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Do You Know How Your Home’s Air Conditioner Works?

Air conditioner unit outsideAir conditioning units have become an important part of our daily lives, and most Americans would say it is a luxury they couldn’t live without. Certainly, with the summer heat upon us, we are appreciating our air conditioners even more over the last couple of weeks.

While we use air conditioning often, does anyone really know what’s inside the box that is making the house so comfortable?

Air conditioning units have a filter, a condenser coil, a compressor, and a wiring system, among other parts. Most units have two main components – one part is indoors, and the other is outdoors. Both work together to remove heat from your home.

How Do Some of These Parts Work Together to Keep You Cool?

Air conditioners require a substance called refrigerant to transfer the heat out of your house. The condenser coil and the compressor are part of the home’s outdoor unit and circulate the refrigerant through the unit in order to cool a home. The condenser coil is where the refrigerant is processed from gas to a liquid, and the compressor moves the refrigerant through the unit.

Not only does the air conditioner remove heat from the air in your home, but it also removes humidity. Lower humidity levels make the air feel cooler, even without lowering the temperature. This is why your air conditioner has a condensate line – to drain off all the fluid taken from the air. In fact, according to, the first-ever air conditioning unit was for humidity control, rather than temperature. Cooling happened as a by-product of removing humidity from the air.

When Was the Last Time You Had a Professional Come in to Check Your Air Conditioning Unit?

Keeping up with regular air conditioner maintenance can save you money and energy while prolonging the lifespan of your system. The last thing you want is for your air conditioner to die on the hottest day of the summer. Having the proper maintenance performed ensures your unit can cool your home efficiently.

The most important thing you can do to help your air conditioner maintain peak performance is to keep the exterior unit clean and clear of debris. Avoid damaging the fins when mowing or trimming around the unit. It’s also important to change the filters on the internal air handling unit every month.

It’s always a good idea to hire a professional to inspect and perform maintenance on your system every spring for the air conditioner and every fall for the heating unit. A professional can inspect and clean the wiring and mechanisms of each of the units and take care of the more challenging maintenance work.

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