Changing An Air Conditioner Is A Breeze

>> Saturday, February 27, 2010

Replacing an air conditioning unit is a fairly simple process although air conditioning installation and air conditioning maintenance must be carried out by a qualified engineer. An air conditioning unit will contain refrigerant of different types, some of which will permanently damage the ozone layer. This refrigerant is easily removed with the use of professional recovery equipment.

An engineer would attend site and remove the refrigerant from the air conditioning unit. If the refrigerant is clean and passed through a filter, it can be placed into a service cylinder and used in another system or recycled. If the system has suffered a compressor burn out or other major damage, the refrigerant may be polluted and would then be sent away for disposal.

The electrical feeds can be disconnected and made safe and the interconnecting copper pipes can then be disconnected. In some cases the pipe work can be used again, but in most cases it will be removed and replaced. Older refrigerant contain oils which are not compatible with modern refrigerants. The oils interact and the compressor will eventually fail. The indoor fan coil unit and the outdoor condenser unit can then be removed and disposed of at a recycling facility.

The new outdoor unit can be located and fixed down to the ground. The new indoor unit is prepared by selecting the pipe cut out on the unit and bending the two copper pipes in the unit towards the opening. The unit can then be mounted to the wall. New pipes can be installed through the fabric of the building and the ends connected. It is preferred to braze the pipes to the indoor unit. Closed cell type insulation would be installed to insulate the pipes. A badly insulated pipe will cause the pipe to weep. The final connection to the outdoor unit is generally made with a flare fitting.

The electrical cables can be installed and terminated and condense pumps and drains can be installed where required. If the outdoor unit is located inside a building and it contains a heat pump, a tray must be provided to drain the water generated during a de ice cycle.
The pipe work is tested by applying oxygen free nitrogen at 400 psi into the system. The pressure reading is monitored over a period of 24 hours minimum. If there is any drop in pressure then there is a leak. Small leaks show up fairly quickly on a digital manifold and any leak will generally show up within 24 hours. All joints should be inspected with leak detector spray which will indicate the source of most leaks.

When the pipe work has been proved the nitrogen is released from the system to atmosphere. The system can then be evacuated with a vacuum pump. This removes any remaining air and nitrogen from the pipe work and also removes any water vapour from the system which is harmful to operation. The vacuum pump is generally held on for two to three hours for a small system to a few days for a large system.

When the evacuation is complete the system can be charged with refrigerant. Most split air conditioning systems have a pre charge of refrigerant in the outdoor unit. The opening of the two service valves releases this into the pipe work. Additional refrigerant may need to be added which can be done with a refrigeration manifold, charge lines, scales and a refrigerant bottle. Additional refrigerant is charged either as a vapour or gas, depending upon the refrigerant used.

When the correct charge of refrigerant has been added to the system the unit can be operated. Various pressure readings and temperatures are recorded and checked to verify the operation of the air conditioning unit. It is also good practise to further leak check all flare and solder joints using either a refrigerant sniffer or an injected die and ultraviolet lamp.

Most air conditioning installers will offer an air conditioning maintenance package. They will regularly attend site and clean the filters and the coils to the indoor and outdoor units. A good engineer will also check the pressures on the gas and the liquid lines. Regular maintenance will ensure that the equipment performs well and is energy efficient.
In the event of any air conditioning repair that may be required, this would normally be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Most manufacturers offer a straight forward replacement for parts such as printed circuits and other components. In the event of a compressor failure, the oil will normally be tested for acid. Acid in a system is usually caused by poor installation and water vapour left inside the system.

Magma Energy Services Ltd are able to offer a complete range of air conditioning services including installation, maintenance and repair of your air conditioning units.


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