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Air Conditioning FAQ: What is a Condenser?

Monday, April 29th, 2013 at 8:00 am

Although you may rely heavily on the efficiency and effective performance of our air conditioners in Melbourne, FL, you may not be entirely sure how they operate, or what the various components do to keep you cool even during the hottest days of the year. One of the questions we often get from customers who are curious about their AC systems is, “What is a condenser?” Because of the importance of its role in the cooling cycle, we’d like to devote this post to explaining the basics of the condenser and its role in the cooling process.

  • What it is: An air conditioner condenser is one of two coils within the system. It resides in the weatherized outdoor unit, and surrounds the compressor motor, which is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant. The condenser is assisted by a vertical exhaust fan, which draws air through its coils.
  • What it does: The purpose of the condenser coil is to condense the refrigerant. As the refrigerant leaves the evaporator coil, it is in a gaseous state. The compressor takes this low-pressure gas and turns it into a very hot and high-pressure gas. The point of this is to raise the temperature to such a degree that the thermal energy stored in the refrigerant would disperse into the outside air. The refrigerant then condenses within the coils, turning back into a liquid and moving back towards the evaporator coil to cool another round of air.
  • Potential issues: Because it resides outdoors, the condenser coil is subject to certain risks of physical damage, which can be caused by vermin, vegetation, or accidents around the outdoor property of your home. It also tends to accumulate dust and other particulates, which can be harmful to normal operation. Your condenser needs to be able to dissipate heat into the outdoor air in order to bring the temperature of the refrigerant back down. If there is anything wrong with it, the refrigerant cycle will become impaired.

We hope you found this brief guide to the condenser useful. For more information about your AC and how it works, or to schedule a Melbourne, FL air conditioning service, call Next Generation Air & Heat today.

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