what is central acWhile window and portable air conditioners cool a single room, central AC cools your entire house. However, many homeowners still don’t entirely understand how it works or the benefits it provides. If you’re deciding whether central air conditioning is the right choice for your home, here’s a basic primer on its operation and advantages.

What is Central AC?

Central air conditioners circulate cool air through your home using your ventilation system. First, they draw air into the evaporator, which lowers its temperature, then blow it out into your home through a series of supply ducts. As the air warms up, it sinks down towards the floor, where it’s sucked into a series of return vents, which send it back to the evaporator, starting the cycle over again.

Two Types

All central AC systems operate according to the same principle: refrigerant is cycled back and forth from the evaporator to the heat exchanger, absorbing and dispelling heat as it goes. But while the basic operation is the same, the configuration is not. Depending on the size and layout of your home, you may have a:

  • Split System. In a split air conditioner, the heat exchanger is outside your home, while the evaporator is inside, normally in the basement. The units are connected by copper piping, which moves refrigerant back and forth between them. This same system is found in ductless air conditioners. The difference is that while split systems circulate air through ventilation ducts, ductless air conditioners generate cool air in whatever room they’re installed.
  • Packaged System. In a packaged system, the heat exchanger and evaporator are located inside a single cabinet, normally placed in the attic or next to your home’s foundation. They’re found mostly in smaller homes, where homeowners need to save space.

What are the Benefits of Central AC?

Central AC is the fastest and most powerful cooling system on the market. While window and portable air conditioners take anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours to cool a room, a central air conditioner can cool your entire home in as little as 15-20 minutes.

A central cooling system is also far less conspicuous. Besides a few vents along the floor or ceiling, all the components are out of sight. This not only keeps your house from becoming cluttered with equipment, it also cuts down on excessive noise. With the compressor and fans located outside or in the basement, the only audible sound is a gentle background hum.

Finally, central AC is more efficient. Even though a central air conditioner uses more energy than a portable or window unit, it lowers temperatures in several rooms at once, so you wind up spending less per square foot of cooling.

Protecting Your Cooling System

Central air conditioners are powerful but expensive. Repairing one costs almost as much as buying a new one. Few homeowners can afford those kinds of out-of-pocket expenses, not without going into serious debt. Not HomesentialTM customers, however.

HomesentialTM covers your heating, cooling, and electrical systems. When something goes wrong, we send a contractor to repair and replace all covered parts. There is no charge to you ‒ no service fees or deductibles. For less than $25 a month, your home is completely protected. So don’t let a breakdown endanger your finances or your comfort. Sign up today!