Larry Freeze TREC #8943
16975 FM 1660
Taylor, Texas 76574
(512) 589-4096
FreezeHomeInspections@hotmail.com

Air Conditioning Systems in Texas

 

Your home's air conditioner also dehumidifies the air - this is important for your comfort in this often humid Central Texas climate.  The condensate water ("sweating" from the cold evaporator coil) has to go somewhere.  It usually drains (by means of a 3/4 inch PVC Primary condensate pipe) to the exterior of the home or to a plumbing drain beneath a bathroom sink.  Many interior units (such as in the attic) are equipped with a safety drip pan beneath the unit.  Periodically check this pan to see that it is dry, and free of rust stains.  If it is not, then you probably have condensate drain problems which should be remediated immediately.

Another sign of condensate drain blockage is seeing water dripping from a small pipe (the Secondary condensate drain) located above an exterior window.  You should not see water dripping here.  If you do, you should have your condensate drains cleaned right away.

If your air conditioning system fails to activate, check for water in the safety drip pan.  Many units have a safety overflow switch which will shut off power to the A/C and get your atttention.

Two common types of systems are: 1) Conventional "split" systems and 2) Electric Heat Pump systems

Both types of systems are Heat Exchangers. It is always heat energy which is being moved, not "cold" energy. In the summer, heat is removed from the home's interior (at the evaporator coil, and discharged to the exterior at the condenser unit.)

1) Conventional Split systems have an exterior condenser/compressor unit (located on the outside of the home) and an evaporator coil/air handling unit (located somewhere inside the home - often in an interior closet or in the attic.)

2) Electric Heat Pump systems basically work in the same way as a conventional split system (utilizing the same "freon" refrigerant and refrigerant lines), but have the ability to work in reverse and act as a heating system in the winter: in the summer cooling mode, the exterior unit acts as the condenser (which discharges heat removed from the interior to the exterior of the home.) In the winter heating mode, the interior unit acts as the condenser (discharging heat into the home; Yes, heat is actually removed from the relatively cold outside air at the exterior unit and discharged into the home!)

Regardless of what type you have, remember that models will vary in efficiency ratings and efficiency has a direct impact on operating costs, so optimizing efficiency should be a priority. Consider buying an ENERGY STARĀ®-qualified model.

Central cooling

If you decide to, or need to, replace your cooling system, the choice of 1) a typical "split system" or 2) an electric heat pump is an important decision. Your cooling choice has a big impact upon your heating and heating bills.

The following measures will help keep your home more comfortable:

  •     Keep doors and windows properly weatherstripped.
  •     Consider installing new, energy-efficient windows. ("low-e" windows)
  •     Use ceiling fans to circulate air, and adjust the thermostat to save on your energy bills.
  •     If you're planning for the long term, plant trees that lose their leaves in the fall on the east, south and west side of your house.
  •     Close the drapes or blinds on south and west-facing windows during sunny summer days to reduce heat gains.
  •     Turn off lights and appliances when they are not in use.
  •     Install awnings for patio doors and windows that face the sun.
  •     Open windows during the "swing" seasons between winter and summer.
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"Excellent job! Thank you so much. I am referring you to my real estate friend who sells lake properties." -- M.C. (Lago Vista, Texas)
 

   
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