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How Does a Central Air Conditioning System Work?

Central A/C unit

Posted: May 6, 2019

Most people think that their air conditioner just delivers cool air into the home, but it actually does double duty. To keep your home comfortable, it also needs to pull the heat out of a home too. Here’s how it all happens.

  • Within your A/C system are two coils – an aptly named evaporator coil (located inside your house) and a condenser coil (located outside your house).
  • Traveling within and between these coils is refrigerant – a chemical that has the ability to change from a liquid to a gas very quickly, quickly transferring heat in the process.
  • Passing along the indoor evaporator coil, the refrigerant absorbs heat from the surrounding indoor air, leaving cooled air behind for redistribution to your house.
  • Meanwhile, the refrigerant – now a warm gas, thanks to the heat it has drawn from your air – travels to the outdoor unit, where the condenser coil squeezes all the heat out of the refrigerant, turning it back into a liquid.
  • The compressor’s fan then pushes the heat it has gathered into the outdoor air, while the cool liquid is recycled and sent back to perform its heat transfer duties once again.

These are just the basic principles. The process is a little more complicated than that – which is why you need a professional cooling technician to service your home A/C unit every year to make sure your equipment keeps working properly.

When to replace your air conditioning unit

If you think you’re spending too much money on repairs or your electric costs keep climbing every summer, consider replacing your central a/c system. The performance and reliability of central air equipment typically deteriorates after 15 years (sooner if maintenance has been neglected).

Over time, federal energy requirements have led to major improvements in home air conditioning equipment. The result: dramatically higher efficiency ratings, much lower energy costs and minimal need for repairs. New cooling equipment also uses environmentally friendly refrigerant instead of the harmful and expensive R-22, which is being phased out.

We can perform a complete comfort analysis of your home, talk with you about your needs—and your budget—and help you choose the right size and type of system. We’ll then install it properly to ensure that your new system keeps your home more comfortable and costs less to operate than your old one.

Contact us today to request a free estimate. Read more about air conditioning.