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What Does My Air Conditioner’s Indoor Unit Do?

If your air conditioning system is a traditional split central system, then you have two separate units of which the system is composed. These units, called the outdoor unit and indoor unit, work together to cool your home. It may seem that because your outdoor unit is more visible, and has a fan (the condenser fan) that works frequently, it is the outdoor unit really doing all the work. The truth is that the indoor unit provides one half of the cooling process, so without it, your home in Ramsey, NJ would cool at all.

The Air Handler

There can be different names for the indoor unit, one of the most common being the air handler; other times it may also be referred to as the blower or the evaporator. These terms may seem interchangeable, but they actually refer to specific components within the indoor unit.

An indoor unit is typically placed in a basement space with the furnace, or your attic space. No matter the location, the indoor unit is always connected to the outdoor unit. Like the outdoor unit, the indoor unit will be a moderately-sized metal cabinet in which the following components reside:

  • The evaporator coils
  • The evaporator fan (also known as the blower)
  • The condensate array
  • Attached ductwork

As refrigerant travels from the compressor in the outdoor unit to the condenser coils in the outdoor unit, it cools and the heat from the refrigerant is released. The cooled refrigerant squeezes through a valve as it leaves the condenser coils so it can enter the evaporator coils as a cool liquid. Inside the cabinet, as the cooled refrigerant snakes its way through the evaporator coils, the blower turns on, blowing warm air from your home over the coils; the heat is absorbed by the cooled refrigerant and the chilled air hanging above the evaporator coils is blown into your ductwork and pushed into your home’s living spaces. The refrigerant keeps making its way through the evaporator coils, gaining heat and changing states as it heads back to the compressor.

As you can see, your indoor unit plays a big role in the cooling of your home. Should you encounter any problems with your air conditioner, call the experts at DB Heating & Cooling.

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