Understanding Your Air Conditioner Parts

Air condition parts for SEER rating

Understanding Your Air Conditioner Parts

When summer hits and temperatures climb here in Central Illinois, your air conditioner may struggle to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. But, does that mean you need a new air conditioning system? Or, does it simply mean you need to take a look at your air conditioner parts and do a bit of repair and maintenance? Understanding a little about the parts of your air conditioning system can help you make the best decision about your home’s comfort system!

How Your Air Conditioner Works

A traditional home comfort system has two parts: an indoor unit, such as a furnace or air handler, and an outdoor unit. Your air conditioner is the outdoor unit. Its job is to cool the air inside your home. But, that’s not the only job your air conditioner does. It also functions as a dehumidifier. Those drain pans near or attached to your air conditioner are collecting the release of moisture that comes from the air conditioner reducing the temperature of humid air. Air conditioners also have an onboard filter to remove airborne particles from the air circulating within it. And, they keep your home cool by monitoring and regulating the air temperature through the thermostat. There are several parts in your air conditioner that make all this happen. And, help your home stay cool and comfortable on a hot humid day. The indoor and outdoor units are designed to work together.

What is SEER?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER measures the ratio of your air conditioner’s cooling capacity to power input. A higher SEER rating gives you a more efficient air conditioner. The SEER ratings for air conditioning units have gradually increased in recent years. Nationwide, EPA standards require all air conditioners manufactured after Jan. 1, 2015, to have a minimum rating of 14 SEER. If your home has an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 10.0 or less, you might qualify for the Ameren Heating and Cooling Incentive Program.

 What Are the Basic Air Conditioner Parts?


The core of your air conditioning system is the compressor. It functions as the electric pump of your air conditioning system and circulates the refrigerant between the condenser and evaporator coils.

Condenser Coil

A network of tubes filled with refrigerant that removes heat from the heated gas refrigerant and converts the refrigerant into a liquid form again. The excess heat escapes into the outside air.


The contactor is an electrical switch that delivers line voltage to the compressor of your air conditioner. Contactors supply the compressor and the condenser fan motor.


The capacitor is an important air conditioner part. Your air conditioning unit actually requires a great deal of energy to start up–more than what is available through your home’s wiring system. The job of the capacitor is to give an electrical jumpstart the moment that your air conditioner is drawing power from the electrical grid. Together, these two electrical sources provide the right amount of juice to your air conditioner. So, the capacitor might seem small, but it’s a much-needed part of your air conditioning system.

Hard Start Kit

A hard start kit makes your air conditioning unit start smoothly and quickly. This reduces damage to other air conditioner parts and helps prolong the life of your air conditioning system.

There are fewer parts on your air conditioner than your gas furnace. But, keep in mind your indoor and outdoor units are designed to work together. And your home’s comfort system relies on them working properly to produce effective and efficient cooling for your home. Having your air conditioner properly matched with a furnace or air handler gives you the maximum efficiency and extends the life of your home’s comfort system.

With air conditioning maintenance from the expert techs at AirAce Heating & Cooling, we’ll make sure that each part of your air conditioner is checked, both on the outdoor unit and on the inside unit as well. Our yearly Maintenance Plan is a great way to ensure your furnace and air conditioning systems are cleaned, inspected, and performing properly.


Schedule your air conditioner tune-up today by giving us a call at 309-678-9577 or by contacting us online.


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