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What Are the Parts of an Air Conditioner?

Tech showing the parts of a unit to another person.

Whether you have central air or a single window unit, it's important to know the parts of an air conditioner and understand how they work together to keep you cool.

Here are the major components:

We created this guide to help you learn more about how your air conditioner works to keep you and your family members from sweating through the summer.

Ready for a New Air Conditioning System?

George Brazil Heating & Cooling is Phoenix's most trusted HVAC company. We also pride ourselves on treating every customer like a member of the family. If you're ready to install a new AC system, contact us at (602) 842-0009 to schedule a free estimate.


Refrigerant, also known as heat transfer fluid, plays an important role in the cooling process. This substance absorbs heat from your home, causing it to change from a gas into a high-pressure liquid. The refrigerant continues outside, where it blows over your AC coils, causing it to cool down and turn back into a gas. Finally, the cool air blows over your AC coils, making your home feel much cooler than outside. The process repeats for as long as you have your air conditioner running.


The compressor is a pump that moves refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser. It's also responsible for increasing the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant, which causes the change from a gas to a high-pressure liquid. Most AC systems use a scroll-type compressor, but if you're working with an older system, you may have a rotary compressor or reciprocating compressor.


When you turn on an air conditioner, the hot air in your home doesn't just disappear. Instead, your air conditioner carries it outside and releases it. This is why you need a condenser. The condenser is the part of your air conditioning system that sits outside your house, just waiting for hot air to arrive. Before you upgrade your system or install a new one, you should know about the parts needed to help the condenser work properly:

  • Condenser fan: This component circulates air to ensure the condenser transfers heat as efficiently as possible.
  • Condenser cabinet: A large cabinet protects the condenser and its associated components, protecting them from damage caused by vandalism, bad weather, animal activity, and other problems.
  • Compressor: This component pushes heated refrigerant into the condenser coil.

We've been in business since 1955, so we'll use our expert knowledge to help you choose an efficient system capable of keeping your home comfortable during every month of the year.

Evaporator and Condenser Coils

Evaporator coils help remove the hot air from your home, making them a critical component of any AC system. These coils are usually made from copper, as copper has high electrical conductivity. In other words, it excels at carrying heat. To increase their cooling power, evaporator coils usually have fins around them, creating more room for air to circulate while the evaporator absorbs hot air from your living environment.

Condenser coils have the opposite effect. Instead of absorbing heat, condenser coils expel heat into the outdoors. Once that happens, the high-pressure liquid refrigerant turns around and moves toward the evaporator coil. Before it reaches the evaporator coil, the refrigerant turns from a high-pressure liquid into a gas.

It's important to maintain these coils appropriately, as dirt, leaves, and other types of debris can reduce efficiency and make it difficult for your AC system to absorb heat from your home or expel it into the outdoor air. If you haven't cleaned your coils in a while, we can do an AC tuneup to get your system running like new.

Blower Fan

Once the refrigerant, compressor, condenser, and coils do their jobs, the blower fan pushes cool air into your home via the vents. As the cool air circulates, you'll start to feel a little more comfortable.

Is Your HVAC System in Need of a Little TLC?

Now that you know the main parts of air conditioner units, you understand how important it is to maintain regular maintenance and ensure everything is in working order. Whether you need an AC tuneup or a new system installation, George Brazil can help.

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