Central Air Conditioner Basics
Your central air system consists of 4 main parts:
This is the outside metal unit. This is where the gas from the compressor is condensed into a liquid. The gas that enters the condenser is very hot. The temperature is then lowered so that the gas can convert back to a liquid.
This is inside the condenser. It circulates the pressurized refrigerant, concentrates the heat and changes the low pressure gas to high pressure.
This is the part of the system that is inside the home. In simple language: it absorbs the heat from your home.
This controls the amount of refrigerant in your system.
All of these pieces are connected by a copper tube that handles refrigerant, creating the closed-loop.
Heat is collected in the evaporator and sent outside to the condenser. Then the heat is removed and the cool air is recirculated back into your home.
Common Problems with your AC
One of the most common problems with a home cooling system is that doors and windows are sometimes left open. You might be surprised at how often just being vigilant about doors and windows can significantly improve the cooling process of your home.
Leaky ducts or improper air flow are another very common culprit for why your AC is not cooling properly. Inconsistent temperatures often are an indicator that this is your problem. If there is a leak somewhere in the line then the cool air that is moving from your unit through your home is not making it all the way to where it needs to go.
Check your filters and coils. A dirty filter or coil will restrict your air flow and keep your machine from running at peak efficiency.
A clogged condensate drain on your unit can cause loss of efficiency and cooling. It is best to get a certified HVAC technician to check this for you, as it is a bit more technical and it is better to be safe than sorry. If you break something it could cause a much more expensive repair later on.