The air conditioning unit on the outside of your home has a lot of possible names. Of course, some people just call it the "air conditioner", while others call it the "heat pump." Heat pump seems misleading to many because they don't associate heating with their AC. You will also often hear it called the "condenser" or "compressor" unit. Either of these could be correct because the cabinet houses both a condenser and compressor. In fact, it would be possible to call it the "condenser and compressor" unit.
All of these names can be confusing to many people who are trying to get a grasp on some basic do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance. But, as long as you know that all of these terms are interchangeable, you will have better luck when it comes to finding and deciphering tips from the Internet. This article will refer to it as the air conditioner unit and explains a few things that can be done to promote efficiency.
What an AC Unit Does
An air conditioning unit, to put it very simply, sucks in air through the side walls, and blows hot air out through the fan. The hot air comes from inside the home, enabling cold air that the compressor creates to flow into the building. So, whenever you walk by your AC unit while it is turned on, you will notice a strong updraft coming from the main compartment.
The fan is one of the largest components inside the air conditioner, and it sits inside the main cabinet, along with the compressor and motor. Basically, the motor power is the fan, and the fan is meant to cool off the compressor.
A compressor is responsible for creating cold air that is pumped into the home, and this is why it is outside of the house. This enables it to breathe a little bit. If your fan isn't working, your air conditioner is going to use more electricity.
As mentioned, the air conditioner also has to suck air into it as part of the condensing process. This is why the outside walls, behind the protective cage, are lined with the condenser coils. When these coils are clean and intact, they efficiently pull air into the compressor where it can be cooled. The outside coils can be vulnerable to damage, which is usually just from people hitting them. So, it is helpful if you don't store a bunch of stuff near your AC unit.
As you can see, it isn't particularly hard to take care of your air conditioning unit. Reach out to a place that does maintenance for HVAC systems if you need assistance.