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Central Air Conditioning System

To understand how your AC works, you’ll need to first know the important components of your system. A central air conditioning system is comprised of three main parts:

  1. Condenser – The condenser is the portion of your central air conditioning system that sits outside the house. Inside it you’ll find the compressor, the condenser coils, a network of refrigerant-filled tubing and a large fan to disperse heat.
  2. Compressor – Located outside your home in the condenser, the compressor condenses the refrigerant back into liquid from so it can be cycled back into the home again.
  3. Evaporator – The portion of your central air conditioning system that sits inside your home is the evaporator. Usually located in the basement, the evaporator has a series of refrigerant-filled tubes that remove the heat and moisture from the air in your home.

These parts work together to cool your home by moving the refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator and back again. A complete cycle, starting in the condenser, includes:

  1. The compressor condenses the refrigerant into an extremely cold liquid, and the heat that has been removed from the refrigerant is blown away from the condenser by the fan.
  2. The refrigerant will then travel through tubing until it reaches your evaporator and coils.
  3. Air from your return ducts that has been drawn in from the rooms in your home is propelled upward through your filter and air handler so it passes over your evaporator coils.
  4. When the air passes over the evaporator coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat in the air and turns into a gas. Because the evaporator coils are so much colder than the air, any moisture vapor in the air will condense on the coils. This moisture should roll off the coils into a drain called the condensate drain, provided you have proper airflow—this is how your central air conditioning system regulates the humidity in your home as well as keeping it cool. However, if you don’t have proper airflow in your AC—due to dirty air filters or under- or over-sized ducts—this moisture can freeze to your coils and cause major problems.
  5. After the heat and moisture are removed from the air, the air travels through the supply duct to be recirculated back into the home. It often takes multiple cycles of this before the air reaches the temperature set on the thermostat.
  6. Finally, the refrigerant travels back to the condenser to be compressed so the cycle can start over again.

That is a brief overview of how a central air conditioning system works. If you have any questions or you need air conditioning service in New Jersey, contact Arctic Air Conditioning.

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