A central air conditioner (or heat pump) is either a split-system unit or a packaged unit. The majority of consumers have split systems in their homes.
A split-system central air conditioner has 3 components:
- an outdoor metal cabinet that contains the condenser and compressor
- an indoor cabinet that contains the evaporator coil
- an air handler, that in most cases is part of the furnace, that sends the cool air through the duct system
If your home already has a furnace but no air conditioner, a split-system is the most economical central air conditioner to install.