RV air conditioning is a big part of what makes your motorhome a comfortable dometic cooling units living space. It’s also a huge investment in your comfort and safety, so understanding how your AC works and how to keep it running efficiently will help you get the most out of it for as long as possible.
Rooftop units (also called rooftop units, roof air conditioners or flat top ac systems) are the most common type of AC found in RVs, and nine times out of ten they’re built into your RV as standard equipment. A roof air conditioner has a compressor, condenser and blower inside of an aerodynamic casing that sits on the top of your motorhome.
The unit’s cooling capacity is usually measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units. These are based on the cooling power needed to cool the size of your vehicle.
Typically, larger RVs, like class A diesel pushers or tall fifth wheels require more powerful AC units that can cool all the floor space at once. Larger motorhomes may also have multiple units installed on the roof or in a basement for maximum cooling.
Ductless or portable ac units are another option for RVers looking to improve their RV’s heating and cooling options. These units can be located anywhere – on the top of your RV, under a bench or even in a window or wall opening.
If you decide to install a ductless ac system, you’ll need to determine whether or not it will work with your existing wiring and insulation. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace these and add new wiring to your motorhome.
You’ll also need to make sure your existing electrical circuit has enough capacity to support the size and power level of your new RV ac unit. Generally, you’ll need at least 3500 watts to start up the air conditioning unit and 1500 watts for regular use.
A good way to measure the wattage of your new RV AC is to multiply the unit’s amperage by the 120-volt circuit’s wattage rating. If you’re unsure, check your RV owner’s manual for more information or speak to an experienced mechanic.
It’s a good idea to invest in an air filter for your new rv ac unit. Changing it regularly can improve your unit’s efficiency and save you money on electric bills.
In addition to cleaning the air filter, you should also inspect the exterior exchangers, which are a set of cooling fins on your unit’s outside that the fan blows over. If the exterior exchangers become clogged with dirt, bugs and other debris, they won’t be able to effectively reject heat from the outdoors and your air conditioner will have to work harder.
To prevent these problems, you should also clean your evaporator and condenser coils every few years to make sure they are free of dirt, dust and other particles that can block airflow. You should also replace your air filter every few months if you’re using it frequently, or at least once or twice a month if you’re only using it a few times a year.