Central Air Conditioner: How Central Air Conditioning Works

central air conditionerA central air conditioner is as simple as ABC most of the time. You just reduce the level of your thermostat to an awful low temperature,cover yourself in thick blankets and wear turtlenecks as you pass the night absorbed in a good movie or two. But then, things start to become complicated once you realize the amount of self-maintenance necessary to keep your unit efficiently running, or the occasional AC repairs you cannot avoid in the long run. By design, a central AC is more efficient in comparison to a window AC. However, time will come that a bigger appliance like a central A/C will also start to break down and become less efficient than before. Hence, it is imperative to be familiar with the fundamental parts of the entire air conditioning system to be able to perform some minor troubleshooting,and to be able to grasp how it works as a whole.

COMPRESSOR

What most Edmonton homeowners fail to understand regarding their central A/C is the role of its compressor as the system’s pump. However, it is also good at multitasking and can do other functions as well. A compressor heats up the unit’s refrigerant so that it is capable of going from a liquid state with high pressure, into a vapor with a very low pressure. The compressor’s spinning blades pumps the refrigerant into the direction of the condenser. You should remember that an A/C needs to convert gas into a liquid state and vice versa. In essence, it works by capturing the heat from inside your home and replace it with cool air. A compressor’s location is on the exterior of your Edmonton central air conditioner most of the time. It is the same refrigerant that goes through the entire system, and its first stop is by the compressor. In turn, the compressor takes this working fluid in its cool and low-pressure gas state. It squeezes it before sending it back on its way like a high energy and temperature dense molecule.

CONDENSER COIL

Thus, it leaves the compressor like a dense molecule;this refrigerant goes to the unit’s condenser like the hot and high-pressure gas it is. This high-powered refrigerant heads to the condenser coils and the unit’s fin-like blades where it is cooled down. A good analogy is a skinny nerd who blossoms into a huge biker with big muscles by constantly working out its compressor. This brawny biker has just consumed a few rounds of alcoholic drinks,and he’s set to burn it all off at the A/Cs condenser coil. He sobers up after hitting the A/Cs condenser coil,and he transforms into a gentler version but still pretty much the huge, brawny guy that he is. Just like a bar that needs some upkeep, you also need to maintain your unit’s condenser coils properly to prevent dust and dirt buildup.

EVAPORATOR COIL

Your refrigerant is now much cooler after it leaves the condenser. It is also in a liquid state from its previous gas state. Going back to the brawny biker, he is shameful of his recent drunken fit and wants to redeem himself by returning to school.Thus, the refrigerant comes inside the evaporator by passing a very tight hole,and its high pressure goes down once it gets inside. The liquid then starts to evaporate after becoming a gas. While in the process of evaporating this gas, it grabs some of the heat from the air hence the cool air that passes through your vents. This gassy state that has seized the heat returns to the unit’s compressor to repeat the same process all over again.

FAN

The fan controls a central air conditioner. It is also responsible for blowing away the refrigerant throughout the system as it continuously transitions from a gas into a liquid and so on. The fan also cools down the various parts of the A/C that absorbs heat and converts it to ensure that all of its components do its job. Another major cause for an A/C repair is a fan that stops working. As a result, other parts of your central AC overheats and breaks down. A bad capacitor can render your fan useless. Another cause is a blockage caused by the accumulation of too much debris. An Edmonton homeowner can safely clean their unit’s fan with the use of compressed air to prevent the accumulation of dirt and other buildups.

REFRIGERANT

The blood that runs through your entire central A/C system is its refrigerant. A leak can cause a sudden drop in the volume of your unit’s refrigerant, but the same amount of base fluid still passes through your A/C over summer or even many years ahead. As a trivia, irresponsibly dumping your HVAC system’s refrigerants in the environment is illegal in many countries. You can take off and recycle these refrigerants and make it into something usable.

Although you may be a little overwhelmed by now on the entire cooling process, your central air conditioner functions in a simple and recurring process. There are a lot of loopholes, but A/C repair contractors will ensure that each part of your unit performs efficiently,and you will be able to enjoy cool summers for years ahead.

In general, an AC repair expert will perform most of the repairs needed by your central air conditioner. However, an ordinary homeowner can still do some of the cleaning or other preventive maintenance necessary to ensure that your unit continues to run efficiently for the longest time possible. By being familiar with each internal parts of your AC and knowing how they operate, you have an edge in understanding and identifying the reason for your system’s occasional lags. You can even tell whether repairs might soon be necessary.

August 18th, 2016 by Lief Simons
About Lief Simons

Lief Simons is the President of Plumbers Edmonton Ltd., which specializes in plumbing, heating and cooling installation, repair and servicing. For same day 24/7 service, call 587-408-3450.