Home Cooling & Heating Solutions

Getting to Know Your AC Better

How Do I Take Care of It

For many homeowners, getting to know the technical side of their air conditioner is hard. It’s common knowledge that an AC is a machine that’s capable of cooling either a single room or several, but how does it work?

Though it sounds complicated, understanding your split type or window unit helps you recognize every working component. The more you know about your AC, the easier it is spotting early signs of damage and choosing the appropriate air conditioning upgrades.

To make things simpler, this article gives you a basic lesson on the following:

  • How an air conditioner generally works
  • Its components
  • The typical maintenance methods
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How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

Air conditioners are filled with a substance called a refrigerant (coolant). The refrigerant is a compound that transitions easily from liquid to gas and back to liquid again. When you turn on your AC, the condenser compresses the refrigerant into gas before sending it to the condenser coils.

Once the refrigerant is in the condenser, it turns into a hot liquid but the heat dissipates as it travels through the condenser coils. The refrigerant then travels to the evaporator where it expands into a gas, making the evaporator coils cold. The refrigerant returns to the compressor and the cycle is continued.

While the refrigerant is traveling through the AC, the fan motor rotates a blower wheel, which draws in hot air to be cooled by the evaporator coils. The cool air is then sent back into the room. The fan motor also operates the condenser fan blade, which blows outside air through the condenser coils keeping them cool.

What are Its Components?

Getting to Know Your AC Better
  • Compressor – Where the refrigerant is compressed.
  • Condenser – Receives the refrigerant in gas form and turns it back into a hot liquid.
  • Capillary Tube – Narrowing tube that’s connected between the condenser and the evaporator. It adjusts the amount of gas in the evaporator.
  • Evaporator – Absorbs heat from the surrounding air and produces cooled air when the refrigerant evaporates.
  • Indoor Fan – Exhausts air from the indoors and brings it through the evaporator. When the air is cooled, it returns it in to the environment.
  • Outdoor Fan – Circulates air through the condenser to cool the refrigerant.
  • Electrical Parts – Electrical components that help keep the AC running.

How Do I Take Care of It?

There are several things you can do to minimize AC damage and performance problems. One method is to clean or replace the air filter regularly. A dirty air filter restricts airflow, which is troublesome for your air conditioner. Whenever the air filter is filled with dust, the AC will have a difficult time blowing out cold air. This puts a strain on the system or causes it to use more electricity just to keep up with the cooling demands.

Another method is to have the unit professionally maintained. Letting the AC experts regularly check your air conditioner gives them the opportunity to repair any damage or replace worn parts.

With the lesson finally coming to a close, you now know a little more about your air conditioner. You know how it works, what components make it run, and how to keep it working in good conditions.

If you’re currently having problems with your AC, contact Cook Heating & Air. Our fully licensed and certified AC technicians can perform the appropriate air conditioning service to get it up and running smoothly. Just give us a call at 765-232-0108 today for a free estimate. Our services are available to properties in Greater Lafayette, Indiana.