A Beginner’s Guide to Central Air Systems

Beginner's Guide to Central Air Systems Wichita Heating and Air Blog

Installing a central air conditioning system can be a great way to improve the comfort of your home, especially during the hottest months of the year and even during the fall or winter if you live in a hot area. But if you’ve never had central AC before, the process can seem a bit daunting. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand how central air systems work and what you need to know before you have one installed in your home.

How Central Air Systems Work

Central air conditioners have three main components: an evaporator, a condenser, and a compressor. The evaporator is located inside your home, usually in the basement or attic. It contains refrigerant that absorbs heat from the air in your home as it circulates through the unit. The condenser is located outside your home, and it releases the heat that was absorbed by the refrigerant in the evaporator. The compressor pumps the refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser.

The Two Types of Central Air Systems

There are two main types of central air systems: split-systems and packaged units. Split-systems have an outdoor unit that houses the condenser and compressor and an indoor unit that contains the evaporator. Packaged units, on the other hand, combine all three components into one unit that is typically installed on the roof or on a concrete pad outside your home. Both types of central air conditioners have a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Choosing the Right Central Air System for Your Home

There are a few things you’ll need to consider when choosing a central air system for your home, including the following.

The size of your home: The cooling capacity of central air systems is measured in tons. A one-ton unit can cool a home that is about 600 square feet, while a three-ton unit can cool a home that is 2,000 square feet or more.

The climate you live in: Central air systems are most effective in hot, humid climates. If you live in an area with milder summers, you may be able to get by with a less powerful unit.

Installing a central air system can be a big investment, but it can pay off in increased comfort and lower energy bills. If you’re considering central AC for your home, talk to a qualified HVAC contractor from Wichita Heating & Air to learn which one would be best for your needs.