Air conditioners come in various types, models, and features. For most air conditioners, their primary function is to cool the air until it reaches a desired indoor temperature. These cooling systems are especially useful during the summer when temperatures are at the highest. In addition, some air conditioners come equipped with secondary features. They may be used to clean the air, maintain the air quality, or even provide moisture control when needed.
Depending on the type of the air conditioner, the features and functionalities may differ. However, there are certain devices that you expect to find inside every air conditioning unit. These air conditioner parts are essential to the overall cooling mechanisms of the system. In other words, they are the core components that explain how air conditioning works.
Here are the seven different air conditioner parts that you will find in a typical unit:
The blower is one of the principal components in an air conditioning system. It is responsible for facilitating air movement in a home. The blower first moves the warm air down to the evaporator coil to be conditioned and then circulates the conditioned air through the rest of the home.
Air conditioners work by making heat to pass through coolant coils. As this happens, heat is absorbed into the evaporator coil and rejected outside by the condenser coil. The blowers enhance heat transfer by circulating the warm air from the home down to the evaporator coil then back through the rest of the home.
2. Evaporator Coil
Also known as the evaporator core, the coil is located near the blower. It uses the refrigerant or coolant to extract heat and humidity from the air, thanks to the refrigerant running through the coil. The refrigerant removes heat from passing air and carries it outside to be rejected by the condenser.
When this water vapour reaches the cold evaporator coils, it cools and becomes a liquid. This liquid then sprinkles down to the evaporator pan, which drains the water away and reduces the humidity in a home. The evaporator coil is usually made from materials that are good conductors of heat, such as copper, steel or aluminum.
A compressor is found in the outdoor air conditioning unit and is often referred to as “The Heart of The System”. Its function is to circulate the refrigerant, which is essential for heat transfer through the indoor and outdoor unit coils. It is powered by a motor to compress the gaseous refrigerant and increase the refrigerant’s temperature to transform it into a high-pressure gas.
The pressure then moves the refrigerant through a pipe that leads to the outdoor coil. The refrigerant then loses heat and turns into liquid form, the liquid is transferred into the indoor unit where it evaporates. In the process, it also absorbs heat from the home.
4. Condensing Coil
A condensing coil is an outdoor alternative to the evaporator coil. This is where the heat is rejected. It gathers the refrigerant from vapour form to its molten state. The refrigerant then cools to a liquid state and continues with the cooling process, heat is then released into the outside air.
As the refrigerant transfers to the outdoor unit, it fills the various condenser coils, enlarging its surface area for efficient heat removal. After heat is removed from the refrigerant, its temperature cools down to form a liquid before travelling back to the indoor unit, and the cooling process recurs.
Due to the overheated refrigerant running through the condensing unit, the system becomes extremely hot. Fans and fins are essential in this case to ensure the unit does not overheat. The fans are useful for propelling the heat away, allowing the unit to operate in a cooler temperature.
6. Air Filters
The primary function of air filters is to keep the air in a home or the air conditioner itself clean. In the absence of an air filter, dust and dirt would clog the air conditioner’s components and probably cause damage and reduce its efficiency. This will lead to the air conditioner working overtime to compensate for the reduced airflow and surface area.
Filtration will happen when the unconditioned home air is returned into the filter by the blower, which is then conditioned and supplied back to the home. This air is forced through the filter to remove other contaminants. If your filter is too clogged up with dust and debris, this will cause issues with the performance of the cooling system, hence posing a health hazard. If a damaged air filter is not replaced in good time, it may result in costly internal damage.
The thermostat is the control center of the entire conditioning process. It indicates when the air conditioner should go off or on by assessing the indoor temperatures. The thermostat is made from two types of metals that have been infused together. When the temperature rises or falls, the bimetallic strip expands and contracts respectively.
The two infused metals are intentionally chosen due to their different expansion and contraction rates. This system operates as a closed-loop control device aimed at balancing between desired and measured temperatures.