An air conditioning system uses a variety of electrical components to ensure a smooth operating cooling system. Many people are often unaware of the many electrical components that aid in keeping your home cool and comfortable. Understanding these components can be very important in troubleshooting and in the maintenance of your air conditioning system. Today, Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning would like to cover some of the key electrical components in an air conditioning system and what they do.
What are the Electrical Parts of an AC Unit?
Thermostat: The thermostat is the control hub of your air conditioning system. It is an electrical component that senses the temperatures inside your home and triggers the air conditioning system to either start or stop based on the temperature settings you have chosen.
Contactors: Contactors are electrically controlled switches that turn the air conditioner’s compressor, condenser fan motor, and blower motor on and off. If a contactor fails or becomes worn out, it can cause the unit to run irregularly, even when it should be off.
Capacitors: Capacitors store and supply the electrical energy needed to start and run the motors in your air conditioner, specifically the compressor and the fan motors. There are two types of capacitors, run capacitors and start capacitors. Run capacitors provide constant voltage to the motors to keep them running, while start capacitors provide an extra voltage boost to start the motor.
Circuit Boards: Circuit boards control the various functions of the air conditioner, such as timing and process for defrosting, starting, and stopping. The circuit board communicates with all other electrical components of the system and help regulate the entire operation of the cooling system.
Relays: Relays are electrical switches in your air conditioner that control the direction of power between components. They open and close circuits as needed for different parts of the cooling cycle.
Transformers: Transformers are used in HVAC systems to step down the voltage from its incoming level from 120 or 240 volts to a lower voltage usually 24 volts, which is used by the thermostat and other controlling devices.
Fuses & Breakers: Fuses and breakers are safety devices designed to protect your air conditioner’s motor and compressor from electrical overload. If the system draws too much power, the fuse will break or the breaker will trip to prevent damage.
Wiring: Electrical wiring carries the power throughout your air conditioning system. The wiring connects the system to the electrical panel and links all the different electrical components together.
Fan Motors: The fan motor is a major electrical component in your air conditioning system. They are electrical devices that drive the fans in the indoor and outdoor units, which circulate air and aid in heat transfer.
Compressor Motor: The compressor, while primarily a mechanical device, is powered by an electric motor. It is the heart of the system, pumping refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units.
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Understanding these components can help you troubleshoot problems and communicate more effectively with HVAC professionals. However, due to the risk of electric shock or damaging your equipment, it is generally recommended to leave the inspection and repair of these components to trained HVAC technicians. For quality HVAC services, contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning today.