Air conditioner components

Having some troubles with your home cooling? Even when you have the experts around, it’s a wise idea to know the basics about your home AC unit. That way, you can understand what your technician is talking about when he or she explains what’s gone wrong and what needs to be done. To get a better handle on AC repair, you should first learn about the different parts of the air conditioner and how they work. This beginner’s guide will teach you.


Refrigerant is a fluid that air conditioners use to capture heat from your home and release it outside. There are different kinds of refrigerant with different brand names. Old refrigerants have been swapped out for new versions due to environmental concerns.

It is important to know that refrigerant doesn’t need to be recharged unless there is a leak in the air conditioner, in which case the leak has to be resolved.


Refrigerant doesn’t just collect and release heat on its own. It needs to be compressed into a small space to absorb heat. The compressor is the part of the air conditioner that accomplishes this. In fact, the refrigerant needs to be hotter than the air outside to end up releasing that heat into the air, so the compressor needs to be quite hot. It then works like a pump, moving the refrigerant on.

The compressor is usually the most expensive part of the air conditioner. Sometimes, if you need to replace the compressor it is better to just replace the whole unit.

Are you looking for more information on air conditioners and their parts? Contact our team at D&B ClimateCare today, we would be happy to help with any and all of your HVAC needs.

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Technician showing homeowner how to repair air conditioner unit

Expansion Valve

This valve is like a step between the compressor and the evaporator coils. After being compressed, the refrigerant is too hot to go directly into the evaporator coils. This valve allows the liquid to expand a tiny bit, which releases some heat. Then it moves to the evaporator coils.

Evaporator Coils

Once the refrigerant is packed with heat, it is pumped to the evaporator coils. These thin coils allow the refrigerant to release heat outside and return to a gaseous state, no longer compressed. Evaporator coils can get damaged and dinged up, even to the point that they stop functioning. Sometimes they may get blocked or covered by something which may prevent them from releasing heat.


All air conditioners have filters to capture dust and other debris before it gets to the inner parts of the air conditioner, which could be damaged by them. Air conditioners need this protection, but they also need proper airflow. If your filter gets plugged it can be a problem. So, the filter needs to be cleaned regularly.

Blowing Unit and Air Handler

These two components of the air conditioner are essentially fans. One blows the cool air from inside the air conditioner out, while the other draws in heat from the room for the refrigerant to absorb. If either unit is broken the air conditioner may not distribute cold air.

Are you looking for more information on air conditioner parts? Contact our experts at D&B ClimateCare today.

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