How Does a Technician Test the Voltage in My Air Conditioning System?

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Speedy air conditioning repair is a requirement for the job in places like Athens, GA, where the summer temperatures can be unbearable. Experts learn how to diagnose problems quickly, the better to get people’s air conditioners up and running again before the heat becomes too much. Since central air conditioning systems rely on electrical power to function, that means a service technician needs to be able to test the voltage in order to properly diagnose the problem. So how does a technician do that? The same way an electrician might diagnose a similar problem anywhere in the home.

The electrical power required to run a central air conditioner is quite large: up for 5,000 watts on start-up, with another 3,000 watts per hour for your average-sized unit. Most air conditioners use a dedicated circuit, either 220-volt or 240-volt, to function. That powers components such as the fan motor and compressor motor, which are an important part of the unit’s cooling cycle. Proper voltage is important; if you use too much power, the unit wastes electricity and may risk an overload; it you use too little, the unit will either fail to function completely or function far less efficiently than it should.

Most service electricians use a multimeter or a volt meter to determine the voltage of an AC unit. The devices contain two wires, one ground wire (usually black) and one “hot” wire (usually red). The hot wire is connected to the circuit you want to test and the ground wire is placed on a grounded piece of metal. The technician then sets a dial to measure a specific level of voltage and the device informs him or her of the results. Some multimeters do this automatically and no dial function is needed.

If you suspect that your air conditioning unit is suffering electrical problems, shut off power to the unit and call in a qualified expert. The professionals at Henson Mechanical have considerable experience diagnosis and correcting electrical issues with air conditioning units in the Athens, GA area. Call us today to set up an appointment. 

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