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.