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According to Statista over 90% of households in the U.S. use some form of air conditioning. 

As a consumer you know that air conditioning cools your home down during those hot summer months. But do you know how an air conditioner actually works? 

Here at Owens Heating and Cooling we believe it’s important to know at least somewhat of how the air conditioner in your home works so that you know what to look or hear for when it starts acting out of the ordinary. 

Main Function of Your AC

The main function of an air conditioner is to draw heat, or hot energy, from inside your home and push it to the outside.

Believe it or not your air conditioner does not actually create cold air; It cools the air and circulates it throughout the home. 

It does this by taking the hot air from inside the home and removing the energy and pushing it outside, then recycling the air and cooling it down. 

This is actually an incredible technology that we are very fortunate to have as part of our daily lives, if we didn’t, our homes would be hot and we wouldn’t have refrigerators!  The same refrigerant used in our air conditioners is used to keep our food cold in refrigerators (hence the name). 

Cool Fact: The first cooling system ever installed was in 1902 at the New York Stock Exchange. 

The Anatomy of an Air Conditioner

Whether you have a window AC unit or your air conditioner is a part of your HVAC system, you have a component that sits outside of the home and a component that sits inside of the home. 

Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit

The outdoor unit is called the Condenser Unit. The condenser unit houses the compressor which is considered the heart of the Air Conditioning system because without it, no refrigerant would be cooled and circulated back to the home.  

The compressor squeezes the hot air taken from inside the home and pushes the hot energy to the outdoor fan which pushes it outside of the unit into the outdoor air. 

Refrigeration Lines

The refrigeration lines are how the coolant also known as FREON gets through the system. Through the cooling process the coolant goes from a vapor to a liquid back to a vapor. As the coolant goes through the compressor as a hot vapor it gets pushed out to the inside unit as a super cold liquid. 

Indoor Air Conditioning Unit

When the coolant travels inside the home it meets the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is shaped like an “A” and has refrigeration tubing going up and down each side. This is where the heat absorption and cooling takes place. Inside of the tubing is the super cold liquid that came from the condenser unit. 

The hot air that is collected inside the home passes through the tubes and the heat energy is absorbed by the coils and then the liquid inside the tube gets hot and is turned back into vapor. The hot air that is now cooled passes through the filter and is recirculated through the home through the air ducts by the blower fan. 

Air Conditioner Basics

Your Air Conditioner and HVAC Unit as a whole should be inspected 2 times a year in the spring and fall seasons. This will ensure that your unit is working at its maximum efficiency and keeping your energy costs low. 

If your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be cooling your home as efficiently or seems to be making grinding or clanking noises, call your HVAC technician. If caught early enough it can be a simple fix, if let go it could mean you have to replace your entire unit. No one wants this to happen, especially during the summer. 

Ask the Professionals

If you’re in need of an HVAC Inspection or want to know if it’s time to replace your unit give our company, Owens Heating and Cooling a call today. We service air conditioners and perform HVAC systems installations. We are proud to say we are the leading HVAC specialists out of the Jefferson, IA heating and cooling companies. To see if we service your area simply search “Air Conditioning Service Near Me” to see if we are close by. You can always give us a call to see if we service your area as well. We look forward to working with you!