Central Air Conditioning Basics
Understanding how your central air conditioner works can come in handy for do-it-yourself homeowners in Middleburg, Florida. If you have recently installed or upgraded your central AC unit, it’s important not only to understand when the system is working properly but also know when something goes wrong.
How an Air Conditioner Works
Your AC draws air into the system and cools and dehumidifies it via the refrigerant, before sending it back into your home via the ductwork and vents. The result is improved comfort and a healthier indoor air quality.
Main Components of a Central AC System
Every central air conditioner consists of four main components, including the:
- Condenser – This metal unit is located outside the home in the outdoor unit and converts high-pressure gas into liquid for cooling.
- Compressor – Located inside the condenser, this component controls the AC’s air conditioning power by compressing low-pressure gas from the evaporator.
- Evaporator – This component is located inside the home and is designed to absorb heat from all living spaces.
- Expansion Valve – This valve can be found near the evaporator and controls the amount of refrigerant allowed to flow into the evaporator coil.
Each component is connected via copper tubing that delivers the refrigerant and completes the cycle, resulting in a continuous flow of cool air into the home.
SEER vs. MERV Ratings
When investing in a new air conditioner, you’ll come across SEER and MERV ratings. The unit’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is a calculation of the ratio between the cooling output and the amount of energy used over the cooling season. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit.
An AC’s MERV rating is its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which measures the air filter’s ability to catch particles of a particular size. It also considers the how effectively the filter prevents particles from passing through. The higher the MERV rating, the greater the number of particles that are captured, improving air quality even more.
Getting a good grasp of your air conditioner’s design can help you to start using it more effectively. Contact Merritt Heating & Air Conditioning at 904-240-4038 to set up your next AC installation or repair.