The purpose of an air conditioner is to remove heat from your home, leaving you cool and comfortable even on the hottest Portland summer afternoons. If you’ve always wondered how it works, consider how seven critical components come together to make an air conditioner function.
- Blower: Air flowing from supply registers is the work of the blower. This component, which also works with your furnace, circulates cooled air into your home and pulls room-temperature air back for re-cooling.
- Evaporator coil: This indoor component, located near the blower, is responsible for extracting heat and humidity from the air. This is possible thanks to the refrigerant running through the coil.
- Compressor: Once it has absorbed heat, the refrigerant is in a gaseous state. It passes through the compressor, where the gas is pressurized and heated even more. This important step prepares the refrigerant to give up its heat.
- Condensing coil: This is the outdoor equivalent to the evaporator coil. As refrigerant travels from the compressor to the condenser, it expels the heat collected from indoors to the outside. Once the refrigerant is cooled to a liquid, it circulates back inside to collect more heat in the evaporator coil.
- Fan: The outdoor condensing unit becomes very hot with all that overheated refrigerant running through it. A fan and fins that act as heat syncs draw the heat away so the unit doesn’t overheat.
- Air filter: While an air conditioner can function without the air filter, dust and dirt in the air would quickly collect on A/C components and possibly damage them without the filter in place. Install an efficient enough filter and you can even improve indoor air quality while the air conditioner operates.
- Thermostat: This is the control center of the entire air conditioning process, reading the indoor temperature and telling the air conditioner when to turn on and off. You change temperature settings here based on your needs. The higher you set the thermostat, the lower your cooling bills will be.
For more information about air conditioning, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling, serving Portland homeowners since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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