What are Essential Components of an Air Conditioning System & Signs of Failure in Chesterfield, MA?

An air conditioning system is more than just a relief during the hot summer months, it is a complex assembly of components that work together to ensure your home remains comfortable and cool. Understanding these key components and recognizing the signs of their potential failure can help you maintain your system more effectively, avoid unexpected breakdowns, and extend the life of your unit. Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning will guide you through the major components of an air conditioning system and explain how to spot signs of trouble.

Air Conditioner Compressor

The compressor is often referred to as the “heart” of the air conditioning system. It circulates refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units, compressing the refrigerant and propelling it through the system to remove heat from your home.
Signs of Failure
• The air conditioner is not cooling effectively.
• Strange noises like rattling or grinding from the outdoor unit.
• The unit frequently trips the circuit breaker.

Condenser Coil

Located in the outdoor unit, the condenser coil releases the heat removed from the indoor air. As the refrigerant passes through the coil, it condenses from a hot gas to a cooler liquid form.
Signs of Failure
• The exterior unit dispenses warm air even when the air conditioning is set to cooling.
• Visible leaks or pooling of fluid around the condenser.
• Overheating of the outdoor unit.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is situated in the indoor unit and plays a big role in cooling the indoor air. As the cold refrigerant passes through the coil, it absorbs heat from the indoor air, cooling it before it is circulated back into the room.
Signs of Failure
• Poor cooling performance.
• Ice buildup on the coil or refrigerant lines.
• A noticeable increase in humidity levels inside the home.

Air Handler & Blower Motor

The air handler houses the evaporator coil and the blower motor, which blows indoor air over the coil to facilitate the heat exchange process.
Signs of Failure
• Weak airflow from the air conditioning vents.
• Unusual noises from the indoor unit, especially when starting up.
• Inconsistent air flow or sporadic bursts of air.


The thermostat is the control system of your air conditioning but, it senses the temperature of your home and tells the air conditioner when to turn on and off, maintaining the desired temperature.
Signs of Failure
• The air conditioning doesn’t respond to temperature settings.
• Frequent cycling or erratic behavior of the air conditioning unit.
• Unexplained spikes in energy bills.

Refrigerant Lines

These lines transport the refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units, essential for the continual cycle of refrigerant flow necessary for cooling.
Signs of Failure
• Hissing noises which could indicate a refrigerant leak.
• Decreased cooling efficiency.
• Ice formation on the refrigerant lines.

Drain Line

The drain line channels condensation away from the evaporator coil. During the cooling process, moisture from the air condenses on the evaporator coil and needs a clear path to drain away.
Signs of Failure
• Water leakage around the furnace or air handler.
• Musty odors indicating mold or mildew buildup in or near the HVAC system.
• Water marks or damage near the unit.

Central Air Conditioner Maintenance, Repairs, Replacement, Emergency Repairs & More in Springfield, Granby, Holyoke, South Hadley, Monson, Chicopee & Agawam, Massachusetts

Understanding the different components of your air conditioning system and being aware of the signs of failure can greatly help in maintaining an efficient and effective system. For HVAC services that can help ensure your home stays cool, contact Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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