The Basic Ins and Outs of Air Conditioning

Your air conditioner works 24/7 to keep you cool throughout the long, hot Houston area summer. Knowing a little about how your air conditioning system works can help you troubleshoot common A/C problems and communicate with your HVAC technician if the need for service arises.

The refrigerant in your system is a chemical that converts easily from liquid to gas and back to liquid, and it’s the vehicle that removes heat energy from your home’s air. The refrigerant travels through the three main components of your air conditioner to cool your home.

Evaporator
The evaporator coil is located in your indoor unit. The refrigerant inside the coil is a cold liquid. As air is blown across the coil, the refrigerant absorbs heat and changes into a cool gas.

Compressor
Located in your outdoor unit, the compressor squeezes the cool gas to heat it up above the ambient outdoor temperature.

Condenser
The hot gas moves into the condenser coil, also located in your outdoor unit. Since heat energy moves from warm to cool spaces, the heat in the refrigerant is released into the outdoor air. As it dissipates, the refrigerant turns back into a cool gas and moves back to the evaporator and the cycle begins again.

The efficiency of your air conditioning system depends on clean coils, optimum airflow and the correct level of refrigerant. An annual preventive tune-up by a qualified HVAC technician is the best way to maintain your system’s efficiency, extend its life, lower your cooling costs and help to prevent midsummer breakdowns. There are a couple of things you can do throughout the summer to help keep your system efficient:

  • Check your air filter monthly and replace it with a quality filter when it’s dirty to ensure optimum airflow and prevent dust from building up inside your system.
  • Spray down your outdoor unit monthly to remove debris from the fins, which can interfere with the exchange of heat.

For more expert advice about how air conditioning systems work, please feel free to contact us at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. Our job is keeping Houston residents comfortable year-round.

 

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