Types of Central Air Conditioners 101

 Air Conditioning 101

As anyone in the Houston area knows, heating and cooling are two of the most important factors in your home. Your home’s capacity to keep you comfortable is paramount. Understanding how this happens can be beneficial.

Along with home ownership comes the term “HVAC.” This acronym stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning — the three functions of you home’s system. Your HVAC equipment controls air temperature, humidity, and the quality of the air you breath within your home.

Although many people know a lot about HVAC services and products, some of our customers are unfamiliar with the technology. With summer approaching, let’s focus on air conditioning systems and how they work.

Unveiling the Mystery of Air Conditioning Systems

Energy.Gov is a great resource from which to learn the ins and outs of your HVAC system. In short, a central air conditioner is either a 1.) split-system unit or a 2.) packaged unit.

Split-System Central Air Conditioner

In a split-system central air conditioner, an outdoor metal cabinet contains the condenser and compressor, and an indoor cabinet contains the evaporator. In many split-system air conditioners, this indoor cabinet also contains a furnace or the indoor part of a heat pump. The air conditioner’s evaporator coil is installed in the cabinet or main supply duct of this furnace or heat pump. If your home already has a furnace but no air conditioner, a split-system is the most economical central air conditioner to install.

Packaged Central Air Conditioner

In a packaged central air conditioner, the evaporator, condenser, and compressor are all located in one cabinet, which usually is placed on a roof or on a concrete slab next to the house’s foundation. This type of air conditioner also is used in small commercial buildings. Air supply and return ducts come from indoors through the home’s exterior wall or roof to connect with the packaged air conditioner, which is usually located outdoors. Packaged air conditioners often include electric heating coils or a natural gas furnace. This combination of air conditioner and central heater eliminates the need for a separate furnace indoors.

How Air Conditioning Systems Work

Your air conditioner’s capacity is measured in British thermal units, or Btu’s — the amount of heat required to raise by 1° the temperature of a pound of water. A 60,000-Btu system is generally adequate to cool an average home.

  1. An air conditioner unit cools your home with an evaporator — a cold indoor coil.
  2. The condenser is a  hot outdoor coil and releases the collected heat to the outside of your home.
  3. Both the evaporator and the condenser are made of coiled copper tubing surrounded by aluminum cooling fins.
  4. A pump compressor moves refrigerant gas between the evaporator and the condenser.
  5. The pump forces the refrigerant through the tubing and fins in the coils.
  6. The liquid refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, while pulling the heat out of your indoor air. This cools your home to the desired setting.
  7. The refrigerant releases heat into the air through the condenser outside of your home, then reverts back to a liquid and and is forced back into your home to keep it comfortable.

Our Top Brands Available in Katy, TX

We offer only the highest quality cooling systems available to our Katy customers and those in the surrounding areas. This ensures they will last reliably for years to come. Some of our name brand product options include:

  • Lennox
  • Carrier
  • Trane
  • Goodman
  • American Standard
  • Rheem
  • RUUD

Learn More!

The more you learn, the more fascinating your heating and cooling system becomes. It certainly is useful technology (especially in our area), and we are pleased to share information that can help our customers become informed. Follow our blog and Facebook page for frequent updates, posts and tips.

Call us!

Aggie Aire cares about our customers! Trust us to advise and inform you so that your HVAC systems lasts as long as possible, regardless of the weather. 281-391-2665.