[Air Conditioning Suction Line]
Weathering, UV rays and/or bad installation can compromise insulation on an AC unit. It’s a good practice to inspect it every year and replace as needed making sure it’s always doing its job. Animals, pest, & birds are another known issue that can cause damage. There is pest proofing available if this is an issue. I highly recommend that commercial insulation wrapping be including in the bid process for replacements and or new rooftop units along the coastline.
📌 What is a suction line? -
The suction line (the larger copper pipe on the outdoor unit) helps to supply cool refrigerant back to the compressor in the outdoor unit. The section line is usually cold to the touch. If it is warm this could be a sign that it is low on refrigerant & you may need to schedule a preventative maintenance or call a licensed HVAC contractor. It is also important to note that only the suction line should be insulated.
It's purpose -
In refrigeration and air-conditioning applications, insulation needs to be able to protect against condensation. Moisture control is critical to thermal efficiency. If moisture intrudes the insulating material surrounding cold-water piping, thermal efficiency is lost. Foam insulation, unlike fiberglass, is a closed-cell structure that acts as a built-in vapor retarder (jacket) preventing moisture intrusion. Another very important reason to insulate the suction line, which is sometimes overlooked, is to limit the amount of heat added to the refrigerant as it travels back to the compressor. This additional heat will cause the system to reject unnecessary heat without any benefit. In addition, if too much heat is added it may cause the compressor to run too hot.
📌Why is it important to you?
If the system’s suction pipe has damaged insulation, this could cause a loss of required cooling for the outdoor unit which could damage your system and may also cause you to lose energy as well. A well-insulated suction line can help save money by reducing both energy consumption & equipment breakdowns. The insulation helps to prevent condensation. The condensation drip can cause water damage to the material under it and/or cause a slip/trip hazard.