Washington DC Boat Air Conditioning Repair
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MARINE AIR CONDITIONING REPAIR IN WASHINGTON, DC
HOW TO FIND MARINE AIR CONDITIONING REPAIR IN WASHINGTON, DC
Washington DC is becoming more and more boat friendly. There are new places to keep your boat including the Navy Yard and the Wharf in the southern part of the city on the Anacostia and Potomac rivers respectively. Of course, the Georgetown waterfront is still a popular place for recreational activity as well. Outside the city, there are several places for boating including Woodbridge, VA and National Harbor to the south and Deale, MD to the East on the Chesapeake Bay. Whether you want to boat in the Potomac or in the Chesapeake, there are service providers that can support your boat. Most of the service providers will be outside of the city further south on the Potomac or East on the Chesapeake. You can find marine air conditioning repair in either of these areas, especially along the Chesapeake where there is much more boating activity than on the Potomac.
The best way to find marine air conditioning repair for your boat is to search online. You can search on Mariner Exchange for marine air conditioning repair in your area and it will show you all of the service provider options within a 50mi radius. Make sure to look for longer reviews that detail the work that was completed on the AC unit. Also, on Mariner Exchange you can see which providers have ABYC certifications for air conditioning and refrigeration. ABYC is the gold standard of certifications so this is a strong indicator of quality. Make sure that the service provider is certified as opposed to just being an ABYC member. Other options you have for finding service include word of mouth, consulting your marina, and consulting the manufacturer. If you ask around for good marine AC repair, make sure that whomever you ask has a similar boat to yours. If their cabin is a similar size to yours then the chances are that their air conditioning unit has similar cooling capacity and thus would require similar service. You can also ask the marina manager who will likely have a rolodex of service providers in the area that can help, but make sure they give you a few options as opposed to just referring their friend! The manufacturer website is also a great resource - you can consult the dealer locator since their dealers typically service the AC units as well.
You’re going to want marine air conditioning for those sweltering Mid-Atlantic summers, so you should be aware of what it will cost. Average marine AC repair can cost $200 to $500 in the Washington, DC area. If your boat is in DC proper, then you will likely have to get someone to travel out to you to service the AC unit. In many cases, Annapolis based service providers won’t travel out that far, but they will travel to you from the Deale, MD area since it’s only 25min from the DC border. Make sure you ask about travel costs before booking so you don’t get any surprises on the invoice.
MARINE AIR CONDITIONER BASICS
Marine air conditioners have three components that every boater should know about. They are: the evaporator, which absorbs heat from the outside air using boiling refrigerant; the compressor, which circulates the refrigerant through the system; and the condenser, which cools and liquefies the refrigerant before it goes back to the evaporator.
In order to effectively troubleshoot issues with your unit, you need to know what’s what and how all the parts work together. First things first, you should locate the expansion valve. It should be just upstream of the evaporator and it controls the flow of high-pressure refrigerant into the evaporator. As the refrigerant passes through the expansion valve, the pressure drops which causes the refrigerant to start to boil. As the refrigerant boils, it gives off a cooling effect by absorbing warm air from the cabin. You should make sure to have a refrigerant that is environmentally safe - refrigerant R410A is the most common.
Most marine air conditioning systems are direct expansion systems, so they circulate the refrigerant directly to air handlers around the cabin. Knowing what type of system you have will make your Google searches and troubleshooting much more effective; but if you plan to have long stays on the boat, then we recommend keeping the manual onboard. Most of the marine air conditioning units have digital display panels now that will display error codes when something is not working correctly. The manual will be critical in deciphering those error codes and getting to the bottom of the issue.
SELECT THE RIGHT MARINE AIR CONDITIONER
Make sure to do the following before you purchase your marine AC unit:
Check cooling capacity: Make sure it has the power to cool your sized cabin. You will want to measure the interior of your cabin and then cross reference that with the number of BTUs your unit puts out. If it’s not enough, it won’t cool your boat.
Battery and electrical check: Make sure your battery and electrical system can handle the load. Your battery needs to be able to provide consistent power to the unit without blowing fuses.
Space check: Make sure there’s enough space in the cabin to install it. Units can be bulky and noisy so make sure you account for noise cancellation measures in your installation.