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The Nuts & Bolts of Central Air Conditioners


1st Choice Heating and Air Conditioning

The Nuts & Bolts of Central Air Conditioners

Learn More (So You Can Spend Less!)

There’s a lot to learn after you purchase a new car. Once you understand the bare necessities, you get to explore all the extra features. It’s a learning curve for sure, but one that’s definitely worth the time. After all, the more you know about your car, the more you’ll be able to enjoy it!

Well, the same can be said about your air conditioner. We’re not saying the compressor and condenser coils are as exciting as Bluetoothâ. But here’s what is exciting: Taking a summer road trip with the extra money you saved from not having to schedule AC repair in Toms River, NJ. Or being able to buy that nicer television thanks to years of HVAC savings. So before you dismiss your AC as a bore, think of what a little knowledge can mean for your wallet!

The Anatomy of Your Air Conditioner

Cool air doesn’t come out of thin air! Central air conditioners contain many different components that work together to cool homes. Here are some of the major components that play a part in your air conditioning system:

Compressor: The compressor is like the heart of an air conditioner. Located outside your home, this electric pump compresses refrigerant in gas form, pulls the heat from the refrigerant and transfers it to the condenser coils.

Condenser Coils: Like the compressor, the condenser coils are located outside your home. These coils condense gaseous refrigerant into a hot liquid.

Condenser Fan Motor: As hot refrigerant travels through the condenser coils, the condenser fan will cool the refrigerant. This allows the cooled refrigerant to leave your outdoor system and head inside to the indoor evaporator coils.

Indoor Evaporator Coils (Cooling Coils): Once the compressor and condenser coils cool the refrigerant, it travels to the indoor evaporator coil. These coils are usually mounted above your furnace or air handler. As the cooled refrigerant passes through the coils, it expands into a gas and cools the coils. A blower fan from your furnace or air handler will blow air through the evaporator coils and force the cooled air through your home’s venting. As the cooled air heats and rises, it will travel through the return vent and re-enter the cooling cycle.

Are you more of a visual learner? Check out this video to see how your air conditioner works.

More Info Now Means Fewer Repairs Later

Now that you know a bit about your system, you can use this knowledge to prevent future repairs. Rather than wait until there’s a problem with your air conditioner, consider doing the following:

  • Clear debris near condenser coils. Clogs and debris in the coils will prevent the refrigerant from cooling down and continuing through the cycle. Before the season starts, use a garden hose to spray the coils from the inside out to clean the condenser.
  • Change the air filter regularly. Airflow is crucial to home cooling. Change the disposable air filter regularly to ensure proper airflow. Otherwise, you’re likely to face a number of problems such as frozen indoor coils, drainage issues and more. If your air filter isn’t disposable, be sure to vacuum it regularly.
  • Replace thermostat batteries. Many homeowners don’t know that their thermostats run on batteries. Before you call for help, check to make sure the batteries don’t need to be replaced.

There’s no better way to prevent repairs than professional maintenance. Take a look at our Smooth Sailin’ Maintenance Plans to see how our NATE-certified technicians can protect your equipment and keep it running 100-percent efficiently, year after year.

Be the Expert With 1st Choice

When we’re not around, we want you to have everything you need for year-round comfort. That’s why we regularly update our education center: Your source for seasonal tips, tricks and everything in between.

And as we kick off the season, remember that 1st Choice is here 24/7 to keep your home cool and comfortable. From AC repair in Middletown, NJ, to AC replacements in Howell, NJ, we’re the 1st choice for trusted, quality HVAC service.

To schedule a consultation for your home or to speak with a representative, call 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning at (848) 266-6858 or contact us online today.