Basic Understanding Of How An Air Conditioner Operates
You can compare an air conditioner to your refrigerator. They work much the same way but instead of cooling a small space, an air conditioner cools a room, house, or business.
Chemicals are used in an air conditioner that easily convert from a gas, to a liquid, and back again. This is the chemical that transfers heat from the air inside a home, to outside.
There are three main parts to an air conditioner: the compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator. The compressor and condenser are usually located outside. The evaporator is located inside the house, sometimes as part of the furnace. The furnace is the part that heats your home.
When the liquid (refrigerant) enters the compressor as a cool, low pressure gas. The compressor puts pressure on the gas packing the molecules closer together which creates higher energy and temperature. It then leaves the compressor as a hot, high pressure gas and flows into the condenser (the part outside your house with metal fins). The fins act like a radiator in a car and help the heat dissipate quickly.
The fluid then leaves the condenser at a cooler temperature and has changed from a gas to a liquid. It goes into the evaporator through a small hole and the pressure of the liquid drops. As it drops it evaporates into a gas and extracts heat from the air around it. The warm air is needed to separate the molecules from a liquid to gas.
Like the condenser, the evaporator has fins to help exchange the energy with the surrounding air. By the time the fluid leaves the evaporator, it is a cool, low pressure gas. It then returns to the compressor to start all over again.
A fan is connected to the evaporator that circulates the inside air to blow across the evaporator fins. Hot air is lighter than cold, so heat rises to the top in a room.
There’s a vent that sucks air into the AC and goes down ducts. It is used to cool gas in the evaporator. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled. Then it is blown into the house through other ducts.
This process continues to repeat until the room temperature lowers to the temperature set on the thermostat. It does not turn back on until the temperature warms above the set temperature on the thermostat.
Now that you know how much work your air conditioning unit does for you, be sure to keep up on the maintenance as your manufacturer recommends – at least once a year. Also remember to change your dirty filter every month! You can order your filters from Our Online Store if you are in need of any.