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Understanding Your Air Conditioning System

Posted by Amy Jones on

Air conditioners all have three important parts: the compressor, the condenser and the evaporator coil. These parts work together along with refrigerant to make a building or room cooler. The way this is done is by transferring heat from inside to the outside of a building. 

An air conditioner does this by using refrigerant to absorb heat which is pumped through the system into the outside coil. Air is blown over the hot coil that contains refrigerant, which transfers the heat to the outside of the building. The refrigerant is pumped back inside along with cooled air and the process repeats. To heat a room, this process is reversed.

What Are the Different Parts of An Air Conditioner?

Generally, there are four main components of an air conditioning system, this includes:

  1. The compressor – a pump to pressurise the refrigerant
  2. The condenser coil – maintains heat transfer
  3. The evaporator coil – receives and transfers liquid refrigerant
  4. Refrigerant – absorbs heat

How Do These Air Con Parts in Perth Work?

The Compressor

An air conditioning compressor circulates refrigerant under pressure, this concentrates the heat contained in the refrigerant. The compressor is the heart of an air conditioning system cycle. The compressor circulates the refrigerant to exchange heat through the coils. The compressor places the refrigerant under high pressure to convert it from gas to liquid and transfers heat from inside to outside.

The Condenser Coil

The condenser’s function is to allow the high-pressure refrigerant to condense removing heat. It basically cools the high-pressure gas that comes from the compressor turning it into liquid and ensuring that the heat is removed. It then sends this liquid to the evaporator coil.

The Evaporator Coil

The liquid that came from the condenser coil ends up here. The decreasing pressure in the evaporative coil causes the liquid to become a gas. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air in the building and transfers it back to the condenser to repeat the process. The condenser coil and evaporator coils work together.


The refrigerant is contained inside the coils. Its purpose is to absorb heat by transitioning from low pressure liquid to high pressure gas. The refrigerant is a chemical that circulates through an air conditioning system changing from a liquid state to a gas as it absorbs and releases heat.

Other Important Air Con Parts Perth:

  • Filter – The filters trap dust and other contaminants from the air to prevent clogging up the air conditioning unit. They also help to maintain air quality and must be cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Thermostat – This device simply controls the temperature. The majority of thermostats have a sensor that monitors the room’s air temperature, sending this information to the air conditioner to adjust as needed.
  • Ducts – In ducted systems, duct are tubes that carry the air from the central fan coil to rooms in your home. These are not part of split system air conditioners.

What is the Difference Between a Ducted and Split System?

Ducted and split system air conditioners have a number of differences. Although they both have basically the same function, to cool your home, they each have their own way of achieving this.

Ducted Air Conditioners

Ducted air conditioners work mainly through using a series of ducts in the ceiling space to cool your home. A ducted system has an internal fancoil installed in the roof space which a series of ducts runs from, to each room. These ducts allow each room to be heated or cooled. If zooning is installed, this can be achieved individually, i.e. separate temperatures for each room.

Split System Air Conditioners

As the name indicates, a split system is split into two main units, an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The indoor unit blows cool air into the room and the outdoor unit contains the condenser. Split systems are generally lower in cost and not as complicated to install. However due to the smaller size, split systems usually suit heating or cooling for one room only.

Choosing between a ducted air conditioning system and a split system can depend on many factors. Some of the pros and cons of each include:

Ducted System Pros:
Ducted System Cons:
  • Discreet
  • More expensive
  • Cools and heat the entire home
  • Doesn’t suit all homes
  • Good for larger spaces
  • Not suitable for only one room
  • Quiet

Split System Pros:

Split System Cons:

  • More flexible installation
  • Slightly more intrusive
  • Cheaper to install
  • Doesn’t suit large areas
  • Good for smaller spaces/single rooms
  • Not suitable for cooling entire homes

Both types of air conditioning have their pros and cons, showing that neither one is better than the other. In the end, it comes down to your own preferences and air conditioning needs. If you’re looking to cool your entire home, then ducted air conditioning is probably the better option. However, if you’re on a budget or only need one room cooled, then a split system may be the best choice.


Air conditioners are an important part of life for many Australian’s, and understanding how they work and the basics of each part helps you to realise the importance of air con maintenance. Maintaining your air conditioning system can help to keep your unit working efficiently. Regular maintenance also ensures all parts continue to work well, and can help to identify any small problems before they become costly repairs. 

It’s easy to take air conditioners for granted, however understanding each component can help you appreciated the importance of maintenance. Proper maintenance should always be carried out by a qualified technician, especially when components need to be fixed or replaced. This is also the best way to keep your system running well and efficiently over its life span.

If you’re not sure about how your air conditioner is performing, or would like more information about air con parts in Perth, please contact our friendly team at Airspares. We are the leading Perth air conditioning repairer and provider of spare parts for all types of air conditioners. We look forward to helping you.

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