involves everything inside your home, including, for example, drapes, blinds, and windows.

Your home air conditioning is a closed system, which means that the interior air is continually recycled and cooled until the desired air temperature is reached. Warm outside air disrupts the system and makes cooling impossible. Therefore, you should keep all windows closed. The heat from the sun shining through windows with open drapes is intense enough to overcome the cooling effect of the air conditioning unit. For best results, close the drapes on these windows.

Time is critical in your expectations of an air conditioning system. Unlike a light bulb, which reacts instantly when you turn on a switch, the air conditioning unit only begins a process when you set the thermostat.

For example, if you come home at 6:00 p.m. when the temperature has reached 90 degrees F and set your thermostat to 75 degrees, the air conditioning unit will begin cooling. Still, it will take much longer to reach the desired temperature. During the whole day, the sun has been heating not only the air in the house, but the walls, the carpet, and the furniture. At 6:00 p.m., the air conditioning unit starts cooling the air, but the walls, carpet, and furniture release heat and nullify this cooling. By the time the air conditioning unit has cooled the walls, carpet, and furniture, you may well have lost patience.

If evening cooling is your primary goal, set the thermostat at a moderate temperature in the morning while the house is cooler, allowing the system to maintain the cooler temperature. The temperature setting may then be lowered slightly when you arrive home, with better results. Once the system is operating, setting the thermostat at 60 degrees will not cool the home any faster and can result in the unit freezing up and not performing at all. Extended use under these conditions can damage the unit.

 

Adjust Vents

Maximize airflow to occupied parts of your home by adjusting the vents. Likewise, when the seasons change, readjust them for comfortable heating.

 

Compressor Level

Maintain the air conditioning compressor in a level position to prevent inefficient operation and damage to the equipment.

 

See also Grading and Drainage.

 

Humidifier

 If a humidifier is installed on the furnace system, turn it off when you use the air conditioning; otherwise, the additional moisture can cause a freeze-up of the cooling system.

 

Manufacturer's Instructions

 The manufacturer's manual specifies maintenance for the condenser. Review and follow these points carefully. Since the air conditioning system is combined with the heating system, follow the maintenance instructions for your furnace as part of maintaining your air conditioning system.

 

Temperature Variations

 Temperatures may vary from room to room by several degrees Fahrenheit. This is due to such variables as floor plan, the home's orientation on the lot, type and use of window coverings, and traffic through the home.

 

Troubleshooting Tips: No Air Conditioning

 Before calling for service, check to confirm that the:

8  Thermostat is set to "cool," and the temperature is set below the room temperature.

8  Blower panel cover is installed correctly for the furnace blower (fan) to operate. Like how a clothes dryer door operates, this panel pushes in a button that lets the fan motor know it is safe to come on. If that button is not pushed in, the furnace will not operate.

8  Air conditioners and furnace breakers on the main electrical panel are on. (Remember, if a breaker trips, you must turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.)

8  220 switch on the outside wall near the air conditioner is on.

8  Switch on the side of the furnace is on.

8  Fuse in the furnace is good. (See manufacturer literature for size and location.)

8  Filter is clean to allow airflow.

8  Vents in individual rooms are open.

8  Air returns are unobstructed.

8  Air conditioner has not frozen from overuse.

 Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.

 

Parasol Limited Warranty Guidelines

The air conditioning system should maintain a temperature of 78 degrees or a differential of 15 degrees from the outside temperature, measured in the center of each room at the height of 5 feet above the floor. Lower temperature settings are often possible, but neither the manufacturer nor Parasol guarantees this.

 

Compressor

The air conditioning compressor must be in a level position to operate correctly. If it settles during the warranty period, Parasol will correct this.

 

Coolant

The outside temperature must be 70 degrees F or higher for the contractor to add coolant to the system. If your home was completed during the winter months, this system's charging is unlikely to be complete and will need to be performed in the spring. Although we check and document this at orientation, your call to remind us is welcome in the spring.

 

Nonemergency

Lack of air conditioning service is not an emergency. Our region's air conditioning contractors respond to air conditioning service requests during normal business hours and in the order received.