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Quiz: Can you Keep your Cool by Maintaining your Air Conditioner?
by Staff
You're all hot and bothered because your air conditioner isn't cooling as well as it should. Don't despair -- there is plenty you can do to keep it running smoothly. Take this quiz to see what all you can do to stay cool.

What are the two components of a central air-conditioning system?

  • central pipe and evaporator
  • condenser and evaporator
  • central pipe and condenser

What does the distribution system do?

  • It distributes cooled air across the motor and up through the piping.
  • It filters air.
  • It distributes cooled air through ductwork once it has moved across the evaporator coil.

How do the motor, blower and ductwork differ between the heating and cooling units?

  • There is no difference.
  • The ductwork and blower are the same, but there are two motors: one for heating and one for cooling.
  • The motor and ductwork are the same, but depending on the thermostat, the blower sucks air in or blows air out.

How often should the evaporator be cleaned?

  • every season
  • every six months
  • once a year

Which of the following tools do you need to clean your evaporator?

  • hammer and clamps
  • degreaser cleanser and pipe cleaners
  • wire and screwdriver

What two types of plenum could there be?

  • foil-wrapped insulation or sealed metal box
  • paper-wrapped insulation or sealed metal box
  • foil-wrapped insulation or open metal box

After you remove the plenum, tape and screws, how should you clean the evaporator?

  • Clean all sides with a stiff brush, wash the tray and clear the weep hole with abrasive scouring powder.
  • Clean the underneath with a stiff brush and wipe out the tray. Pour bleach into the weep hole and then unclog it with wire if necessary.
  • Thoroughly wash all accessible parts and clean the weep hole with a pipe cleaner. Then allow air to blow through the evaporator for a few minutes.

Why is there a tray underneath the evaporator unit?

  • to collect and remove condensation
  • to catch dirt and dust
  • to store water

Before you clean the condenser coils, why do you need to know which direction the air blows?

  • You don't need to know. It makes no difference which way the air blows.
  • You have to clean them on the output side.
  • You have to clean them on the intake side.

What damage could overgrown weeds and vines do to the condenser?

  • They can hinder airflow.
  • They can cause the condenser to rust.
  • They can attract bugs to the condenser.

What are the fins of the condenser made of?

  • stainless steel
  • copper
  • aluminum

How do you clean the fins of the condenser?

  • Soak them in soapy water, then wipe with a cloth.
  • Soak them, then scrub them with steel wool pads.
  • Clean them carefully with a soft brush without any water.

What should you look for when checking the concrete slab the condenser rests on?

  • that it stays dry
  • that there are no cracks in it
  • that it's level

What is the name of the refrigerant used in air conditioners?

  • xenon
  • Freon
  • argon

If your air conditioner is cooling poorly or not at all, what could be the problem?

  • The condenser needs more insulation.
  • There's too much Freon.
  • There's not enough Freon.

What can you do if the insulation of the coolant lines is damaged?

  • Replace it with new insulation.
  • Call a professional to have the coolant lines replaced.
  • Call a professional because the entire cooling system might be in jeopardy.

What's another name for a room air conditioner?

  • room unit
  • window unit
  • room system

Which of these options is the easiest way to save on repair costs if your window unit needs professional help?

  • Remove it from the window and take it in for repair.
  • Barter for the repair.
  • Beg the repair company for a discount.

What can you do if the fan malfunctions?

  • Clean the fan blades and loosen screws as necessary.
  • Replace the blades immediately.
  • Clean the fan blades and tighten screws as necessary.

Do you really need a professional to inspect and adjust your central air conditioner?

  • Yes. You should only do routine cleaning and minor repairs.
  • Not at all. With instructions, anyone can handle an air conditioner.
  • It depends. If you're confident you can make the repairs, go for it!