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Central Air Conditioners 101: How Do They Operate?

Summers in some parts of Canada can get uncomfortably hot and humid at the same time. For this reason, a central air conditioner installation and repair in Toronto comes in handy as it keeps you and your family relaxed and comfortable irrespective of the hot and muggy weather outside.

But first things first,

What is a central air conditioner?

A central air conditioner is a unit installed into your home that helps you counter the heat inside your space by distributing cool air throughout your home. The central air conditioners manage to supply the cool air via your air duct system.

This feature makes it different from the ductless air conditioners that serve a similar purpose without air ducts. The reason behind the name central air conditioners is that the cold air is distributed to all rooms in your house, from one central unit.

Here are a few elements of a central air conditioner

Different companies manufacture central ACs, but you will never miss any of these elements in each.

An external condenser

This component depends on the pipes and refrigeration lines that connect external components to the evaporator coil inside the unit.

Evaporator Coil

Always keep in mind that your central AC is an extension of your furnace system and even relies on its filtration system to keep the cool air circulating throughout your home clean.

How does a central AC work?

In your central AC exists a vital component known as the thermostat. The central AC system depends on the thermostat to ascertain the temperatures you prefer.

After your temperature preferences are clear, a motorized fan draws the hot air in your space into the ducts. All this time, the refrigerant is pumped in from the external compressor coil on your furnace. The refrigerant causes the hot air to cool.

Once it is cool, the air is returned to your home through the furnace blower. You must wonder what happens to the refrigerant after its interaction with the warm air. It also gets warm; hence it is sent to the external condenser to release its heat.

This cycle repeats until the central AC unit is sure that the warm air inside your home has been replaced with some cool and fresh air. Anytime the temperature rises beyond your specifications, the unit turns on again.

Types and sizes of central ACs


You can be sure to find only two types of central ACs: Packaged and Split Central Air Conditioning.

Packaged Air Conditioning

Packaged air conditioning units combine with the compressor, evaporator, condenser, and coil. The one unit is installed outside your home. The warm air inside your house is sent to the outdoor unit to be cooled. Once it is cold as per your specifications, it is sent right back inside and circulated in your entire home.

The Split Central AC

This type of central AC is way modern. It separates the components of the air conditioners between the evaporator and the compressor. The former is located inside, while the latter is found outside. The split central AC uses the refrigerant piping in the evaporator coil to make the air drawn into the unit through the compressor cold.


About sizes, there is a variety. Sizes are not estimated by how large or small the unit is, but its capacity to cool. In other words, size is calculated by how much area the Central AC can cool. The sizes are measured in tonnage and also in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. Hence, they range from 1 to 5 ton ACs that use between 12000 and 60,000 BTU, respectively.

Your ideal size depends on the size of your home. It is measured in square footage. If yours is a small home, you will require a smaller unit because going for a big one means signing up for a huge energy bill for nothing.

How can a central AC help you?

Having a central AC is a worthy upgrade. With such a unit, you are guaranteed a ton of benefits, which are as follows.

You start experiencing cleaner air

Clean air goes without saying because a central air conditioner uses filters to ensure that you and your family get to enjoy pollen, allergens, and dirt-free air.

Proper air circulation

As mentioned earlier, this kind of system has a duct system that helps it to circulate the cold air throughout your house. Hence the cooling effect is felt uniformly throughout your entire home.

No noise

Homeowners who’ve had window ACs before understand how annoying the noise from an AC can be. With Central ACs, such noise is hardly noticeable; hence you can rest assured to enjoy quiet evenings after a busy day, and even better, you get to sleep soundly.

Guarantees more space

Whatever type of central AC you settle for, you will have most of its components located outside, hence creating more space for you inside your home. This means you can add more décor to the walls.

It is easy to operate

Once you set the time and temperature from the single control panel, you will be good to go.

One can use it for multiple functions

Central AC units are connected to your furnace; hence you can switch from one to the other for heating or cooling purposes depending on the weather outside.

What must you do before installing a central AC unit?

It will help if you keep the following in mind in order to have your central AC put in place successfully.

Hire a qualified contractor

This requirement is vital and mandatory. If manufacturers learn that a quack did an installation, they void the warranty – they can’t tolerate future complaints about replacement. It leaves you at the disadvantage of having to buy a new one.

Also, a qualified technician understands all the necessary safety precaution measures that must be put into consideration. They ensure no component of the central AC is damaged in the installation process.

Have the size of your house in mind

As mentioned earlier, the space you have will determine which AC is ideal for it. Always ensure to consult a professional before installing a central AC that’s too big or small for your space.

In conclusion

The insight above should come in handy anytime you are ready to purchase and install your central AC.

Always ensure that you maintain the central AC regularly because failing to do so will shorten its lifespan.

Toronto air conditioner installation and repair experts providing fast results, knowledgeable technicians and professional service, contact us today 416-332-2493

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