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How Your Air Conditioner Works

July 11, 2014



The summer months can be hot, sticky, and just plain miserable if you don’t have the means to cool yourself down. Your air conditioner works every day to cool down the temperatures in your home by providing you with cool air, but have you ever stopped and thought about just how your air conditioning works? The machine we often take for granted is complex, with many different elements. Take a look at just how your air conditioner works to keep you cool.


The Basics

The most basic concept behind the air conditioning is that refrigeration is used to chill the air inside the home, then delivering it throughout the house. While this sounds simple, the process behind it is much more complex. The air conditioner will take chemicals that can convert back and forth from liquid and gas to cool warm air and then transfer it out of the home. This is done when hot air is moved over evaporator coils. The refrigerant in the coils will absorb this heat, then convert  stages to deliver cool air.


The Parts

While the main parts of the air conditioner are used to cool the home, there are other critical functions as well. Each of these parts help the air conditioner to  make your home a better place to live in:

  • The filter – the filter of HVAC system needs to be changed on a regular basis. This is the best means for removing harmful agents from circulating through the air of your home.
  • Thermostat – the air conditioner is connected to the thermostat of the home. In this way they are used to monitor and regulate the temperatures of homes, ensuring those inside are comfortable.
  • Refrigerant – this is used to cool the air in the home, all the following components are used to manage and maintain the refrigerant.
  • Evaporator – the evaporator receives the liquid refrigerant
  • Condenser – this component is able to facilitate a heat transfer
  • Expansion valve – this will monitor and control how much refrigerant is delivered to the evaporator
  • Compressor – this is used to pressurize the refrigerant

Each of these components is critical for the function of the air conditioner. If just one of these are not functioning properly, the whole process of the air conditioner will fail.


The Process

There are five main processes that happen within the air conditioner to produce cool air:

  • in the compressor the refrigerant goes out as hot gas that has high pressure. this flows to the condenser coils
  • from here the condenser coils dissipate heat as the now liquid travels through them on their way to evaporator coils
  • the evaporator coils take on the refrigerant in it’s liquid form, then help it expand into a gas making the coils cool
  • an evaporator blower blows the air from inside the home over the evaporator coils which now contains the cool refrigerant, leading to the cooling of your home
  • once this is complete the low pressure gas goes back to the compressor to start the process once again

These steps take place repeatedly in your air conditioner while it is turned on, helping to keep your home cool. Your air conditioner is composed of a number of different steps, each crucial to cooling your home. Make sure proper maintenance is done on your air conditioning every year to ensure each of these parts is in good working condition.