Central Air Conditioner How it Works

Central air conditioners work as a system in which air is cooled at a central location, usually an air handler, then distributed throughout the home via ductwork.

Types of Central Air Conditioners

There are two types of central air conditioners: a packaged unit and a split system. My importantly, in a residential Central Oregon home the split system is by far the most used. It’s composed of two units, a condensing coil that goes outside and the evaporator coil/ air handler that goes inside. In addition these units are connected by copper tubing which transfers heat from inside your home to the outside through the refrigeration cycle process. When the system is running, if you put your hand over the outdoor condenser unit, you will feel very warm air coming off it. That is the transfer of heat from your home to the outside. Therefore, the home is cooled.

Benefits of a Central Air Conditioner Installation

Benefits of a central air conditioner installation:

  • Indoor comfort – Humidity levels with drop in your home. Above all your home will cool.
  • Cleaner air – while the system is on you get the benefit of filtered air throughout your home. We recommend you have a higher efficiency filter setup with your system. In addition, you get better filtration and cleaner air to breathe indoors.
  • Quiet operation – this is in comparison to window units or portable units in your home.

Maintenance Needed

Your central air conditioner works more efficient when maintained properly. You will want to replace the filter in the air handler/furnace unit regularly. Also we do recommend cleaning the fins on the outdoor condensing unit by hosing it off. Dirt, grass clippings, leaves and other debris can accumulate.  This can help the unit stay at its optimal cooling capacity.

Checking your Central Air Conditioner Installation

Your central air conditioner should perform efficiently if installed correctly. Maintenance should be minor for years to come. Here’s a few items to check on in making sure your contractor installed it correctly:

  • Allow for adequate space around the outdoor condenser unit. It has to flow a lot of air through the fins and straight up through the fan.
  • The indoor furnace/air handler also has a coil called the evaporator coil. Make sure there is access to it for maintenance and cleaning.
  • Always factor in space for accessibility.
  • Pinched off ductwork will create future problems.
  • It’s always a good idea to have tightly sealed ductwork. Your contractor can verify this. 
  • Pay attention to the location for the outdoor unit. We usually don’t put them by bedroom windows. Same goes for a neighbors bedroom window if the lot lines are close to each other.