A Look Inside Your Air Conditioning System Keeping Your Cool

Summer's here, and most of us couldn't get along without air conditioning, especially when the temperatures reach into the steamy 80s and 90s. Many people know the minimum about their air conditioning systems—if anything goes wrong, they call their air conditioning repair person.

But if you're a member of a co-op board or condo association, or a building manager, while you're certainly not expected to know as much as a full-time technician, you should definitely know a few basic things about your air conditioning system—if only so you can speak the same language as your contractor, should something need fixing.

A Wide Array of Types

To begin with, there are many brands of air conditioning equipment out there. For central AC systems, some of the more well known are York, Carrier, Amana, Trane, Lennox, or American Standard. For room air conditioners, some names you might recognize are Carrier, Frigidaire, Friedrich, and Fedders.

According to Al Toscano of Jayson Oil Co. Inc. in Union, it's usually better to work with a contractor who gives the customer a choice. "If they're selling only one brand, they can have an ulterior motive," he says.

Just as there are a variety of brands, there are a variety of types of air conditioning systems—some of them overlapping—that are options for a co-op or condo. There are two basic types—window air conditioners and central AC—but there are also several sub-types of central systems.

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