Air conditioning systems are more intricate than most homeowners realize. Each component plays an important role in keeping your home cool and comfortable, and when one part is compromised, it can derail the entire system. Familiarizing yourself with the following key parts will help you better understand how to care for your system and what could go wrong.

What Are the Key Elements of an Air Conditioning System?

1. Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a chemical that absorbs the heat from warm outdoor air, cooling it so that it can enter the home. This important agent circulates throughout an AC system via a closed loop, but small puncture holes could arise over time, allowing the refrigerant to escape. Fortunately, a thorough AC inspection will often detect the issue before it becomes a major problem.

2. Compressor

While refrigerant is the chemical responsible for heat transfer, the compressor facilitates the process by moving the refrigerant through the system using pressure. The chemical must also be pressurized to release the heat back outside.

There are several issues which can arise with the compressor, including dirty coils, insufficient lubricant, and blocked lines. An AC tune-up performed before the start of the warm season can combat most preventable compressor failures.

3. Condenser

air conditioningThe condenser also plays a role in heat transfer. This component contains coils through which the heat exits. The air itself stays within the system, however, and will enter the home once it’s been sufficiently cooled.

This process is supported by a fan, which can experience mechanical issues over time. Fortunately, repairs or replacements of parts can keep this component working well.

4. Evaporator Coils

While there are external coils located in the condenser unit, there are also indoor evaporator coils through which refrigerant passes. Here, the refrigerant cools further so that it can absorb heat from any warm air that has built up inside your house. Refrigerant leaks can also occur here if you have a particularly old system that hasn’t had preventive maintenance. 

5. Fan

Finally, when air is cool enough to be dispersed, the indoor fan pushes it throughout your AC system’s ductwork. Additionally, the fan takes in warm air and passes it back through to the refrigerant.

If your air filter becomes clogged with pet dander, dust, or other buildup, it can impede this process. Most homeowners need to change their filters every month during high usage seasons.


Whether you’re experiencing an air conditioning issue or you simply want to schedule a tune-up to keep your system running smoothly, turn to Stewart Air Conditioning & Heating LLC. Since 1976, this trusted heating and cooling team has provided comprehensive services to homeowners throughout the Nicholasville, KY, area. Find out more about their cooling installation, repair, and maintenance options online or call (859) 252-4945 to discuss your home’s needs with one of their team members.