How Your Air Conditioner Works

Chances are, you’ve probably never given your air conditioning unit a second thought, as long as it works and keeps your home cool. But if you would like some idea of how it works and keeps you cool, read on. Whether it’s the A/C system in your home, your car, or even the one in your fridge, they all work much the same way. The amount of moisture or humidity in the air is reduced, or you could say it’s conditioned, as well as cooled down, as the name might suggest. Your car gets fewer miles to the gallon when you have the air conditioning on as you’re driving, although not everybody knows that. Your car is using more gasoline because of the extra load on the engine; to remove the extra moisture and heat from inside your car uses more energy when the compressor in your vehicle is running.

The Refrigeration Cycle

Think of a science experiment taking place in your home in which heat is absorbed and thrown outside. That’s basically what is happening when your air conditioning is working. It’s a repeating cycle of compression and then expansion.


To understand the part the evaporator plays in your air conditioning system, apply a few drops of surgical spirits to your hand. That solution will soon start to evaporate, making your hand feel cool as the heat is removed from the surface of your hand. It’s much the same thing that happens in your A/C unit.

How Your Home Is Cooled

The freon or refrigerant in your air conditioner converts from a gaseous form to liquid quickly and then repeats the process. The heat in your home is transferred outside during this process, and your inside temperature is lower. The evaporator is just one important part of your A/C unit; the other three are the condenser, compressor, and metering device. Look at the outside of your air conditioning unit; that’s where the ac condenser and compressor are usually located. The evaporator, along with the air handling unit, is usually located inside your home, often in a closet or the attic.

How Is Hot Air Removed and Cold Air Produced?

Look at the outside of your unit; those metal fins around the housing are where the condenser is located. Refrigerant enters the condenser after it has been compressed and transformed from a low pressure and low-temperature gas to high pressure and high-temperature vapor. When the fluid exits the condenser, it has condensed into a liquid. It then becomes a lot cooler after moving into your unit’s metering device. The pressure falls and the liquid turns into gas after tiny tubes allow it to enter the evaporator. The cycle is then repeated, after the gas is returned to the compressor as a low pressure and low temperature gas. If you’ve ever absorbed water in a sponge by dipping it into a bowl of water, you have some grasp of how your air conditioner works. Cold air remains when the water has absorbed the heat, and when you get rid of that water by squeezing the sponge.

In Conclusion

If you’ve ever remained cool and comfortable indoors on a hot summer’s day, you probably don’t need telling just what a wonderful invention air conditioning is. Better sleep at night, with less tossing and turning is also benefit of having your home kept at a reasonable temperature. If you’ve never thought about learning more about your air conditioning system, they really can be more fascinating than you might think.

Understanding How Your HVAC System Works

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most Americans spend 93% of their lives indoors. Unfortunately, this isn’t good for them because indoor air is responsible for causing a variety of breathing and skin problems. This is because indoor air pollution is much greater than it is outdoors.

How to Keep Your HVAC System Working Properly

Having your home’s HVAC system working properly is vital. This is why you should have repairmen available to deal with any issues you may have. In fact, you should have them standing by to perform routine maintenance in the spring or the fall so that your system has a long, healthy life. This is just one of the many things you can do to prolong the life of your HVAC system. Some of the other things you can do include:

    • • Clean the area surrounding your HVAC system regularly because dirt restricts its airflow.
      • Make sure that your system is installed correctly and functioning on the right settings.
      • You want to make sure you have the correct size system for your property.
      • Keep your temperature at 78 in the summer and 68 during the winter.
      • Don’t let water flow to your furnace’s humidifier when it’s hot outside.
      • Set your registers above 20%.
      • Replace your carbon monoxide detector’s batteries yearly.
      • Frequently lubricate your system so that parts don’t wear out too soon.
      • Keep your condensate drain line clean so that dirt, algae, fungus, and harmful bacteria don’t build up there.

Knowing When it’s time to buy a new HVAC System

Your HVAC system will give you some warning signs to let you know that it’s time to buy a new HVAC system. These include:

    • High energy bills for no apparent reason
      Regardless of how high you turn your thermostat, parts of your home still aren’t warm
      Your AC short cycles meaning that it’s turning off and on more frequently and not cooling your home while doing so
      A discolored flame

Considerations When Buying a New HVAC System

While your HVAC system won’t last forever it should last 15 – 20 years. Once it nears that age you should consider buying a new system. Some of the factors you should take into consideration when doing so include:

        • • The material used for construction
          • What temperature you’re comfortable with
          • How much insulation you have
          • How many doors, windows, and skylights there are, and in what direction they face
          • The size of the area to be heated/cooled

These factors are important because you want a system that’ll work efficiently throughout the year. Think of your HVAC system as your home’s respiratory system and you’ll understand why this is so important. You’ll also understand why you want to keep it working correctly at all times.

The Important Role Your Ductwork Plays

You’ll also want to keep your ductwork clean. This is because dirty filters can negatively impact your HVAC system in several ways, including:

        • • They can make your system work much less efficiently.
          • They’ll waste energy resulting in higher electric bills.
          • They can cause your system to fail.

How to Care for Your Furnace

Your furnace’s flame acts as a signal letting you know the state of your system. When it’s crisp blue, it’s in good working order but if it’s yellow or orange it’s time to call a repairman. Before doing so make sure that there isn’t a lost connection because this could mean there’s a safety issue. Typically your repairman will tell you that there’s either debris or rust inside your burner and it’ll need to be replaced. As your furnace grows older it’s more likely to break down. If it’s overworked, it’ll cost you more in energy bills. This is why when there’s a significant increase in these bills you should contact someone to install a new furnace. You’ll also know that it’s time to install a new furnace when some of the rooms in your home are either hotter or colder than other rooms. Sometimes this is caused by an old, outdated duct system that’s no longer able to evenly distribute the air throughout your home. When you experience any of these things you should call and talk to a professional instead of trying to tackle the issues yourself.


Repairing your HVAC system is not an easy job, especially if wintertime is right around the corner. You don’t want your heater to break down because then you’ll find yourself paying more money as you’re forced to call for an emergency air conditioning Barstow repair service. Unfortunately, this is something that happens to a lot of homeowners as they tend to ignore these various signs.