Air conditioning units are one of the largest home appliances and investments homeowners can make. That’s why it’s important to understand how AC units work and what you can do to properly maintain them to get your money’s worth! Here’s a quick rundown of the parts of an AC unit and what you can do to ensure that your unit stays in working order for as long as possible.
Air Conditioning Coils
There are two primary coils in your AC system: The condenser coil and the evaporator coil. They are an important part of your unit because they are responsible for taking the heat out of the air and replacing it with cool air throughout your home. The evaporator coil (located in the indoor unit) takes the indoor heat from the air and adds it to the unit’s refrigerant. The condenser coil (located on the outdoor unit) releases the heated air outside, leaving your home cool. In order for your AC unit to function properly, you will want to make sure that your coils are cleaned and checked at least once a year, preferably in the early spring.
AC Unit Fan
The fan of your air conditioning unit connects to the indoor air handler. In this way, the fan returns the warm air in your home to the AC unit’s condenser. The air is then converted by the air handler into cool air that is then dispersed through the ducts and vents into your home. If your AC unit isn’t cooling properly, it could be because the outdoor fan isn’t working properly. Checking your breaker or fuse box and resetting it could troubleshoot a minor issue; if it doesn’t, then there may be a mechanical failure with your unit’s fan motor.
Good to Know
In order for your AC unit to function properly, you will want to make sure that your coils are cleaned and checked at least once a year
Compressor and Condenser
In order for your AC unit to work, it’s an intricate balance of dealing with hot and cooled air. The unit’s condenser is located on the “hot side” of the unit and it brings the hot, refrigerant gas back outside to release the heat and to turn the refrigerant back into its liquid form. The compressor is a large electrically powered unit that works with the compressor to cool the refrigerant and produce cooled air for your home.
As its name suggests, this line carries cool air into the home that is then dispersed through the home’s air ducts and vents. When the coolant line is blocked or otherwise obstructed, it will be difficult to cool your home (or at least feel the cool air). That’s why it is important to have your AC unit professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year, so you can ensure that nothing will prevent the unit from working as it should.
It’s always helpful to have a general idea of how your AC unit works so you can potentially troubleshoot, should a problem arise. However, the importance of regular maintenance cannot be understated, especially for your heating and air conditioning units. The more preventative work you can put into your home’s HVAC system, the better it will operate to regulate your home’s temperature.