How Air Conditioners Work

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How Air Conditioners Work

There are many things in life that people use daily without thinking much about them or how they work. Televisions, computers, and cars all fall neatly into this category. Do you think about how your computer is turning on and processing as you use it? You probably don’t. You just get bugged when it breaks! Air conditioning is another prime example of a misunderstood and underappreciated aspect of daily life. Do you think about how the air conditioner is working to help make you comfortable throughout each day and night regardless of the temperature outside? If you don’t, than we think it’s important you understand a little bit about how air conditioners work. You will learn to appreciate them more, but you will also be a smart consumer when purchasing and performing maintenance on air conditioners. Let’s get started!

Types of Air Conditioners

There are many different types of air conditioners, but each is aimed at the same goal:  to control the temperature and humidity of the air and distributing it to an indoor space. This improves the air quality and makes the occupants more comfortable. Some common types of air conditioners include window units, wall units, portable units, swamp coolers, central air conditioning, and ductless systems. They range in cost and effectiveness.

How They Work

Air conditioners all generally work the same way. They use chemicals that can convert easily from a gas to a liquid and back again. Here’s how it works:

  • There are three main parts: a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator.
  • The compressor compresses the cool, low-pressure gas until it’s a hot, high pressure gas.
  • This hot gas then goes to the condenser where it is condensed to a liquid.
  • Then it’s on its way to the evaporator where the liquid takes heat out of the air and uses it to convert into a gas again.
  • The cool air is pumped into the room and the warmer air is continuously removed to evaporate the liquid in the evaporator.
  • This process continues as the room reaches a set temperature.