Basic Air Conditioning Know-How Can Help You Care for Yours
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Basic Air Conditioning Know-How Can Help You Care for Yours


Homeowners expect their air conditioning to perform efficiently during summer days in the Portland area. Sometimes minor issues do occur, however, and having basic knowledge of how your air conditioner works will allow you to take care of small problems or else contact a professional technician if you can’t.

In a central split-system A/C, two separate components – the indoor air handler and outdoor condensing unit – work together to produce air conditioning for your home.

The air handler contains the components that cool the air and sends it to your rooms. The key parts doing these jobs are:

  • Evaporator coils and fins: Refrigerant flows through the coils and cools them. Fins, surrounding the coils, absorb the cold, expanding the cooling area.
  • Fan: The fan blows air across the cold coils and fins, extracting heat from the household air. The resulting cool air moves through the ducts and to your rooms.
  • Filter: The filter removes pollutants from the air as it returns to the system for cooling again.
  • Ducts: Conditioned air travels through ducts to your rooms, and ducts return air to the system for re-conditioning.
  • Condensate pan: The pan collects moisture from the cooling process and drains it outdoors.

The outside condensing unit transfers heat outdoors and prepares the refrigerant for the cooling process. The unit houses the following major components:

  • Compressor: The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant gas, helps change it to liquid and pumps the liquid through the system.
  • Condenser coils and fins: Refrigerant passes through the coils; a fan blows on the coils, cools the refrigerant and releases the heat outdoors.
  • Refrigerant: Refrigerant changes from a hot gas to a cold liquid in the condenser unit and returns to the air handler by way of an insulated copper pipe.

You do not have to be a pro to maintain your air conditioner by changing the air filter or removing debris around the condenser, but being aware of your air conditioning system will benefit you in discovering problems before they become major issues.

If you have concerns about your air conditioning, our staff at Roth & Heating Cooling are here to help. We have been providing the Portland area with dependable and affordable service for more than 35 years.

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