Refrigerated air conditioning.

This is a discussion on Refrigerated air conditioning. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I just moved into a new house in central New Mexico. Don't ask me why, but it is equipted with refrigerated air here in the ...

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Thread: Refrigerated air conditioning.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Refrigerated air conditioning.

    I just moved into a new house in central New Mexico. Don't ask me why, but it is equipted with refrigerated air here in the desert SW.
    I'm used to the old swamp cooler which always worked well for me. In the apartment I lived in, the swamper cooled the place down well in usually 10-15 minutes. I like swampers because they actually blow the hot air out and replace it with cool air.
    This new system isn't worth crap. It has a digital thermostat which shows the inside temp. Today it was 87F when I cranked it up. About 45 minutes later I checked and the temp had actually gone up 1 degree. I know it's great at sucking up power, about 7X vs the swamper, but does little else. I held my hand to the vent and while the air was cool it wasn't cold like I expected. Of course the hot air stays inside.
    My question is, does it sound typical, or is it not working properly. When I did the walk through, it was nice and cool inside, but it could have been running for hours or days. Any comments/ suggestions/ ideas? I plan to buy a swamper next year, but until then......
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    Distinguished Member Array pcon's Avatar
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    That doesn't sound normal...maybe your compressor went out. When I was in PHX, our AC could cool a 1300 sf house in no time.
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    RE on AC

    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    I just moved into a new house in central New Mexico. Don't ask me why, but it is equipted with refrigerated air here in the desert SW.
    I'm used to the old swamp cooler which always worked well for me. In the apartment I lived in, the swamper cooled the place down well in usually 10-15 minutes. I like swampers because they actually blow the hot air out and replace it with cool air.
    This new system isn't worth crap. It has a digital thermostat which shows the inside temp. Today it was 87F when I cranked it up. About 45 minutes later I checked and the temp had actually gone up 1 degree. I know it's great at sucking up power, about 7X vs the swamper, but does little else. I held my hand to the vent and while the air was cool it wasn't cold like I expected. Of course the hot air stays inside.
    My question is, does it sound typical, or is it not working properly. When I did the walk through, it was nice and cool inside, but it could have been running for hours or days. Any comments/ suggestions/ ideas? I plan to buy a swamper next year, but until then......
    There are a couple of things you can quickly do to see if things are anywhere near right, and it sounds like they aren't.

    1) Put a thermometer at any of the air outlets. Measure the temp of the air coming out of the vent.
    2) Put a thermometer at the air inlet. Measure the air tempt at the inlet.

    There should be about an 18 degree difference between in an out.

    You can also go outside where the compressor is. Is hot air being dumped out above the fan?

    Check to see if the exterior fan on the condensing unit is operating.

    A heavy masonry house could take a long time to cool because all the heat gets stored in the walls, but you will know if things are right by looking at the tempt differential between inlet and outflow air.

    Since you say your house is 87 when you turn the AC on, the air coming out should be about 70 degrees. It it isn't, call the ac repair guy.

    Oh, and no matter what is going on, check to make sure your filter is new and not clogged. The dang thing won't work with a really dirty filter. The evaporator coil will freeze up and sometimes other stuff will break as well. A clean filter is an essential.

  5. #4
    Member Array Eirerogue's Avatar
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    Compressor check in order.

    NM's humidty is too high for a good old swamp cooler to work effectively. You're not in the desert anymore.

    Be happy for the central air.

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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    There are a couple of things you can quickly do to see if things are anywhere near right, and it sounds like they aren't.

    1) Put a thermometer at any of the air outlets. Measure the temp of the air coming out of the vent.
    2) Put a thermometer at the air inlet. Measure the air tempt at the inlet.

    There should be about an 18 degree difference between in an out.

    You can also go outside where the compressor is. Is hot air being dumped out above the fan?

    Check to see if the exterior fan on the condensing unit is operating.

    A heavy masonry house could take a long time to cool because all the heat gets stored in the walls, but you will know if things are right by looking at the tempt differential between inlet and outflow air.

    Since you say your house is 87 when you turn the AC on, the air coming out should be about 70 degrees. It it isn't, call the ac repair guy.

    Oh, and no matter what is going on, check to make sure your filter is new and not clogged. The dang thing won't work with a really dirty filter. The evaporator coil will freeze up and sometimes other stuff will break as well. A clean filter is an essential.
    I agree with Hopy to a point, these are all the simple things that you can check fairly easily. The 18 degree Delta T ( Temperature difference between the supply and return air) is really better if your indoor temps are withing 2F of your set temperature and that is not going to happen if you have other issues

    I would suggest you call a professional, you could be low on refrigerant, this can only be determined by finding the Superheat and Subcool temps. You might have a slow leak, which means the seller may have had a guy do (what we call) a gas-n-go, just to top it off so it works correctly for a few weeks, but then gets low on Refrigerant again. you might also get a Manual J (heat loss/gain study) done to make sure the system is the correct size for your home. Also there maybe issues with your ductwork, what is the external static pressure? what is the Total Static Pressure? Is the fan moving 400 cfm/ton of a/c? Does the indoor coil match the outdoor coil? There are many questions that need answers, and you won't be able to figure them out.

    call a pro and save yourself a big headache, if you don't know a good contractor, talk to your neighbors and friends or co-workers and ask them who they use.

    If you have any specific questions you can Private message me and I will try and help you out or go to my website and contact me through there: mcspaddenheating.com
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    Your AC ain't working right,I live in South Texas and mine runs about 9 out of 12 months,I keep it about 73 degrees inside when it's 105 outside
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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    There's just plain something wrong with someone who prefers a swamp cooler when it's 110 degrees and a dew point over 50. They don't work!
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    Please explain what a swamp cooler is. I'm ignorant.
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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Swamp cooler = Evaporative cooler.

    Works by drawing air through a baffle or screen of some kind that water is pumped into. The water evaporates (if the humidity is low) and cools the air.

    Works best in really dry places like deserts.

    Called swamp coolers cause they had/have a tendency to get a little funky/moldy and smell like a swamp full of stagnant water.

    bosco

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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Please explain what a swamp cooler is. I'm ignorant.
    I could go through a long diatribe, but this is faster


    Evaporative cooler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    110 degrees, dew point 50 ????????

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    There's just plain something wrong with someone who prefers a swamp cooler when it's 110 degrees and a dew point over 50. They don't work!
    You've never been to NM, have you?
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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Actually........

    Quote Originally Posted by Eirerogue View Post
    Compressor check in order.

    NM's humidty is too high for a good old swamp cooler to work effectively. You're not in the desert anymore.

    Be happy for the central air.
    I am in the desert and 98% of homes have swamp coolers. Our humidity is usually 10-15%.
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    Senior Member Array Holdcard's Avatar
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    Hopyard is right about taking an inside and outside split. Looking for about 20 degree difference inside and about 30 degree's outside. If the spit is within a 5 degree range your unit is working properly. Keeping the filter clean is essential too.

    Also, you just moved in so you may have to play with it to see how it works in your house. Setting the thermostat back or leaving it off may save money but only if you do it right.

    If you wait too long you'll have to cool down hot walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, etc. The trick is setting the thermostat to go on before everything heats up. In the long run you won't be saving any money at all if the unit hast to work extra hours to cool everything back down.

    You may also have to 'balance' the registers to regulate air flow. That will take time, close down the registers (a little) closest to the return (filter) and open up the ones at the ends of the house. This could take a while, just play with it until every room is at a consistent temperature .

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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    This is not meant to be a slam in the least: if you're not used to a tool, the simplest thing can set you back.

    Be sure you're set for "cool" instead of "fan", and be sure you have the thermostat set to maximum instead of minimum. Then look at the temps as described above.

    We have a window cooler that works a LOT better when one (ahem) turns it on properly.
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    Another insightful post from Paymeister. Sometimes these electronic thermostats are a bit hard to figure out and it could be that all that has been turned on is the fan. It should be obvious, but could easily be missed by someone not familiar with central AC units.

    Quick check, walk outside to the condensing unit and see if hot air is being blown off the top by the fan motor; see if the fan motor is even on.

    OP will likely need a pro, but if the problem is that he just has the interior fan turned on, a little careful checking can save a service call.

    FWIW we get 104-105 temps every day. There is no problem keeping the house cool in the mid 70s when everything is working properly.

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