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Get to Know Your AC


I was sitting at the baseball field, watching my 14-year old play his tournament game. It had been a hot day, but the summer sun was setting on all the spectators in the stands to create what was turning into a perfect summer night. The stadium lights came on and I took another handful of sunflower seeds to help get me through this next inning--it was going to be a tight game.

Behind me, two moms were sitting together, talking about everything from baseball to the weather and then, one of the moms started talking about her broken air conditioner. It was a terrible time of year to be without AC and she needed to call a technician. Her problem, however, was that she was worried about someone coming into her home to sell her on repairs or replacements when she had no idea how her air conditioner even worked. He could say she needed a new part that didn’t even exist and, because she didn’t know better, would get taken for a ride. “Or worse,” she said, “what if it’s a simple problem that we could fix ourselves but end up spending a ton of money, just because we don’t know.”

Well, lucky for her, I was sitting right in front of her. Here is the video I shared with my fellow baseball mom that I want to share with everyone I know. It walks you through the basic parts and functions of your air conditioning unit and also links to videos to help you troubleshoot your own AC problems, perform basic AC maintenance, and avoid causing AC problems in the future.

Any Hour Services puts these videos together because we really want to help you understand how the systems in your home work so you can either maintain them with confidence or be able to call for repairs and have a basic understanding of your equipment. We want you to feel empowered to ask the right questions and feel confident in the information you’re getting from your technician. Please share this video with your friends so they can understand their equipment as well!

In the video, we walk you through the three main parts of your air conditioner: the outdoor or condensing unit, the indoor unit, and the living space. 

  • •  The Outdoor Unit includes a FAN, CONDENSER COILS, COMPRESSOR, and REFRIGERANT.
  • •  The Indoor Unit has the BLOWER MOTOR, EVAPORATOR COILS, CIRCUIT BOARD and the FILTER.
  • •  In the living space you’ll find the THERMOSTAT, SUPPLY VENTS and RETURN AIR VENTS.

As you can see, there are a lot of parts and pieces. Within these basic parts are hundreds more than what we’ve listed and all of these have to be working together in order to get cool air in your home. Here’s how the whole process should work.

get to know your ac - how an air conditioner works

It all starts when the temperature in the room rises. The thermostat sends a signal to the circuit board calling for cold air. The circuit board then turns on the blower motor in the house while turning the compressor and fan on outside.

The compressor acts like a pump, sending the refrigerant back and forth from the outside condenser coil to the evaporator coil inside. Back and forth, back and forth, each time helping to remove warm, moist air from in the house.

Meanwhile, air is circulating in the house. The hot air in the room is drawn through the return air vents and blown across the evaporator coils. Cold refrigerant is being pumped through lots of little tubes woven through the evaporator coils in the compressor outside. As hot air from the house is blown across the evaporator coils, the heat and moisture are removed and what you’re left with is cold air.

The cold air is blown through the ductwork that runs throughout the house and comes out the supply vents. The air warms up and is drawn back in through the return air vents and the process repeats itself again, until the room is cool enough that the thermostat sends a signal to stop...at least until the room heats up again. And that’s how an air conditioner works.

These 11 things are designed to work together and if even one of them stops working, you could experience a variety of problems, the end result usually being no cold air. And nobody wants that in the middle of the summer. To avoid unexpected breakdowns, there is some simple maintenance you can do on your own to help keep your air conditioner running as smoothly as possible all summer long. Click here to link to that video.

Now, the next time you need to call a service technician for AC repair, you can understand how the air conditioner is supposed to be working, and you may even be able to identify the problem. And, if you have questions, you can ask them with confidence. (Instead of “the thingy outside isn’t working,” you can say, “the refrigeration lines on my outdoor condensing unit appear to be frozen; could that be the reason my air conditioner isn’t cooling the house like it should?”)



Author: Amber Smith-Johnson
Copyright © 2018 Any Hour Services

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  VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

How An Air Conditioner Works: 11 Things You Need To Know

Have you ever thought to yourself, how do air conditioners work? Well, you’re not the only one and in this video we’ll tell you the 11 things you need to know about how an air conditioner works. I just need to go change real quick ... I’ll be right back.

Whether you’re a new homeowner or you’ve been in your home for years, the more you understand about how an air conditioner works, the better off you’ll be.

We’ve broken your Air Conditioning system down into 3 main parts; The Outdoor Unit... also know as the condensing unit, The Indoor Unit...it’s where ever your furnace is and the Living Space...that’s everywhere else in the house. But we’ll continue our conversation outside.

Even though looks and styles differ between brands and models, this is more or less how your system will look and basically how an air conditioner works to cool your home.

Now this is in no way meant to be a comprehensive technical video to go over all the ins and out and intricate components of how your air conditioner system works but rather an easy to understand video for the average person.

Now at the Outdoor Unit you have your (1) FAN, (2) CONDENSER COILS, (3) COMPRESSOR, and (4) REFRIGERANT.

In the living space you’ll find the (9) THERMOSTAT, (10) SUPPLY VENTS and (11) RETURN AIR VENTS.

So how do air conditioners work? Well there’s a lot of moving parts and pieces, even more than we’ve got time to show in this video but they all have to be working together in order to get cool air in your home.

It all starts when the temperature in the room rises. The thermostat sends a signal to the circuit board calling for cold air. The circuit board then turns on the blower motor in the house while turning the compressor and fan on outside.

<pMeanwhile, air is circulating in the house. The hot air in the room is drawn through the return air vents and blown across the evaporator coils. Pay attention because here’s an important step in how an air conditioner works, cold refrigerant is being pumped through lots of little tubes woven through the evaporator coils...remember, that compressor outside. As hot air from the house is blown across the evaporator coils, the heat and moisture are rThe cold air is blown through the ductwork that runs throughout the house and comes out the supply vents. The air warms up and is drawn back in through the return air vents and the process repeats itself again, until the room is cool enough that the thermostat sends a signal to stop...at least until the room heats up again. And that’s how an air conditioner works.

Now these 11 things, they’re designed to work together and if even one of them stops working you could experience a variety of problems, the end result usually being no cold air. And nobody wants that in the middle of the summer. To avoid unexpected breakdowns there’s some simple maintenance you can do, on your own, to help keep your air conditioner running as smooth as possible all summer long. Click here to link to that video.

If you ever do find yourself with an Air Conditioner that isn’t working, be careful how much you attempt on your own. It’s easy to get in over your head and do more damage than good. There are a lot of moving parts and pieces and it’s always good to have a certified HVAC technician that knows what he’s doing come out and take a look at your system. He’ll have all the proper tools and experience to be able to diagnose and fix the problem right the first time.

If you found this video about how your Air Conditioner works helpful and informative, go ahead and give us a thumbs up. If there’s other things you’d like to know about how your electrical, plumbing, heating or air conditioning system works around your house, leave your suggestions in the comments below so that we know what videos you want us to make. Don’t forget to subscribe so that you get notified every time a new video comes out.

Have a great day and thanks for watching!

Posted: July 5th, 2018 @ 12:00am by tammy