Some of the terms you should know when dealing with your AC system

Air conditioning is the process of removing heat and humidity from indoor air for thermal comfort. The most common method for cooling buildings is by using mechanical refrigeration; cooling can also be provided at a smaller scale by ice, water, or air cooling.

Air conditioning creates a comfortable environment for inhabitants while preserving the life of the building materials. In temperate climates, it is mostly used in residential and commercial buildings. Air conditioning is required to maintain the comfort and health of people inside a building.**

There are two main types of air conditioning systems: centralized systems, which provide air to the entire building from one or more central units, and decentralized systems, which provide air to individual rooms from one or more local units.

Air conditioning systems can be powered by electricity, natural gas, solar power, wind power, hydro power, or fuel oil. The refrigeration cycle uses an evaporation-condensation process that then cools the water vapor (or sometimes liquid) outside the house.

The cooling process often uses a heat pump system that has an evaporator coil (cold side) in contact with the outdoor coils and a condenser coil (hot side) in contact with indoor coils.*

Air conditioning is essential for all buildings and structures where people need to live, work or play – including homes, offices, schools and hospitals.

Air conditioning (AC) systems have the potential to be one of the most expensive home appliances you purchase. While getting regular maintenance on your AC system should help extend its life, it’s important to understand some of the common terms associated with this home appliance. Let’s take a look at some of the terms you should know when dealing with your AC system:

Air Handler: This is where most of the cooling happens. It contains the blower and air filter, which sends cool air throughout your home.

Duct Work: These are the pipes that carry cooled air throughout your home. They pass through the walls and ceilings in your home and connected to each outlet in your home.

Filter: The filter is used to keep dust particles and debris from entering into your system, thereby extending its life span and efficiency. You should make sure that you change or clean this filter every month during the cooling season.

Piping: These pipes carry hot and cold water from your main water line to each room in your house as well as between rooms if you have an inside wall heater or a water heater for more than one bathroom. These pipes also supply heated or cooled water to each air handler that is required for heating or cooling, respectively.*

Kathy McDonough