How Air Conditioning Systems Cool Buildings
Many homeowners have flicked the “on” switch for the air conditioner hundreds, if not thousands, of times. But few people ever stop to think about how AC systems function within commercial and residential buildings.
While it may seem like a no-brainer that these systems deliver cool air, that is only the end product of what is a relatively complicated and intricate system of parts that move in concert to achieve a cooling effect. Homeowners should have a basic understanding of their AC system parts, how they work, and when to seek professional help for AC issues.
Basic Parts of an Air Conditioner
The basic parts of an air conditioner include the evaporator, condenser, compressor, fan, and expansion valve. Some of these parts are located outside of the house, while others are located inside the house:
- Evaporator – located inside the house (often in a closet or attic) and is typically covered by a metal case
- Condenser – located outside the house, right behind the thin metal wiring that covers outdoor AC units
- Compressor – located outside the house
- Fan – located outside the house, on top of the condenser
- Expansion valve – located outside the house, typically between the evaporator and condenser
There are several other smaller parts, but these are the primary and most important components that contribute to the proper functioning of AC systems.
How Air Conditioning Parts Function
Each air conditioning part mentioned above has a specific function that contributes to the overall system:
- Evaporator – turns liquid refrigerant into gas to cool and dehumidify outdoor air and send it to the condenser
- Condenser – turns gaseous refrigerant from the evaporator back into liquid form and vents heat outside
- Compressor – functions in concert with the condenser to turn refrigerant back into liquid form through pressurization
- Fan – prevents overheating in the condenser coil
- Expansion valve – functions in concert with the evaporator and controls the amount of liquid refrigerant converted into gas
These parts all have unique functions, and each of these functions is crucial to the proper functioning of the entire system. If any of these are not working, homeowners will need to seek professional help.
The Role of Air Conditioning Professionals
Air conditioning professionals are crucial, as air conditioning systems are incredibly complex, and solutions will require a great deal of knowledge. These professionals can help with AC repair, replacement, and maintenance. More specifically, they can help homeowners to determine whether repair or replacement makes more sense in a particular scenario based on:
- Age of the system
- Budgetary concerns
- Costs of usage/utility bills
- Frequency of air conditioning issues
Regular maintenance is another vital part of ensuring proper functioning and increased longevity of home AC systems, as professionals can identify and fix problems early on before they become more significant. Air conditioning professionals can also help homeowners upgrade to higher efficiency units.
About Albert Nahman Services
Albert Nahman Services of Berkeley, CA is a family-owned and operated business that has been providing services for over 30 years. Their team of experts offers straightforward pricing, 2-hour appointment windows, and long-term parts and service warranties with all the labor they perform. Call them for HVAC services today!