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Central Air Conditioner Parts: A Breakdown of How the Cooling Process Works

central air conditioner

Most homeowners in the St. Louis area enjoy the comfort of a central air conditioner, but have you ever stopped to think about how it works? Where does the cool air come from? What’s that big unit located outside your home? These are all questions that can be answered by examining the central air conditioner parts that make the cooling process possible.

Central air conditioner parts indoors

The purpose of the central air conditioner parts that are located inside your home is to absorb heat. The critical parts in this process include:

  • Fan
  • Evaporator coils
  • Refrigerant
  • Ductwork

When your air conditioner is on, the fan blows warm air from your home over the cold evaporator coils. The warm air causes the refrigerant in the evaporator coils to change from a liquid to a gas, allowing it to absorb heat. As a result, the air from your home is cooled and redistributed throughout your home’s ductwork, thus lowering the temperature of your home.

Central air conditioner parts outdoors

Now that heat has been absorbed from the air inside your home, it needs somewhere to go. That’s where the outdoor central air conditioner parts come into play. The critical parts in this process include:

  • Fan
  • Compressor
  • Condenser coils
  • Refrigerant

These parts are located outside of your home in a unit called a condenser. After refrigerant has absorbed heat from inside, it is sent outside to the compressor. Here, the gaseous refrigerant is put under high pressure, which creates unwanted heat. The refrigerant then moves to the condenser coils.

Using a fan on the top of the condenser, outside air is blown over the hot condenser coils and heat is transferred from the refrigerant to the air outside. The refrigerant then turns back into a liquid and is sent back inside to repeat the process.

If you have any questions about central air conditioner parts, or if you’d like a cooling system installed or repaired in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

Photo credit: rsgreen