Whether you’re dometic parts looking to get started on your next summer RV adventure or just want to make sure your RV is prepared for the hot weather ahead, having an air conditioner installed in your rig is a must. If you don’t know what to expect when it comes to RV AC units, read on to learn a bit about how they work and some of the things you should be aware of when it comes to maintaining yours!
The Basics of an RV Air Conditioner
Your RV air conditioner has a number of different parts that play a key role in the cool down process. Specifically, the compressor circulates refrigerant gas to the condenser, which uses heat to turn that refrigerant into a liquid. This cool liquid then goes to the evaporator, which absorbs the heat from the air that it carries, lowering the temperature and making you feel much cooler.
The Energy Behind an RV Air Conditioner
Changing the refrigerant from a gas to a liquid and then back again requires a lot of energy. This is why most RV air conditioning units have a high BTU (British thermal unit) rating to help them run efficiently.
The more BTUs an RV AC has, the better it can keep you cool when camping or motorhomeing in hot weather. This is especially true when you’re towing your rig.
A RV air conditioner works best when it’s running on AC power, which is the same type of electricity that you see in homes or in portable generators. This kind of power is typically 120 volts and is used to power the condenser and evaporator coils, allowing you to keep your rig cool without having to worry about your battery power dying.
One thing you can do to help your air conditioner stay cool is to ensure that the cold air filter on it is clean. Dirty filters will cause the AC to use more energy than it should. This is why cleaning it regularly is a must!
Maintaining Your RV Air Conditioner
The first thing you can do to ensure your air conditioner is in good shape is to check its exterior air exchanger, which is a set of cooling fins that blow air through. If these become clogged with dust or debris, they can reduce the AC’s efficiency and cause it to freeze up. It’s important to inspect these once a year or more often if your air conditioner is run for long periods of time.
Another important factor in ensuring your RV air conditioner is at its peak performance is to avoid letting too much heat into your RV when the weather is hot. The biggest culprits are doors and windows, so it’s worth installing window curtains and awnings to help keep the sun from penetrating into your rig when the temperatures are highest.
You can also help your RV air conditioner by parking in the shade when you’re on the road. Not only will it be much cooler, but the shade will also help to cool off your RV and save you money on fuel!