The parts of air conditioner or AC systems may vary in size, shape and capacity from one system to the next, but all systems have the same basic parts. The following are some of the main components of an AC system:
1. Air Ducts
To control the temperature of a room, AC machines absorb heat from air circulating in the room and dispose of it outside the house or an appropriate heat sink. In central AC systems, air ducts are responsible for transportation of cool air to vents in different parts of the house. In low velocity central air, the ducts have a bigger cross-section compared to high velocity systems.
This is where all the cooling takes place. The cooling effect arises from the transformation of liquid refrigerant to gaseous state. Normally, when a liquid evaporates, it absorbs most of the heat in the surroundings, and this is what brings about the cooling effect. In split AC units, the evaporator is usually inside the wall-mounted unit inside the building.
This unit is responsible for reverting the gaseous refrigerant to its original liquid state. It is a heat exchanger through which heat from the refrigerant is dissipated. In split air systems, this unit is normally located outside the building and it’s connected to the wall-mounted unit by two pipes; one of them carries the refrigerant to the evaporator while the other takes the refrigerant into the condenser.
While it is possible for air to circulate naturally inside the building, the cooling may not be very effective. In that regard, fans are used to force air into or out of the evaporator. The speed must be properly set to ensure that there is efficient cooling. If the fan speed is too high, air may not be cooled effectively, and it may take several hours for room temperatures to reach the desired levels. On the other hand, setting fan speed to low may lead to uneven heating since the area surrounding the evaporator may be hotter than other areas.
This is a temperature controller. Most units nowadays come with programmable thermostats. This unit switches the unit off or on depending on the desired temperature. The user sets the preferred room temperature through this unit.
This is the most important components of any refrigeration or cooling system. Once the refrigerant passes through the evaporator and becomes a low pressure low velocity gas, the compressor pump pressurizes it back into liquid form. The same cycle is repeated over and over again until the desired temperature is achieved. The compressor has two main parts; the air pump and the compressor tank.
7. Expansion Valve
This is the part responsible for regulation of refrigerant pressure, and it releases the refrigerant liquid into the evaporator coil. This valve is what connects the two coils; evaporator coils and condensing coils.
While there might be other parts, these are the most important ones without which an air conditioning system cannot work.