Air Conditioning – The Basics – Did You Know?

Jun 22, 2018 | Air Conditioning

How does AC work

Since the dawn of mankind, people have been using some form of air conditioning to cool their homes. The first popularized technique was known as “evaporative cooling,” where water, ice, or snow is left out to evaporate, causing the temperature in the air to decrease.

An American engineer named Willis Carrier built the first electrical AC unit at the turn of the 20th century. His invention uses coils filled with cold water, which allows the machine to control the temperature and humidity of the air. His basic model is still used today.

Our Guide

Ballard Natural Gas is proud to keep the hardworking homeowners of Seattle cool! Our team is happy to accommodate for all of your cooling requirements. If you need an installation, maintenance check-up, or repair; we’re here to help.

At Ballard Natural Gas, we’ve believed from day one that honesty is the best policy.
We want to give you plenty of time to ask us questions, so you can make a decision you’re satisfied with. In order to keep our customers informed, we created the following cheat sheet:

Your air conditioner is made up of four main components:

The Condenser:

This is the box unit that sits outdoors. It regulates heat transfer.

The Compressor:

This is the pump inside the condenser that pressurizes the refrigerant

The Evaporator:

This part converts the liquid refrigerant into gas.

The Expansion Valve:

This part expands and contracts, managing the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator.

Here are some common problems you might experience with your AC unit, and how you can prevent them:

Leaving doors/windows open

When outside air gets into the house, it disrupts the cooling process. You’ll probably end up with a higher energy bill, and your home won’t be as cold as you’d like it to be. If you’re diligent about keeping your doors and windows closed, you’ll save money and optimize the performance of your AC unit.

Leaks or blockages in the air flow

Leaks and/or blockages in the ductwork are a common culprit for a faulty air system. If you find that the temperature in your home changes unpredictably, your ducts may not be getting proper airflow. If you suspect this to be the case, give Ballard Natural Gas a call for a speedy diagnosis and repair.

Dirty Filters/Coils

Filters keep dust from circulating, and improve your air quality. After about a month, they become too dirty to act as a safeguard. This is why we recommend having your filter changed once a month. Dirty coils pose a problem too. Coils should be cleaned at least once a year, during maintenance check ups.

Clogged Condensate Drain

The condensate drain expels water from the unit’s dehumidifying process. If a condensate drain is clogged, it can cause serious damage to your HVAC system, as well as flooding and mold. Clogged condensate drains require immediate attention from a professional, to prevent damage to your unit as well as your home.

Ballard Natural Gas hopes you’ve found this guide helpful! Please contact us at 206-784-8101 if you have any questions about HVAC installation, maintenance, or repair.


Ballard Natural Gas Service is proud to offer services to Seattle, Shoreline, West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Lake Forest Park, Richmond Beach, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace and the surrounding communities. Call us at 206-784-8101 or request service online today!

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