As summer draws near and temperatures creep upward, a home air conditioner may start to look like more of a necessity than a luxury. All air conditioners work basically the same way as your refrigerator: They pump heat from one area (in this case, your home's interior) and transfer it to another (the outdoors). An air conditioning system contains several parts:
- The evaporator in a winding coil, usually made of copper, that draws out warm air from indoors.
- The condenser ia s separate coil that releases the collected heat outside. This coil is surrounded by aluminum fins to disperse the heat.
- The refrigerant is a liquid that transfers heat from the evaporator to the condenser. It evaporates in the indoor coil, pulling heat out of the air, and turns back to a liquid in the condenser, releasing its heat outdoors.
- The compressor is a pump that forces the refrigerant through this network of tubing and fins. This is the part of the system that uses electricity.
The best defense against failing equipment is a maintenance contract.