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Air conditioning systems come in all shapes and sizes.
AIR CONDITIONING COOLING SYSTEMS
Your indoor unit works by moving air across the indoor evaporator coil, and heat is absorbed into the refrigerant in this coil. The refrigerant is then circulated outside, where the heat is exhausted with a fan blowing across the outside condenser coil. An air conditioner system doesn't "add" cool air; it removes heat from the air.
SPLIT SYSTEM AIR CONDITIONERS
Usually a unit sits outside – this is referred to as a condenser. The condenser has wires and copper tubes that lead inside. An air conditioning evaporator coil is located over, under or beside the indoor unit. The unit style gets the name "Split System" from the fact that the unit is split into an indoor and outdoor section.
The air conditioning condenser (outdoor portion) will normally be located on the ground beside the building or on the roof. The indoor unit and coil (air handler, boiler or heater) is usually located in a cellar, crawl space, closet or loft and is connected to a duct system that circulates the air through the premises.
PACKAGE AIR CONDITIONERS
Package air conditioners are self-contained units that come pre-assembled. They sit outside the premises on the ground or roof. In trying to identify this type of air conditioning system, you won't normally see copper tubes leading to the building, but you could see ductwork, or a large boxed-in area connecting the air conditioning unit to the house.
DUCTLESS SPLIT AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
The ductless split air conditioning system has an outside condensing unit, very similar to a regular split system air conditioner. It also has copper tubing running to an indoor unit. However, the indoor unit(s) are not ducted; they simply hang on a wall or mount in the ceiling. They are much quieter than window units, because the noisiest part of the system is outside. Another advantage to this system is the ability to have multiple indoor "blower" units, giving you air conditioning in more than one room.
WINDOW OR WALL UNITS
Window Units are mounted on windows. They are useful as a solution for one room but they can be noisy, inconvenient and block your view out of the window. These units are completely self-contained.