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A Primer on the Essential Parts of AC Units

Parts of AC Units

Like many homeowners in Provo, you probably count on your air conditioner to work reliably and ensure your comfort throughout summer. Still, you might have little idea of how your air conditioner actually functions. At Western Heating & Air, we encourage homeowners to understand the basic parts that make up their AC units. This knowledge might not equip you to take care of repairs and maintenance on your own, but it can help you understand how your AC unit works and why proper care is essential.

Basic AC Components

Your air conditioner uses the following parts to chill and dehumidify the air in your home:

  • Evaporator coils. These coils contain refrigerant. When warm air is drawn into the AC unit and over the evaporator coils, the cool refrigerant absorbs heat from the air and changes into a gas, which is a process that allows even more heat absorption.
  • A compressor. To keep the cooling cycle going, the refrigerant must be converted back to a liquid. This is achieved with a compressor, which puts the refrigerant under high pressure.
  • Condenser coils. The compression process generates heat energy, which is released through the condenser coils.
  • Fans. One fan blows indoor air over the cooling evaporator coils, while another pushes hot air from the condenser coils outdoors.
  • An expansion valve. This regulates the amount of refrigerant flowing into the evaporator and condenser coils.

The arrangement of these parts depends on the type of air conditioner. In window AC units, these parts are situated in close proximity. In central air systems, the compressor and condenser are actually located in a separate unit outside of the house. Still, you can find these basic components in any standard air conditioning system.

Looking After Your AC Parts

With a better understanding of the parts and principles that power AC units, it’s easy to see why proper maintenance is important. The failure of just one part can derail the whole cooling cycle. If you notice signs of trouble with your air conditioner, or if you haven’t scheduled maintenance in a while, call Western Heating & Air today to keep your AC unit and parts in top condition.

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