Mick's Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

How Air Conditioners Work

Air conditioners are an important part of everyday life, especially in the home. When the temperatures outside begin to heat up, home owners rely on their air conditioning systems to cool their home. Without air conditioning, most people would suffer and be miserable during the hot summer months. Most every person in the world has an air conditioning system but most do not understand how the unit works. Below is a basis description of how an air conditioner works.


When it comes to air conditioning systems, there are many different types on the market today. From window to portable, to ductless to central, there are many options for home owners to choose from. Each system offers something different but all of the systems work basically the same way with the same parts. Below is a description of the main parts of an AC unit and how they operate.


The refrigerant is a product that is used in an AC that is considered to be the life blood of the unit. The refrigerant will change form a gas vapor to a liquid as it gathers heat from the home and then the heat will be pushed outside.


The compressor is the portion of the air conditioning unit which will pump the refrigerant to the other components of the unit. The refrigerant will enter into the compressor and then move out. As the refrigerant moves through the compressor it will be a warm vapor of low pressure but once the refrigerant is out it will be a hot vapor of high pressure.


After the refrigerant moves over the compressor it moves on to the condenser. The vapor will then be cooled by the air that is blowing over the condensing coils which is created by the condenser fan. The refrigerant will cool and then turn into a liquid and move to the next portion of the unit.

Expansion Valve

The next portion of the unit is the expansion valve. This portion of the unit runs throughout the evaporator coil and will blow the hot air out while the cold air is blown in. this creates a cold liquid of low pressure which will then move to the evaporator coil.

Evaporator Coil

This liquid will now run to the evaporator coil once more and the refrigerant will warm up once again and then change from a cool liquid to a warm vapor. The cycle then begins again and the home continues to remain cool as needed.
This is just the basics of how an air conditioning system works. For a more detailed review, speak with your local HVAC provider. A trained professional will be able to walk you step by step through the process.

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