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What happens when you don't get AC maintenance?

November 26, 2013 | Blog

What happens when you leave a strange window unit air conditioner without maintenance during its entire lifetime?

Air conditioning and heating is a fascinating subject. It takes spaces that were otherwise uninhabitable, like Houston, and removes the heat and humidity so that it’s a livable, enjoyable place. Houston without air conditioning would be pretty ridiculous. The economic impact of HVAC must be pretty large for most southern cities (and countries), as well.

This fascinating subject of air conditioning comes with its own set of strangities. Today we’ll look at a system I found in Bellaire this past week. The home has central air… however, someone forgot to change the filters and thought, “Hmmm, I think the AC just doesnt work all that well in this side of the house.” So they went and bought a window unit.

Now, it doesnt just stop there. They bought the window unit, shoved it in a hole that was probably for the original AC from the 50s, then added a duct running the ‘cool’ air into the bedroom through an awkward window (it must have been an add-on room). Have I lost you yet?  Hopefully the pictures will do it justice.

I have a few problems with this setup:

1.  It’s ugly.  This is inside of the house!!

I know exposed ducts are in style, but this is a bit cut-rate. Nothing says “class” like duct tape and cardboard holding your home together. On the plus side, it could double as a place to hang your coats!

2. It doesn’t remove humidity from the living space.

Air conditioning is actually intended to remove humidity and heat from the space as well as cool it. According to science, there is actually no such thing as cooling something, only removing heat. In the case of this home, cold air is being poured into a living space without removing any moisture or heat from the air. While this can have some positive effect, it’s no in any way ideal.

3. It was never cleaner OR given maintenance! Can you tell by the gnarly dust and fur?

Seriously, this is pretty gross.  Not to mention, it leads to poor air quality and safety hazards. Note the warning that failure to keep the cover on could result in injury or death:

The truth of the matter is that window units can be very efficient spot coolers. However, this case was a prime example of when they aren’t efficient. Not cleaning or changing filters will cause eventual destruction, both for window units and central systems.

The results of our visit? The homeowners figured out that they should change the filter on the central air, and it was up and running again after a few repairs.

Southern ingenuity is neat, but make sure you call for professional help when you need it. A pinch of prevention is better than a pound of cure, right?

If you need AC repair in the Houston area, contact Mission AC & Plumbing today.

 

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