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Learn About the Anatomy of the Air Conditioner in Your Home

Air Conditioner

Have you always wanted to know more about how the air conditioner in your Annapolis, Maryland, home works? If so, you’re in the right place. Understanding your air conditioner’s parts and functions can help you identify problems and make better maintenance and repair decisions. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the anatomy of your air conditioner.


Air conditioners work by removing the heat and humidity from your home by using the refrigeration cycle. AC systems use refrigerant in this process because it can transfer heat and convert from a liquid to a gas and vice versa. The major parts of a standard central air conditioner move refrigerant between an indoor and outdoor unit. An air conditioning system blows cooled air into your home while expelling hot air outside. The refrigeration cycle repeats until your home reaches the temperature set on your thermostat.


The thermostat connects to your HVAC system. It allows you to precisely control your home’s temperature. When your thermostat senses that the air in your home is too warm, it send signals to your indoor and outdoor components to begin running.

A lot of homeowners have recently made the switch to smart thermostats as they offer real-time readings of your HVAC system. This high-tech gadget learns your habits and can recommend energy-saving schedules perfect for your home.

With Wi-Fi enabled capabilities, you can access your thermostat from anywhere in the world as long as you have a device with an internet connection. A smart thermostat can also alert you to any issues your air conditioning is experiencing.

Compressor & Condenser Coils

The compressor is a large electronic pump that pressurizes the refrigerant gas inside the outdoor unit. As pressure increases, the refrigerant enters the condenser coils, where the system converts it into a liquid. The system’s blower fan vents the hot air coming off the heated coils outside. The liquid refrigerant moves through the refrigeration lines into your indoor unit.

Watch for moisture or puddles around your air conditioning unit. This is a sign of a refrigerant leak because the compressor is failing. If you hear a screaming sound, shut down your system right away, as it can be an indicator of internal pressure that’s too high or a refrigerant leak. Leaking refrigerant poses health risks and can cause eye irritation, headaches, nausea and coughing.

Expansion Valve

After the liquid refrigerant leaves the condenser, it has dispersed heat but is too hot to enter the evaporator coils. The expansion valve depressurizes the refrigerant to cool it down, which allows it to enter the evaporator inside your home. This valve also regulates the refrigerant flow from the compressor to the evaporator.


The evaporator sits inside your indoor unit and receives the liquid refrigerant into its coils. A fan blows warm air from inside your home over the cold coils, and the conditioned air moves through your ductwork and out of your vents. As the refrigerant absorbs heat from your home, it converts back into a gas, and the system sends it to the outdoor condenser to begin the refrigeration cycle all over again.

A squealing sound usually indicates that there’s a problem with the blower motor that operates the fan. A buzzing sound could indicate unbalanced fan blades or a fan motor that’s about to fail. Be aware of these sounds coming from either your indoor or outdoor unit.

Preventive AC Maintenance

Your air conditioner works hard to cool your home all summer long. Regular maintenance of its components ensures the system runs as efficiently as possible. Our experienced service technicians will inspect and maintain your system, and we’ll make recommendations for repairs as needed. Avoid disasters and save on HVAC services by committing to one of our preventive maintenance plans today.

With professional maintenance and repairs, your air conditioner will be optimized for the entirety of the cooling season. To learn more about our affordable preventive maintenance plans, call Coastal Heating & Air Conditioning Co. today at 410-919-0110.

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