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How Air Conditioners Work

Few people these days give much thought to their cooling system until something goes wrong. At that point, the dismay of facing the Texas summer without reliable heat relief sets in. Interestingly, heat relief has been a human goal for thousands of years. Early air conditioning attempts date to ancient Egypt, and ancient Romans also had techniques to cool buildings. Now, a cool and comfortable summer is just a phone call away.

How Central AC Works

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems and Carrier Corporation have spent the past century perfecting air conditioning technology for better, more reliable comfort in your home or business. While the equipment has become more sophisticated over the decades, the basic premise of using refrigerants to transfer heat and cool the air hasn't changed in that time.

Chemical refrigerant is stored in the compressor, which applies pressure to the refrigerant. This pressure heats the refrigerant in its gaseous state, which is pumped into the condenser coils. As the gas makes its way through the coils, the heat begins to dissipate. As the refrigerant cools, it begins converting to a liquid. The chilled liquid refrigerant is then forced into the evaporator coils.

Meanwhile, warm air from the home is drawn into the system and blown across the evaporator. The coils cool the air, and the refrigerant begins to warm up as it absorbs heat from the indoor air. The chilled air makes its way back though the ductwork and into the building. As the refrigerant in the evaporator warms, it converts back to a gaseous state, which is pushed back through the compressor to begin the cycle again.

Why an AC Breaks Down

While the idea behind an air conditioner is fairly simple, the equipment itself has plenty of moving parts and connections that need to be maintained. Dirty coils and clogged air filters contribute to many problems, including reduced cooling power and extra noise.

Unfortunately, excessive dirt in the system also makes it harder for the air conditioner to do its job, and that translates to a loss in efficiency. When your air conditioner can't run efficiently, you pay the price in higher utility bills. The added workload takes its toll on the unit, and the day will eventually come when the system can no longer keep up and the unit stops cooling altogether.

Air Conditioner Is Not Cold Enough

A common complaint that Bryant dealers hear from worried callers is that their AC is blowing air but isn't cooling the space well enough. This problem can often be attributed to dirty coils, blocked air filters or low refrigerant levels. The homeowner can generally change the dirty air filter without professional help, but refrigerant issues require a certified tech to diagnose and resolve.

Cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils is typically an annual job, but some people go for years without conducting routine preventive maintenance. Over time, the dirt accumulation becomes so great that the system can no longer work effectively. To avoid this situation, make yourself a note or set up an electronic reminder to schedule a preseason tune-up every spring.

Air Conditioner Stopped Working

When their AC shuts down, most people start worrying about the repair cost. Experienced technicians know, however, that a breakdown doesn't always mean a big bill. The problem might be as simple as a thrown circuit breaker, a blown fuse or a loose connection. A bad wall thermostat is another problem that could prevent the unit from working.

Though you will need a pro to find the problem and complete the repair, some issues with the condenser or fan motor are also quick and relatively inexpensive to fix. The key is to choose a reputable, licensed company to check out the problem and give you an accurate diagnosis and estimate. Your local Bryant dealer is qualified to repair residential and commercial AC equipment from all manufacturers, and the work is backed by a satisfaction guarantee.

Help for Your Central AC

Your local Texas Bryant and Carrier dealers are ready to answer all of your AC questions. We take pride in building trust as part of a lasting relationship with our customers, so we're happy to offer advice even if you aren't purchasing anything. All Bryant and Carrier dealers receive additional factory training, and all of our technicians prove their skill by earning certification from the North American Technician Excellence program.

Contact your Bryant or Carrier dealer to set up an appointment for preventive maintenance or to arrange for emergency repair. Technicians are dispatched 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience. Bryant is doing whatever it takes to keep our customers comfortable.