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What Are the Major Parts of an Air Conditioner?

air conditioner


When you need AC repair in your Everett, WA, home, you may feel confused or overwhelmed by what your HVAC contractor is trying to explain to you. This confusion usually comes from not understanding how the air conditioner works. By learning more about the major components of your AC unit, you’ll have a better understanding of what needs to be repaired when something does go wrong. 

The Evaporator Coil

The location of the evaporator coil will depend on the type of unit you have in your Everett, WA, home. In a mini split system, the evaporator coil can be found in the indoor part of the unit. In a central HVAC system, the evaporator coil is found in the outdoor unit, known as the compressor.

The refrigerant that runs through the system is cooled to a very low temperature just before accessing the evaporator coil. The refrigerant helps cool down air and extract moisture as warm air from inside your home is blown over the evaporator coil. Behind the coil, there are fans that blow the cooled air back into your home.

While some evaporator coils are made from steel or aluminum, most are made from copper. That’s because copper has the best thermal conductivity. It’s also easier to use, making it possible to maintain the coil in good condition.

One reason good air conditioning care requires seasonal tune-ups is that the evaporator coil must be kept clean. A coil that has been collecting dust and debris all year long will operate less efficiently. Blockages can cause refrigerant leaks and other problems that might damage your system.

The Compressor

In both types of air conditioning systems, the compressor is located on or near the exterior of the house. In regards to smaller mini split systems, the compressor may be mounted to a roof or the side of the house. For larger, central HVAC systems, the compressor is usually set on the ground next to the house.

Since the compressor is considered to be the primary component of the cooling system, it’s easy to see why this is the first place an HVAC technician will look when you call for AC repair services. 

The compressor’s function is to transform the refrigerant from a warm vapor to a hot, compressed liquid. The compressor sends the liquid to the evaporator coil to be cooled. Keeping the compressor clean and in good condition is more challenging because it is located outside. A metal housing with small vents helps to protect the compressor.

Make sure to check the compressor regularly. Remove debris, pests, and weed growth from the area. Your HVAC technician will clean the interior components of this part of your air conditioning system during your seasonal tune-up.

The Condenser Coil

Another important part of the air conditioning system in your Everett, WA, is the condenser coil. This coil is also located in the outdoor compressor unit. Its purpose is to extract heat from the refrigerant and push it out into the exterior environment. This helps ensure hot air isn’t adversely affecting the cooling process.

Once the condenser coil extracts warm air, a fan in the compressor forces that air outside. You can feel that fan operating if you stand next to the compressor. You should feel warm air hitting you as the fan kicks on. If you feel cool air or the fan doesn’t seem to be operating, you may need our AC repair services.

The Expansion Valve

Within the compressor outside your Everett, WA, home, there is also an expansion valve. This valve is located between the evaporator and condenser coils. 

The valve allows the liquid refrigerant to be transformed back into a gas, allowing it to absorb heat more efficiently. The valve does this by dropping the pressure and suddenly lowering the temperature. 

After this process is complete, the cooled gas can be sent back to the evaporator coils. Once there, the cooled refrigerant gas can be reused by the air conditioning system.

The Blower Motor Assembly

Located in the indoor part of your AC system, the blower motor assembly delivers cooled air into your home. The air is blown through vents in the mini-split system or sent through the ducts in a forced-air, central HVAC system. If you’re experiencing warm air or reduced airflow, AC repair services will usually focus on the blower motor assembly.

The blower motor should be lubricated during seasonal tune-ups to reduce wear and tear. Your HVAC technician should also check the belt. Since the belt drives the fan, a loose or worn belt can reduce airflow. The blower fan may also need to be tightened or adjusted.

Need a Part to Be Replaced or Repaired?

When it’s time for an AC tune-up, contact CM Heating for service. Our certified technicians have the experience and state-of-the-art equipment to provide you with the best maintenance for your air conditioner. Whether you need a tune-up, repairs, or a new AC installation, contact CM Heating today!

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