At 1st Response AC and Heating, we install and service all makes and models of air conditioners, heaters, and air conditioning products. We know that when your air conditioning or heating stops working, or when you’re shopping for a system upgrade, the technical jargon can get pretty overwhelming. We believe in being completely straightforward with our customers, so here is a quick breakdown of the products and equipment we offer and how they work.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is the “cool side” of the air conditioner. Your evaporator coil converts liquid refrigerant into a gas state. In its gaseous state, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air. The heated refrigerant is then carried outside to the condenser unit.


The condenser is the “hot side” of the air conditioner. Basically, your condenser removes heat from the refrigerant in your air conditioner’s system. Due to the laws of physics, that heat can’t just disappear, but it can be transferred to the air outside the system or into an intermediate fluid (usually water or ethylene glycol), which then flows out to an earth sink, a body of water, or a cooling tower


A furnace adds heat to a building by heating air or an intermediate liquid by burning some kind of fuel (usually natural gas, propane, or butane) in its heat exchanger. If you have an electrically powered heater, you will not have a furnace, as your heater will not be burning fuel.

Air Handler

Whereas the condenser unit and heat pump make up the outdoor component of your air conditioning system, the air handler – or air handling unit (AHU) – is the indoor component. The air handler circulates cool air for your air conditioner during the summer, and – if you have electric heat – it circulates warm air through the building during the winter. An air handler works to heat air and takes the place of a furnace for electric heating units.

Heat Pump

The heat pump uses a mechanical-compression refrigeration cycle to move heat from one place to another. It can be used to pump hot air from one place to another. It can be used to heat or cool a space by either pumping heat in or out of the space.


Sometimes abbreviated to t-stat, the thermostat is the device that controls when a central heating and air conditioning system will turn on and off, based on temperature. Thermostats operate by homeostasis.

That means, when you set the thermostat to cool the space to a certain temperature, it will signal the air conditioning system to operate until the space is a few degrees cooler than the set temperature. Then, the system will cut off until the temperature in the space rises to a few degrees warmer than the set temperature. At that point, the air conditioning will turn back on. The process will continue this way until you change the temperature setting on the thermostat, and the same process works for heating, as well as air conditioning.