How Air Conditioner Works?

The temperature, humidity, and overall quality of the air can all be altered by an air conditioner. More specifically, an air conditioner cools your home by removing heat energy from inside and transferring it to the outside, then replacing the air inside your home with cooler air.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Saver 101 Infographic

A compressor, a condenser coil, and an evaporator coil are the three main mechanical components of a standard air conditioner or cooling system. These components work together to convert the refrigerant from gas to liquid and back again.

  1. The compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant gas before sending it to the condenser coil to be converted to liquid.

  2. The refrigerant then returns indoors and enters the evaporator coil.

  3. The liquid refrigerant evaporates here, cooling the indoor coil.

  4. A fan circulates indoor air across the cold evaporator coil, where heat from the home is absorbed by the refrigerant.

  5. The cooled air is then distributed throughout the house, while the heated evaporated gas is returned to the compressor outside.

  6. As the refrigerant returns to a liquid state, heat is released into the outdoor air.

This cycle is repeated until your home reaches the desired temperature.



  2. How Do Air Conditioners Work? Carrier. (n.d.).

  3. Energy Saver 101: Home Cooling Infographic. (n.d.). ENERGY.GOV.

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