How much thought do you give to the outdoor component of your air conditioning system? Chances are if you are like the average homeowner, not a whole lot. However, the outside unit—referred to as the condenser unit—plays a vital role.
While the inside component of your air conditioner absorbs heat from your home’s air, the condenser unit is tasked with releasing that heat to the air outside. Without the condenser unit, that warm air from your home would have no place to go. This unit works in conjunction with a number of other components so that your air conditioner can function as it should.
The compressor of your air conditioner serves as the “heart” of the system—adding pressure to the refrigerant that it receives from inside your home in order to increase the refrigerant’s temperature. This makes it easier to transfer heat in the following step of the cooling process, which utilizes the condenser coils and fans.
Coils and Fans
After the refrigerant exits the compressor, it flows through the system’s condenser coils. As this happens, a fan blows air over the coils to cool them off and release the heat to the air outside.
The refrigerant lines are what connect your outside condenser unit to the indoor unit, in order to cycle refrigerant and continue the cooling process.
Other Things to Know About Your Condenser Unit
An important factor to keep in mind about your condenser is that because it’s outdoors and constantly exposed to the elements, you’ll need to take good care of it. This means that in addition to having it checked out during maintenance, you’ll want to protect it from the buildup of dirt and debris. Regular care is vital to ensuring all the components work correctly.
This means that throughout the year you should check the area around your condenser unit for items such as lawn clippings, mulch, dirt, leaves, and even overgrown tree roots or shrubs. Doing so will help prevent decreased airflow, and help your air conditioning system run as efficiently and effectively as possible.
An additional factor—and an important one—to remember is that if you have a new high-efficiency outdoor unit installed on your property, but don’t include a new, equally efficient and appropriately matched indoor unit, the impending results can negatively impact your comfort levels and your wallet.
Your condenser unit and indoor coil are meant to work together, as we highlighted above. So even though replacing just one of your cooling system’s components may seem like a more affordable alternative than replacing the whole system, in the long run you can pay for it in costly repairs and increased utility bills.
To make matters worse, if your system’s indoor and outdoor units are appropriately matched, it can create undue stress on the entire system and cause the whole thing to breakdown, new condenser unit or not.