What Is Central Air Conditioning and What Types Are Available?

No Floridian is a stranger to air conditioning. Hard to survive here without it! But for all that it’s here, there and everywhere, not everyone really understands how A/C works or what the different kinds are. And that’s okay. Most people don’t know all the details of their car’s motors or their computer’s logic boards, either.

As a homeowner, on the other hand, you might want to be aware of the different kinds of air conditioning out there, especially if you’re considering an upgrade or replacement. So now we’ll talk about central air conditioning to get you up to speed.

Central air conditioning is just what it says on the package: one central system handles the cooling and distribution of air for your entire house. Cool air gets to every room through a system of supply ducts and vents, and warm air is carried back to the central air handler through return ducts and vents.

Central air conditioning comes in two versions: the split-system unit or the packaged unit. To understand the difference, you should know a bit about how your A/C cools air.

In an air conditioner, refrigerant flows from a compressor and condenser to an evaporator, and back again. When liquid refrigerant arrives at the evaporator and transitions from a liquid to a gas (at a relatively low temperature), it soaks up a lot of heat. When it goes back to the compressor and condenser, it becomes a liquid again, and expels all that heat. So heat is just being moved from one area to another. (It’s a bit more complicated than that, but this is basically how it works.)

The most popular type, the split-system air conditioner has the evaporator unit inside your home, often in the same installation location as a furnace. The outdoor unit is just the compressor/condenser side of things, expelling waste heat into the outside air.

In a packaged system, the whole shebang is placed outside, usually on a concrete slab or even on your roof. That means the ductwork has to extend outdoors, so that the packaged unit can deliver conditioned air into your home.

To learn more about central air conditioning and what kind of A/C will work best in your Orlando area home, please contact us at Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning!

Image via Shutterstock.com


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