Time for another episode where I get to put on my professor hat and explain some of the more technical parts of air conditioning. Not too technical! I promise I won’t scare you off with frightening terms, the kind that our experts at Russell & Abbott know all about so you don’t have to! Today I’m going to be looking at a critical part of your home air conditioning system, one people often don’t think about: the line set.
The Line Set Brings Together the “Split” in a “Split System” Air Conditioner
If you have a standard central AC, you know it has indoor and outdoor parts. That’s why this type of air conditioner is called a split system. But, of course, those two parts must connect at some point: the way the AC cools down your house is by circulating refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor coils, so the refrigerant needs a way to move indoors and outdoors. That’s the job of the line set.
The line set is a pair of flexible copper pipes. One is a smaller pipe called the liquid line, and the other larger one is called the suction line. The smaller of the lines carry liquid refrigerant (you probably guessed based on the name, right?) from the condenser indoors to the evaporator. The suction line carries the hot gaseous refrigerant from the indoor evaporator back to the condenser, where it will be put under pressure and start the cycle over again.
Line Set Sizing and Placement
The line set sounds straightforward: one line to bring refrigerant into the house, another to take it out to the condenser. But I think it’s important for you to know how difficult it actually is to make sure these lines are in the right place and the right size. A mistake in sizing the line set will mean an inefficient air conditioner. Many different factors in an air conditioning system will affect the size of the line set. Also important is the line set placement and the length necessary to connect the condenser to the evaporator. If an amateur tries this job, it won’t end well!
Line Set Repair and Replacement
One common central AC repair in Knoxville, TN we often do is fix refrigerant leaks that occur in the line set. Some line sets are buried and others exposed, and exposed lines can spring leaks due to damage.
When we handle an air conditioning replacement, we’ll have to make an informed decision about whether to replace the line set as well. The new air conditioner may not be able to work with the existing line set, and we’ll always put in the right line set for the system. Disreputable amateurs often won’t do this work and leave an old line set in place. However, if it isn’t necessary to put in a new line set, we won’t force one just to charge more—we’re always honest about our services!
If you have any reason to believe your AC is leaking refrigerant, please call us right away.