Reinstall the access panel and disconnect block. Turn on the circuit breaker and furnace switch. Then set the thermostat to a lower temperature and wait for the AC to start (see “Be Patient at Startup,” below). The compressor should run and the condenser fan should spin. If the compressor starts but the fan doesn’t, the fan motor is most likely shot. Shut off the power and remove the screws around the condenser cover. Lift the cover and remove the fan blade and motor (photo 7). Reinstall the blade and secure the cover. Then repower the unit and see if the fan starts. If it doesn’t, you’ve given it your best shot—it’s time to call a pro.
In 1820, English scientist and inventor Michael Faraday discovered that compressing and liquefying ammonia could chill air when the liquefied ammonia was allowed to evaporate. In 1842, Florida physician John Gorrie used compressor technology to create ice, which he used to cool air for his patients in his hospital in Apalachicola, Florida. He hoped to eventually use his ice-making machine to regulate the temperature of buildings. He even envisioned centralized air conditioning that could cool entire cities. Though his prototype leaked and performed irregularly, Gorrie was granted a patent in 1851 for his ice-making machine. Though his process improved the artificial production of ice, his hopes for its success vanished soon afterwards when his chief financial backer died and Gorrie did not get the money he needed to develop the machine. According to his biographer, Vivian M. Sherlock, he blamed the "Ice King", Frederic Tudor, for his failure, suspecting that Tudor had launched a smear campaign against his invention. Dr. Gorrie died impoverished in 1855, and the dream of commonplace air conditioning went away for 50 years.
Absorption refrigerator Air barrier Air conditioning Antifreeze Automobile air conditioning Autonomous building Building insulation materials Central heating Central solar heating Chilled beam Chilled water Constant air volume (CAV) Coolant Dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) Deep water source cooling Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) Displacement ventilation District cooling District heating Electric heating Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) Firestop Forced-air Forced-air gas Free cooling Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) Hybrid heat Hydronics HVAC Ice storage air conditioning Kitchen ventilation Mixed-mode ventilation Microgeneration Natural ventilation Passive cooling Passive house Radiant heating and cooling system Radiant cooling Radiant heating Radon mitigation Refrigeration Renewable heat Room air distribution Solar air heat Solar combisystem Solar cooling Solar heating Thermal insulation Underfloor air distribution Underfloor heating Vapor barrier Vapor-compression refrigeration (VCRS) Variable air volume (VAV) Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) Ventilation
R22 (also known as HCFC-22) has a global warming potential about 1,800 times higher than CO2. It was phased out for use in new equipment by 2010, and is to be completely discontinued by 2020. Although these gasses can be recycled when air conditioning units are disposed of, uncontrolled dumping and leaking can release gas directly into the atmosphere.
Circulating refrigerant vapor enters the compressor, where its pressure and temperature are increased. The hot, compressed refrigerant vapor is now at a temperature and pressure at which it can be condensed and is routed through a condenser. Here it is cooled by air flowing across the condenser coils and condensed into a liquid. Thus, the circulating refrigerant removes heat from the system and the heat is carried away by the air. The removal of this heat can be greatly augmented by pouring water over the condenser coils, making it much cooler when it hits the expansion valve.
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