Understanding Air Conditioners

When temperatures rise your air conditioning system can struggle to keep your home cool. But, does this mean you need to replace your air conditioning system? Or, does it simply need a repair or new part? Understanding the parts and processes of your air conditioning unit can help you make the best decisions when it comes to your home’s comfort.

Parts of the AC System

Before you can understand how your air is cooled, it’s important to understand the parts that make up your air conditioning system. A typical air conditioning system is a two-part or split system that includes the following parts:

  • A unit located outdoors that contains a condenser coil, compressor, various electrical components, and a fan
  • An evaporator coil, usually located on the top of the gas furnace inside your home
  • A series of pipes called refrigeration lines that connect the inside and outside equipment together
  • A chemical compound called refrigerant that will circulate through the indoor and outdoor units
  • Ducts that help to bring air into the various spaces inside your home
  • A thermostat or control system that will allow you to set and maintain a desired temperature

 How Air Conditioning Works

Air conditioning systems operate by taking advantage of a physical law that says when a liquid converts into a gas, it absorbs heat. Air conditioners work by evaporating and condensing a chemical compound called refrigerant in an endless cycle to help keep your home cool.

More specifically, by using electricity the refrigerant flows through the closed system of refrigeration lines connecting the indoor and outdoor units. The warm air inside your home is pulled in through the ducts by a fan while the compressor works to condense and circulate the refrigerant through the outdoor unit, changing it from a gas to a liquid. This liquid is then forced through the indoor evaporator coil or cooling compartment where the indoor unit’s fan then circulates the inside air to pass across the evaporator, turning the liquid into vapor and removing the heat from the surrounding air.

In keep cooling efficiently, the air conditioning system converts the refrigerant gas back to a liquid using the compressor and the process starts over again in an endless cycle to maintain the temperature of the home.

Benefits of Air Conditioners 

Air conditioners provide several benefits besides just keeping your home cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. One of the main benefits air conditioners provide is that it helps to clean the air in your home because as it draws the hot air out of your home, it goes through an air filter that can help remove airborne particles and several air pollutants. It also helps reduce noise by being located outside the home, compared to fans or free-standing air conditioners located inside.

Another benefit is that as you invest in higher efficiency HVAC equipment, you have greater control over dehumidification. As air passes across the evaporator coil in you’re A/C unit, it produces condensation from the air and drains into a condensation drain, in return lowering the humidity in the home.

By having a basic understanding of your air conditioner, it can help you to properly maintain your air conditioning system and know when you need to call an HVAC service technician for assistance.

Is your air conditioner beyond repair and need a replacement or do you need help with maintenance? Our experienced HVAC technicians are here to help! Ready to stay cool and enjoy Supreme Comfort all year long? Contact us today!