By: Patricia Cermignano

Condensing Unit and Compressor. You’ve heard these terms before, but do you really know what each term means and what their significant differences are?

Condensing Unit-

The Condensing Unit is the official name for the outdoor HVAC unit. Condensing Units can either be an air conditioning unit or a heat pump. A typical HVAC Condensing Unit has:

  • A Compressor to increase the pressure of refrigerant to keep the liquid refrigerant moving along
  • A Fan for blowing the outside air through the heat exchanger to help cool the refrigerant
  • A Condensing Coil to help send the heat carried by the refrigerant to the outside

It is very important to make sure the Condensing Unit is always clean and clear of any debris (leaves, tree branches, etc.) to prevent blockages and to prevent your HVAC unit from working harder than is necessary. It is also recommended that your Condensing Unit be placed in a shady area so it does not overheat as easily with the hot summer temperatures.


A Compressor, which lives inside the condensing unit, is part of a split-system air conditioner or heat pump’s outdoor condensing unit. A Compressor helps control the amount of pressure applied to the refrigerant needed for removing heat to keep your house cool or taking in heat to warm your house. Similar to the Condensing Unit it is critical to ensure that your Compressor is clean and clear of any debris to prevent blockages and to prevent having your HVAC unit work harder than is necessary.

Next time you speak with your HVAC service technician impress them with your knowledge of Condensing Units and Compressors. For more information or to speak with a trained HVAC technician, please call Bob Cermignano Air Conditioning & Heating’s office at 610-642-6323 or visit our website at .