As a homeowner, you’ll eventually have to communicate with an HVAC technician about your air conditioning system, either to schedule maintenance, arrange for a repair, or choose a replacement system. You can communicate much more effectively if you’re familiar with key HVAC terms related to air conditioning. Following are some of the most common:
Refrigerant — This is the chemical solution that plays a central role in air conditioning. It evaporates and condenses relatively easily, which allows for the heat exchange that 1) removes heat from indoor air and creates cool, conditioned air; and 2) releases that heat into the outside air. It’s highly toxic and in a properly operating system will remain within the refrigerant lines and coils.
Coils — The common split-system air conditioner has an inside unit and and an outside unit. The evaporator coil is located inside as part of an air handler or furnace-A/C setup, while the condensing coil is in the metal box beside the house with the compressor and a fan. Refrigerant running through the evaporator coil will convert from a liquid to a gas as pressure is released, absorbing indoor heat as it does so. When it’s pumped outside, the refrigerant is compressed back into a liquid, releasing the heat energy picked up inside. A fan blows across the coil, collecting and expelling the heat into the surrounding air.
Compressor — The compressor serves a dual function, compressing the refrigerant and causing it to condense into a liquid, releasing the heat energy. It also pumps the refrigerant through the system.
Air handler/blower — The blower, either part of a dedicated air handler or the furnace fan, blows air across the cooling coils and then distributes it through the house via ductwork (both supply and return), vents and registers.
Air filter — This inexpensive component plays an important role in your A/C’s operation. It removes dust, pollen, dander and other contaminants from indoor air, keeping them from settling on sensitive A/C components or circulating with your indoor air.
For more help understanding HVAC terms for your Orlando area home’s air-conditioning system, please contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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