Understand How an A/C Works to Get the Most out of It

Understand How an A/C Works to Get the Most out of ItThe majority of American homes have central air conditioning, and yet few homeowners know how their system works. Understanding the basics about how an A/C works can help you troubleshoot common air conditioning problems and communicate more effectively with your HVAC technician in the event service is needed on your system. 

The lifeblood of your air conditioner is the refrigerant, which is a chemical that converts easily from gas to liquid and is responsible for removing the heat energy from your home’s air. The refrigerant cycles through your system’s main components to cool your home.

Evaporator
The refrigerant in your evaporator coil, located in your indoor unit, is a cold liquid. As air from your home is sent over the cold coil by the air handler, the refrigerant absorbs heat energy from the air. The refrigerant heats up and turns into a cool gas.

Compressor
The cool gas is sent to the compressor, located in the outdoor unit. The compressor squeezes the refrigerant, turning into a hot gas.

Condenser
The hot gas moves to the condenser coil, also found in the outdoor unit. A fan brings in hot outdoor air, which flows over the hotter coil. Since heat moves from warmer spaces to cooler spaces, the heat energy in the refrigerant is released into the outdoor air. As the heat dissipates, the refrigerant turns back into a cool liquid and is sent back to the evaporator to begin the cycle again.

The efficiency of your air conditioner depends on clean coils, optimum air flow and the correct charge of refrigerant. Annual preventive maintenance is essential for keeping your system in top working order and preventing midsummer breakdowns. If you haven’t already scheduled your tune-up, it’s not too late to reap the benefits:

Aladdin Heating & Cooling is dedicated to the year-round comfort of Farmington area residents. With over 65 years of experience, we can help you get the most out of your HVAC equipment. For more expert advice about how an A/C works, please feel free to contact us.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Detroit, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about understanding your A/C and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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