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What is Central Air Conditioning?
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Blog 06/19/19

What is Central Air Conditioning?

During the summer months, sometimes all you wish for is the sweet relief of the cold air.  Central air conditioners offer that warm air relief with a quick adjustment to the thermostat.  To help you get the most out of your central air conditioning unit, count on the HVAC experts at Bill Howe to get you there.

What is Central Air Conditioning?

To better understand how to get the most out of your central air conditioning unit, considering what central air conditioning is exactly is key.  Central air conditioners work in four simple steps:

Step 1:

Warm air is drawn from inside your home and blown across a set of indoor coils.  The heat is then absorbed by the refrigerant and causes it to evaporate into its gas form.

Step 2:

The refrigerant gas then moves through a compressor and is pressurized.  The gas heats up and moves to the coil located in the outdoor portion of the unit.

Step 3:

A fan located within the outdoor unit moves air from the outside across condenser coils.  Because the outdoor air is cooler than the hot, compressed gas refrigerant, heat is moved from the refrigerant to the outdoors.  With the refrigerant now cooled, it condenses back to its liquid form and moves to the expansion valve of the indoor unit.

Step 4:

The expansion valve decreases the pressure of the warm, liquid refrigerant and cools it significantly. With the refrigerant back in its cool, liquid state and can start the cooling process over again.

Central air conditioners help to circulate cool air through a series of supply and return ducts by removing hot air from inside the house and blowing cool air back into your home. Discomfort can also be created by humidity which air conditioners help to reduce.  

Bill Howe offers two different types of central air conditioners – split systems and package systems.  With a variety of systems offered from various manufacturers, finding your perfect fit will be a breeze.  

A split air conditioning system has both an outdoor and indoor unit. The indoor portion of the unit is quiet, sleek and mounted directly into your home.  A benefit of having the unit mounted directly into your house is that it can help cool areas that may be difficult to reach using a package system. Multiple indoor units connected to one, central outdoor unit can also be installed giving you the ability to cool multiple rooms or areas easily.  Installation of a split air system is easier because it does not require the ductwork that is required from other types of central air conditioning systems. While a split air conditioning system is more expensive than a window-mounted unit and does require professional installation, the longevity and energy-efficiency of the AC unit helps to offset the cost.

Package systems are known for their small footprint and can be placed on the roof or side of your property.  The packaged air conditioner houses the compressor, coils and air handles in a single, boxed cabinet. While this system is typically used for commercial properties, it can be used for residential properties as well. Package systems also offer the benefit of both heating and cooling your property.  Since all the components of the packaged air conditioner are housed within one unit, maintenance is a breeze. With this system, it eliminates the need for a separate furnace which in turn saves you space.  Installation is more difficult than other options, but is still energy efficient.  

Best Way to Circulate Air

Once your new central air conditioner is installed, there are a few methods you can use to best circulate the cool air throughout your home.  

AC & Fans = A Great Cooling Combo:

When using fans and AC in tandem with one another, cranking down the air conditioner won’t be necessary.  When using fans and setting the thermostat to mirror the temperature outside not only save you money, but can help create a comfortable, indoor temperature.  When the air conditioner runs, the cold air it produces settles closer to the floor and does not circulate that well. Fans help eliminate this problem. Strategically-placed fans help to move the settled, cold air and push it towards hot areas.  With strong enough fans, air is moved throughout your home to help lower the temperature throughout and lower your power bills.

Box or oscillating fans are best at creating a cool air flow within your home. Placing your box or oscillating fans near the vents will help push air further out.  Fans also will help air circulate throughout your home to move cool air to the hotter areas.

Utilize Exhaust Fans:

Exhaust fans used in your bathrooms, kitchens or attics can help move hot air out of your house.  By removing the hot air that settles near the ceiling of your home, better air circulation is created.  Once the hot air is removed, there will be a noticeable difference in air quality and temperature.


While dehumidifiers will not help circulate air or lower the temperature within your home, it will help create a more comfortable temperature.  Higher humidity can certainly create discomfort within your home, by decreasing the humidity, a noticeable difference can be felt and make your home feel cooler, without actually cooling down your house.

To schedule an appointment to see what type of central air conditioner is best for your home, San Diego residents please contact us at 1-800- BILL-HOWE (1-800-245-5469).


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