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What is a Condenser in an Air Conditioning System?

To the average homeowners, the air conditioning system is one big machine which is rarely thought about until something goes wrong. When something does go wrong and homeowners find themselves talking about condensers and coils, they can become lost. Fortunately, Comfort Caddies is here to provide you with the information you need to become a more informed homeowner. If you have ever found yourself wondering “What is a Condenser in an Air Conditioning System?“, this blog can help to explain in somewhat of an easy way. Let’s start with a comparison to something we all know, the heart. A condenser in air conditioning units plays a vital role in the cooling process. One could say it’s the “heart” of the air conditioning unit. It helps circulate the refrigerant, just as the heart pumps blood through the body. While the heart is pumping oxygenated blood to different parts of the body, the condenser helps release heat from the refrigerant to cool down the air.

Importance of an Air Conditioning Condenser

When you turn on your air conditioner, it starts by absorbing warm air from inside your home. By removing the warm air, the condenser removes heat energy from the room, which is needed to make the space cooler. The condenser is located in the outdoor unit of the air conditioning system and is responsible for releasing the heat that’s been absorbed from the rooms inside the home. The condenser is of the utmost importance to the operation of the air conditioning unit. It can also be subject to dirt and dust that may lessen its effectiveness and performance. This can also cause the condenser to overheat which can be a danger to your home. Always be on the alert if you notice a dip in your air conditioning unit’s performance and call Comfort Caddies to schedule an appointment.

The condenser works with the compressor, which squeezes the refrigerant, which is used to cool the home. By squeezing the refrigerant, it raises its temperature and pressure, then the hot and pressurized refrigerant flows into the condenser. 

Why is it called a Condenser?

Once inside the condenser, the hot refrigerant is exposed to the cool air from the outside. This cool air helps the refrigerant release its heat energy. The hot and high-pressured refrigerant then condenses into a liquid state. This is where the term “condenser” comes from

Inside the condenser, there are metal fins and tubes that increase the surface area for better heat exchange. The cool air blows over these fins, absorbing the heat from the refrigerant and cooling it down. As a result, the refrigerant transforms from a hot gas to a cooler liquid. 

Once the refrigerant has been cooled down in the condenser, it moves onto the next step of the cooling process. It flows into the expansion valve, where its pressure is reduced, and it becomes a cold, low-pressure liquid.

From there, the cold refrigerant enters the evaporator coil, which is located inside your home. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air inside your space, making it cooler. The refrigerant then evaporates back into a gas state and is sent back to the compressor to start the cycle all over again. 

Now to summarize the main stages in the process, the condenser in an air conditioner is responsible for absorbing the energy from heat that is inside your home, and releasing it outside. It works with the compressor to transform the hot refrigerant into a liquid state by cooling it down with outside air. This process allows your air conditioner to keep your indoor space cool and the people inside of it at a comfortable temperature, during those hot days. The way it circulates the heat from inside your home, to the outside, is why you can look at it as the “heart” of the air conditioner. As stated before, always be on the lookout for any sort of issues that may arise with your air conditioning unit. If you notice reduced cooling performance, warm air coming out of your air conditioner, an increase in noise while your air conditioner is on, frequent cycling, or leaking refrigerant; it may be a sign you need AC repair service. We’re your trusted HVAC professionals that are here to answer any and all questions that you may have. 


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