Understanding How Your AC System Works

Published on: April 25, 2012

Your air conditioning system works hard to keep your home comfortable. It heats, cools and dehumidifies the air. Throughout the year, it maintains the indoor temperature you choose. Understanding how it works will help you keep it running at peak efficiency through air conditioner service and maintenance.

The air inside your house is drawn into the air conditioning system through a filter. This filter traps debris and dust and helps keep the coils clean. Clean coils provide better heat exchange. In the summer, the heat is removed from the indoor air and blown outside; this is heat exchange. The cooled air is pushed through the ducts and into each room through the vents.


The ducting system is the most overlooked part of the air conditioning system. It should be part of the routine air conditioning service and maintenance. Leaks in the ducts allow moist air to enter the attic. Uninsulated ducts are the cause of condensation, which destroys the materials inside the attic. The system has to work harder to compensate, resulting in higher energy bills.

The coils and condensing unit are the part of an air conditioning system located outside the house. The coolant for the system is stored here as well. The aluminum fins should never be bent or torn. Combs made for the fins should be used to straighten them. This allows the free flow of air through the unit. Part of your annual air conditioning service and maintenance should include removing debris from the unit’s area. Shading the unit helps it to run cooler, resulting in lower energy bills.


The thermostat controls the temperature you set. A digital thermostat should be installed as part of your next ac service and maintenance. It will raise the temperature at night while you sleep, and then cool the house before you wake up. When you leave for work, it will raise the temperature again. It will cool the house before you return home. Managing the indoor temperature through the thermostat will save you money on energy bills.