Maintaining Your Central Air Conditioner

If you’re like most Americans, you keep your air conditioner on only when the weather is really hot and miserable outside. But did you know that you can use your air conditioner to cool and dehumidify your entire home? An air conditioner isn’t just for running when it’s hot and miserable outside – it can actually help make your home more comfortable and pleasant year round! Find out how.


Central heat and air conditioner pumps pull heat from the air and transfer it to your air conditioner’s refrigerant. The difference is that your air conditioner cools only a small, insulating room, and an air conditioner merely maintains the room’s temperature. Air conditioners are also one component of a centralized heating and air conditioning system which draw hot air from outside the house and transfers it into your living spaces. A fan inside the unit blows the warmed air out into your rooms. Air conditioners also sometimes have a control knob that you can use to lower or raise the room’s temperature.

When you turn your air conditioner on, it pulls hot air from the outdoors and dumps it into your living space. The outside unit is designed to reduce your indoor air temperature by draining in a closed loop through your ductwork, using Freon or refrigerant gas to achieve this result. The interior unit is designed differently, however, in order to prevent warm air from escaping from the inside unit and entering your rooms. Air conditioners have two different types of ductwork:

Freon is generally pumped into your ducts but sometimes it’s pumped directly into an evaporator coil. If this happens, you may notice that the inside of your air conditioner appears to be overheated because the Freon is being pulled away from its refrigerant coils. It’s important to note that if the Freon is being pulled into the evaporator coil, it means that your system is either too small or not working properly. In addition, having warm air entering the vents could be a good sign of a problem with your heat exchanger.

Central air conditioners use a different method for cooling: convection. In this system, a fan blows heated air through a coil that contains a damp spot, which results in the water vapor being sucked into the fan and moved into the room. The more water you have in the damp spot, the hotter the air conditioner will be. Some central air conditioners contain a second evaporator, which is designed to increase indoor humidity.

If your central air conditioner doesn’t contain a refrigerant, there are three ways it can work to keep your indoor temperatures regulated. First, it can send heat from the exterior back into your house. The exterior heat can be stopped by running an additional air conditioner that sends the warmed air back inside. Secondly, the exterior heat can be directed away from the house. A dehumidifier can be installed in the attic or basement to remove excess moisture. Last, the refrigerant can be drained from the system and replaced with an outdoor unit that doesn’t take up any extra space.