The many sections of an air conditioner work in harmony to give cool or hot air to the room, much like the many pieces of an orchestra. When everything is running perfectly, you may not even be aware that your air conditioner is made up of several different parts inside the unassuming box. However, if you look closer, you’ll discover an intricate network of air conditioner parts.
How do they function? And what part do they play? Continue reading.
What Constitutes An Air Conditioner’s Main Components?
The four main parts of an air conditioning system are listed below. They are the compressor, expansion valve, condenser, and evaporator. Each of these air conditioner parts works in unison with the others and performs a specific task to keep your air conditioner functioning well.
The compressor is the workhorse of air conditioning and is arguably the most significant of all air conditioner components. The compressor for central and split systems is housed in the outside unit. The compressor, which is typically the most expensive component of the system, is the main energy consumer for an air conditioner.
As its name implies, the compressor’s function is to compress the refrigerant, which was a warm vapor when it entered the device, into a hot compressed liquid. This is then chilled and expanded once again as the air conditioning operation continues to remove heat from the inside air.
Depending on the size of your air conditioner, the compressor size will change. You can preserve the health of the most important AC component by frequently checking for refrigerant leaks, preventing dirt & contamination, keeping the condenser coils clean, and keeping your AC well-oiled.
2. Expansion Valve
Another tiny device known as an expansion valve is located between the condenser and evaporator. The refrigerant can no longer absorb the heat because it has changed state to a liquid. The refrigerant experiences a drop in pressure in the expansion valve, where it expands into gas and rapidly cools. The air conditioning cycle is then repeated using this gaseous, cooled refrigerant in the evaporator coils.
3. Condenser Coil
The evaporator’s opposite, the condenser coil, removes heat from the refrigerant and releases it into the atmosphere outside. It is located in the exterior unit of your air conditioner.
With a fan pushing heat away from it, the evaporator coil operates effectively in the opposite direction from the condenser. You can feel hot air flowing out of your air conditioner’s outside unit if you stand outside of it. This is the heat being released by the condenser when the refrigerant transitions from a hot vapor to a hot liquid.
4. Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is positioned in the indoor unit of a mini-split air conditioner as opposed to the air handler of a central air conditioning system. Just before entering the evaporator coils, the refrigerant, which is now flowing through the system, is cooled to a low temperature. Your HVAC system draws warm air from your house and blows it over cool evaporator coils to remove heat and cool the air. The cool air is then circulated within your house by fans that are situated behind the evaporator coil, lowering the temperature.
These coils can also be made of steel or aluminum but are typically made of copper. Because of its superior heat conductivity, ease of use, and ease of maintenance, copper is the material of choice.
However, it’s important to maintain your coils clean since with time, dirt and dust can accumulate on them and decrease their effectiveness. Additionally, a buildup of this dust may obstruct the condensation drain, leading to refrigerant leaks. Your evaporator coils will remain in the optimum condition with yearly cleaning, even though the air filter protects them.
How Do the Parts Of An Air Conditioner Work Together?
Knowing the main components of an air conditioner and how they interact makes sense now that you are familiar with them.
The cooling cycle will be our first focus. In the compressor, the refrigerant is compressed into a hot, high-pressure liquid. With the aid of a sizable fan, this liquid is cooled as it moves in the direction of the condenser coils. The refrigerant is then swiftly expanded by the expansion valve, turning it into a chilly, low-pressure gas. What chills your room is this cooled gas. The evaporator coils are where that is done.
What Other Components Of An AC Unit Exist?
There are additional components in addition to the ones mentioned above that make up an AC unit.
Like a screen mesh, an air conditioner filter keeps dirt, dust, and other airborne particles out of the air conditioner. It can be found within the indoor unit.
You might be wondering what refrigerant is since it has been discussed so frequently above. The substance itself is what truly cools. It circulates inside the air conditioner through a system of copper or steel tubes and possesses specific qualities that allow it to be compressed and expanded to cool or heat a space. R-410A and R-22 are two popular refrigerants, albeit R-22 is slowly losing use.
A fan is used to blow conditioned air into your rooms and transport air from one component to another. Fans are also necessary to disperse heat and keep your outside unit from overheating.
Your ideal indoor temperature is maintained by the thermostat. This is where you tell your air conditioner what kind of cooling you desire, and it responds by turning the air conditioner on or off to maintain the ideal inside temperature. It can quickly determine the temperature of your room thanks to built-in temperature and humidity sensors.
With programmable or smart thermostats, you can set clever commands like scheduling or geofencing and manage your AC temperature from your phone. You can utilize a smart AC controller, which functions similarly to a thermostat for central systems, if you have a ducted air conditioner like a mini-split or window unit.
Typical Issues With Air Conditioner Parts
Even though we would all like it to, mechanical equipment does not always like to continue working flawlessly for all time.
Components of air conditioners occasionally have issues that can result in subpar performance or complete failure of the AC.
These issues may take many forms. Typical examples include:
- AC is emitting a smell.
- Clogged air filter
- Leakage of water from the interior unit
- A refrigerant issue is the cause of the AC not blowing cold air.
- Noises from the AC
In addition to the annoyance they create, your home’s energy costs may increase as a result of these issues. Therefore, it is preferable to get these rectified as soon as possible by a trained expert.
You ought to be better able to comprehend how your air conditioner operates now that you are more knowledgeable with its parts. Additionally, you are now in a better position to identify any potential AC issues and determine when a tune-up is necessary. In the end, information is power!