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Proudly Serving The Columbia Area Since 1985

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Proudly Serving The Columbia Area Since 1985


Fulmer Heating & Cooling Blog

How Does Your Central AC Unit Work?


Have you ever had the experience of having a technician explain a problem they are addressing in your air conditioner only to realize that half of what they are saying isn’t understandable? This isn’t meant to confuse you! Professionals know the technical terms for all of the different parts in your HVAC in Columbia, SC and it isn’t often that the average customer is going to know all that terminology.

With that said, we want to help. Rather than leaving you to perform a long Google search to understand what in your AC is malfunctioning, we are going to give you a brief overview of how your AC works so that the next time one of our techs visit you feel a little less out of your depth!

What Part of Your AC Does What?

We want to give you a brief crash course on how your air conditioner works so you can better understand what is up with it the next time it is struggling. To do that we have a small step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Turning your system on

When you need to cool your home off, you are going to start with your thermostat. Whether the thermostat is set to turn on by itself when a certain temperature is reached, or you turn it on manually, the thermostat is vital to the cooling process. Once your thermostat gets the signal to “start,” it tells your AC system to begin the cooling process.

Step 2: The cooling process

Once your air conditioner receives the signal to start the cooling process, it begins to pressurize and cycle the refrigerant in its system. When refrigerant cycles through your evaporator coil, a large coil within your indoor AC unit, it absorbs the heat from the air being blown over the coil. This causes the refrigerant to evaporate into a gas and cools the air around the coil.

Step 3: Receiving the cool air

Once your AC is able to create cool air, the blower fan in your system is going to blow that temperature-controlled air out of the system, through your ductwork and into the different areas of your home. This will happen consistently until your home reaches the desired temperature.

Step 4: The cycle continues

After the refrigerant in the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the air in your home, it is cycled out to your outdoor unit through a condenser coil that condenses the refrigerant. This increases the temperature of the refrigerant so that when a fan in your outdoor unit blows air across the coil, the refrigerant is able to release the excess heat and return to a liquid state. Once this is done, the hot air escapes outside and the refrigerant continues to repeat the cooling process until your home is comfortable.

Hopefully, this little step-by-step guide has helped to clarify a bit about how your AC works so the next time your technician mentions a term like “evaporator coil” or “condenser” you have a better grasp on what is up with your system.

At the end of the day though, you should be able to trust that your technician knows what they are doing when they provide service for your HVAC system.

Contact Fulmer Heating & Cooling for reliable HVAC services throughout Newberry and the surrounding communities.

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