Being able to identify the key components of your air conditioner using the same HVAC terms professionals do can save time when scheduling service and discussing A/C performance. These definitions help you form a foundation that also helps you understand how your system works.
- Air handler — The air handler houses the blower fan, the evaporator coil, electrical parts, and the components used for forced-air heating. It may sit inside a closet in your home, in the attic, or inside the garage. Air handlers are also referred to as blower compartments.
- Compressor — The compressor circulates the refrigerant responsible for removing the heat from your home. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant.
- Condenser — The condenser houses the compressor, a large fan and the cooling coils for the A/C system. Most condensers sit on the ground, usually in a side or backyard. When the A/C runs, the condensing fan and compressor make a steady noise. If you hear squealing, clanging, or banging coming from the condenser, it usually indicates a problem associated with the A/C system, and when you contact your HVAC pro, explaining that the noise is coming from the condenser is one of the most helpful HVAC terms to use.
- Condensing coil — This coil occupies a prominent place in the condenser and may be covered with radiator-like fins that help conduct the heat away from the refrigerant that circulates inside the coil.
- Evaporator coil — This coil carries the refrigerant inside the air handler and as the fan blows air over it, the refrigerant removes the heat. Keeping this coil clean is an important part of system maintenance, since a dirty coil retards cooling and may contribute to premature compressor failure.
- Refrigerant — This chemical exists in either a liquid or gaseous state and transfers heat. Its level should be checked during routine annual maintenance visits.
Knowing common HVAC terms helps you communicate with your contractor and make informed decisions. To learn more about your system, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing, providing outstanding HVAC services for homeowners in Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC terms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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