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What Does an AC Condenser Do?


It’s important for any homeowner to understand how their air conditioner works. It can help save time diagnosing repairs, reduces your stress when a problem occurs, and helps you forecast the cost of upkeep and repair for your unit.

Air conditioners have a fair few working parts that all play a different and vital role in how it operates. Your condenser is one of the stars of the show for a few good reasons.

It relies on two other components of your AC as well–the compressor and the evaporator. So what does an AC condenser do and how does it fit with those other components? Let’s talk about it.

Condensers and Their Vital Role

Your air conditioner uses refrigerant, but do you know how it processes it (and why you don’t have to keep adding more)? Your condenser coil is where refrigerant gas is converted to liquid, then it travels further through your HVAC system.

This step is critical. Your condenser acts as a bridge between your compressor and your evaporator, and without it, your AC simply couldn’t run.

Let’s Zoom Out a Bit

In order to better understand how critical your condenser’s role is for your air conditioner, let’s look at the condenser alongside the compressor and evaporator and paint a bigger picture.

  • Evaporator: Refrigerant starts in your evaporator coil where it is pressurized into gas form. When your air intake pulls air in, it blows it over the evaporator coil. All that warm/hot air that blows over the coils heats up the refrigerant inside.
  • Condenser: Now that your refrigerant has absorbed heat, it is passed to the condensor unit which houses the compressor. When it flows through the condenser, it cools again. Without the condenser, you would just have a bunch of high-pressure, hot refrigerant. You may be able to pull heat, but you wouldn’t be able to cool the air.
  • Compressor: Refrigerant gas passes through to the compressor (located in your outdoor cabinet). As the name suggests, the gas is compressed to turn it back into liquid, allowing it to release the heat it is carrying. Then it continues its cycle.

But How Do I Know if My Condenser is the Problem?

If you’re having AC troubles, you can tell it’s the condenser in a few ways.

  • Your AC makes really loud sounds out of nowhere.
  • It’s not cooling the air that much, even though air is definitely coming through the vents.
  • There’s more condensation leaking from your unit than usual.

If anything on this list jumps out at you, your condenser could be the problem. It’s time to have a professional take a look at it.

AC Condenser Repairs

It’s difficult to know if the current problem with your AC is related to the condenser or not. An inspection during a repair call will reveal the issue (or issues) that caused a problem with your AC in the first place.

Give us a call today to schedule an air conditioner repair as soon as possible and reveal if it’s really the condenser, or something else entirely.

Contact Fresh Air, L.P. today to schedule your next AC repair or maintenance call and keep your condenser in top shape.

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