Understanding Your Air Conditioner

Whether you’re a proud new owner or a veteran user, it’s always a good idea to get to know the components of your air conditioning system. It’s general knowledge that most people tend to neglect until problems arise. Air conditioners, like most things, need regular cleaning and maintenance to make sure that they keep working efficiently.
Understanding Your Air Conditioner

Learning about the different components of your air conditioner unit can help you understand what needs attention and when, and will help your system to lead a long and healthy life. Here are some standard components of most air conditioner units.

Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a substance that has the unique characteristic of a very low boiling point, which helps it to change from a liquid to a vapour at relatively low temperatures. Refrigerant is pumped through the different components of an air conditioner like blood and changes from liquid to gas as it collects and expels heat from a room.

The level of refrigerant in your system is called the charge and any leak to will lower this level, decreasing the efficiency of your air conditioning. Depending on your refrigerant, it can be a hazardous pollutant, so it’s best to contact your HVAC professional to check your levels.

Compressor

The compressor is one of the main components of every air conditioner unit. It is responsible for pumping and pressurising refrigerant through the components so that the condenser can do its work.

Condenser

Refrigerant reaches the condenser as a pressurised, heated vapour before passing through the condenser’s coils. A condenser fan blows air over thin metal fins that lie on the coils, which conducts heat. The refrigerant then turns back into liquid before it moves through to the expansion valve.

The compressor, condenser coil and fan are all contained in the box that sits outside called the condensing unit. It is important to check this unit regularly for dirt and debris that may build up, especially the condenser coils, which can be cleaned with a fine brush.

Expansion Valve

The expansion is the part of the air conditioning unit that does most of the cooling through a natural process – as gas expands, it cools. As the hot liquid passes through a small opening, it expands turning into a lower-pressure cool mist.

Evaporator Coil

This low-pressure cool liquid makes its way through to your air conditioners evaporator coil, which cools the air that blows over it, thereby cooling your home. The refrigerant then begins to warm up and eventually boils and makes it way back to the outdoor condenser unit where the cycle repeats.

Filters

Filters are located on the inside component of your air conditioner and remove dust particles, however, they may not function to the best of their ability if they are clogged. It’s important to maintain as well as regularly change your filters to avoid circulating dust throughout your home.

Most issues with your air conditioner are best left to the professionals, so if you have any questions about the different components of your unit, or would like to know more about installation or maintenance of electrical items please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

With over 9 years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing air con and electrical services of the highest quality. Get in touch with us today.

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