Commercial HVAC Systems: Staying Street Wise

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Three Problems That May Arise in an Old Ducted Air Conditioning Unit

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Do you have an old ducted air conditioner in your home? Is the unit nearing the end of its usable life? As air conditioners age, some problems may arise that may affect cooling efficiency, overall performance and energy efficiency. Some of these issues are fixable with a few repairs, while others require you to invest in a new unit. Therefore, look out for the following three problems that may arise in your old ducted unit.

Corrosion of the outdoor unit

The outdoor unit of an air conditioner is usually located on the wall, roof or ground outside the house. Most of the time, the unit isn't protected from the elements. Exposure to corrosive elements can cause the metal components of the outdoor unit to corrode. Below are some factors that lead to the corrosion of the outdoor unit.

  • Exposure to salty air in coastal areas
  • Use of corrosive products when cleaning the outdoor unit
  • Exposure to volatile organic compounds from textiles and building materials

Corrosion isn't just a cosmetic concern for your air conditioner. It can eat away at the refrigerant line, causing the fluid to escape. Consequently, the unit will stop cooling efficiently due to inadequate refrigerant. If your outdoor unit is corroded, you should replace the whole system.

Faulty ductwork

The lifespan of AC ductwork is determined by the material used and how well it was installed. Flexible ductwork made of corrugated plastic may have a shorter lifespan. The ducts may wear out faster than ones made of galvanised steel. Worn ducts leak conditioned air and overwork the air conditioner, leading to increased energy consumption and overheating. Leaking ducts can also lower the quality of air in the home.

Ductwork faults may also occur due to design faults. If there are many kinks and bends in the ducts, they will become more susceptible to damage. Consequently, air leaks will occur, lowering the system's efficiency. If you have old ductwork in your home, inspect it regularly to unearth leaks. Clean the ducts regularly to get rid of dirt buildup and curb mould growth.

Electrical damage

An air conditioning system comprises various electrical components. These include the capacitor, fan motor, sensors, relays, wiring and cabling. The electrical wires inside these components can get worn over time due to improper handling, system overheating and exposure to the elements. Faulty wiring can cause the AC's breaker to trip often, leading to inefficient cooling. By performing proper maintenance, you can protect the unit's electrical components from premature wear.

The above faults in an old ducted air conditioner can undermine system performance and affect indoor comfort. An air conditioning contractor can inspect your unit and advise you on whether to replace it.