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Many people look into installing air conditioning in their home every year. There are many options to consider when it comes time to make that decision. To help make that decision more clear, I will explore some of the positives and negatives of the two major options. Ductless Split A/C type units lately are also becoming more of a popular option. I will do another “Tips and Tricks” on that option. To include that in this one would just be more confusing. So for now we will just look at window airconditioners and central air conditioning.
Central air conditioning is usually the best way to go if you already have a central hot air heating system already installed in your house or building. The advantage that you have is that you already have the air handler or blower part already installed. The ductwork for the distribution of the air is also all ready in place. The ductwork may need some modification to make it work well for air conditioning, but the major part of it should be adequate. To use the existing furnace and ductwork an A/C coil will need to be installed at the furnace. An outdoor condenser unit will be installed outside and copper tubing will be used to connect the coil to the outdoor unit. Some electrical wiring will need to be done to power the outdoor unit. Low voltage wiring will also be needed to hookup the thermostat, the furnace, and the outdoor unit together so that they can talk to each other. Basically the thermostat will just tell the furnace to run the blower on high speed and the outdoor condenser to start up. If there is no central hot air heating, then the installation of central air conditioning can be much more difficult. Many homes that do not have hot air heat also do not have the room to install ductwork. This would eliminate this possibility. If you are in this category you should get a professional to look at your situation to see if central air conditioning can be done. If it is the room available is to enough to do a good job and get large enough ductwork installed, then do not force the issue and go another option. Ductless split type air conditioning may be your best option.
A window air conditioner in my opinion is a last resort for air conditioning your house or building. There are many down sides to window air conditioning units. There are two good things that window air conditioners have going for them. They are very inexpensive when it comes to cost per BTU of cooling. They also install very quickly and easily. That is where the good part of them ends.
Window air conditioners are security risks. If a thief wants to get into your house, the thin sheet metal box that holds the unit in the window can easily be pulled apart to get in through the window. I have seen many units that are not even screwed fast. If the window air conditioner is just there, balancing in the window frame, it becomes very inviting for a unexpected guest. The window air conditioner is also very inefficient. These units use more power per BTU of cooling than any other type of air conditioner. If you are a light sleeper, than chances are you will not want one of these window shakers. Window air conditioners are one of the loudest forms of air conditioning. The fan for these units is very loud when running. Then add the noise of the compressor and you have enough decibels to keep many people wide awake all night long. If you choose to use a window air conditioner, than you should also look for a place that it can be secured and placed in a room that you will not be sleeping in.
As you can tell by now, I am not a big fan of window air conditioners. They do have a place for some people. However, you do need to be aware of the problems that you may encounter with them. The low initial cost can be offset by the fact that they typically do not last as long as a central air conditioner. Central air conditioning will last much longer, be quieter during operation, be more efficient, be more secure, but the initial cost will be higher. How much depends on each situation. When considering your options for air conditioning installation you need to get prices for everything and then decide what type of unit will work the best for you.
Twin units can be two airconditioner condensers and/or two furnaces. Most manufacturers make a twinning kit that will wire two units together to operate simultaneously by one thermostat. At times, one may operate as a first stage of heating (cooling) and then the other unit can operate as second stage. Twinning unit are beneficial in commercial buildings where the load conditions vary constantly. For instance, if you twin two 4 ton units together. On a nice cool day, you may only need 4 tons of air conditioning. So, the thermostat will only turn on one unit. On a hotter day, you may need 8 tons of air, so the thermostat will turn on both units. In case you are thinking about doing this, the biggest mistake in twinning units together is using a common return air for the furnaces. Make sure you separate the return air cavities and ductwork for both of your furnaces If you don't have separate returns, you have the possibility of one of the blowers starting backwards. (talking form experience LOL)
Problem #1:Outdoor condensing fan motor has stopped running. This problem
could be caused by a bad motor run capacitor. If
your motor capacitor is not the problem, then more than likely you need a new
motor. Is the fan blade tight, stiff or hard to turn? If the fan blade is hard
to turn then you probably need a new motor.
Problem #2: Air conditioner compressor will not start. When power is applied
to the air conditioning outdoor unit the fan starts, but you hear a sound like
the compressor is trying to start, "UGGG"..., for about 5 to 10 seconds and then
all you hear is the outdoor condenser fan run. The compressor is locked and will
not start. What is happening is the compressor is trying to start, but because
the compressor motor is locked it tries to start for a few seconds and then
because of the high amperage being drawn goes off on internal overload. The
internal overload protects the compressor windings from overheating and burning
up. I see this many times during the start of the air conditioning season. Some
compressors just have a hard time starting after sitting all winter long. Some
compressors are locked up so bad that I can not start them and must tell my
customer that they need a new compressor . Many
times I can get the compressor started again without having to buy a new
compressor or new air conditioning system by using the device that is called, "Super-Boost." I keep two or three of these on the truck. They
have saved many of my customers from having to buy new air conditioning systems.