A Dose Of Terminology: Do You Know The Components Of Your AC Unit?

Is your HVAC system struggling to turn on and off? Learn to recognize HVAC problems early so you can avoid permanent damage.

A Dose Of Terminology: Do You Know The Components Of Your AC Unit?

A Dose Of Terminology: Do You Know The Components Of Your AC Unit?

22 August 2017
, Blog

Your air conditioner runs all summer, keeping you cool and comfortable. But how much do you actually know about the various parts of components of your AC system? Understanding your systems's parts and how they work will come in handy if your air conditioner ever happens to malfunction and you need to explain what is wrong to your HVAC technician. Here's a look at the basic components and their roles.


This is the unit most people actually refer to as the air conditioner. It is typically shaped like a box, and it sits outdoors -- usually next to your home. In larger homes and apartment buildings, it could be located on the roof. 

The condenser's role is to exhaust heat to the great outdoors. The heat comes through in refrigerant lines that are connected to the indoor coils (discussed below) .

Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils of your air conditioning system are located indoors. These coils contain refrigerant. In modern units, the refrigerant they contain is called R-401A. Older AC units made in the early 2000s contain a refrigerant known as R-22. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air as that air circulates past the coils. This refrigerant is then passed outside to the condenser. 

Air Handler/Blower Unit

You may hear this part of the AC system referred to as either the air handler or the blower unit. Typically, it functions with both the furnace and air conditioner. Its role is to blow the air, which has just been cooled as it passes over the coils, into your ducts so it can travel through the home. The air handler contains a large fan and a motor. Many times, when your air conditioner stops blowing air entirely (rather than just blowing warm air) it is because the blower unit is not working.


Ducts are the big, metal tubes that run behind your walls and carry the air conditioned air to all of the vents in your home. Ducts don't contain any mechanical components, so they're a pretty low maintenance part of your AC system. Still, it's a good idea to have them cleaned every few years so they don't discharge dirty air into your home.

Now that you know the major parts of your AC system, you should have a better understanding of how these parts all work together to keep your home cool. And the next time you call your HVAC contractor, you can be proud of yourself for using the right terminology. Call a service, like C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning, for more help.

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Keeping My HVAC System On Point

About a year ago, I could tell that our HVAC system was really starting to struggle. No matter what we did, the system seemed to have a hard time turning on and off. When our air was running, it smelled terrible. In the winter, it seemed like our home was never warm enough. To ward off sudden failures, we hired a professional to come out and inspect our system. After a thorough analysis, we discovered that there were some serious fan problems. This blog is all about recognizing HVAC system problems early and keeping your system on point, so that you can avoid permanent damage.