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How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Air conditioners are a welcome relief that helps combat the scorching summer heat and keep humidity at bay!

But have you ever wondered how this device brings down the temperature in your room? A common misconception is that air conditioners, given their name, produce cold air. However, that's far from the truth.

In fact, air-cons pull out the warm air from the room, recycle it, and re-circulate the cold air throughout the space. The entire process takes only a few minutes, and while it might sound simple, it's slightly complicated.

In this guide, we will look at the different types of air conditioners and how several parts come together to get the device running. So, without further ado, let's begin!

Types Of Air Conditioners

Before we delve into details about the workings of an air conditioner, it is essential to have a brief idea about its different types. So, here they are.

1. Central Air Conditioner

A central air conditioning system will be ideal if you have a large house or office space with multiple rooms. Also known as a ducted system, it controls the air circulation in the house with the help of ducts installed in several places.

Central air-cons work on a split system mechanism, meaning they have two separate units. The outdoor unit contains the compressor and condenser, whereas the indoor unit has the air handler and evaporator coils.

2. Ductless Mini-Split System

Ductless systems are a popular option in small houses, hotel rooms, etc. as they do not require ducting to cool the space efficiently.

The indoor units are wall-mounted and come with air blowers that work the same way as ducts of centralised systems and circulate the air. The outdoor unit comes with a compressor and condenser and is connected via tubing to the indoor unit.

Since these units are compact, you would need a separate device for each room.

3. Window Air Conditioners

Although split systems have replaced window air conditioners in most contemporary houses and workspaces, it remains a popular choice for studio apartments and single rooms. It is usually less expensive than all other air conditioner systems.

In Wall Air Conditioner Working Diagram

These systems do not have separate units, and all the components are enclosed in a single unit. The warm air is ejected from the outdoor compartment, and the other end blows cool air into the room.

Besides, the device has removable filters for quick and efficient cleaning.

4. Portable Air Conditioners

As the name suggests, portable air conditioners are freestanding devices with all their components enclosed in a single system, in a fashion that is similar to window air conditioners.

These units do not have to be mounted on a wall or window sill. Thus, you can move them from one room to another. These compact units are ideal for temporary set-ups, bathrooms, garages, or places where you cannot install window or split systems.

Most portable systems come with a single or dual hose that needs to be placed near a window.

Parts Of An Air Conditioner

To understand how an air conditioning system works, you need to be familiar with its different parts and how each of them help in the cooling process. Out here, we've listed them for you.

1. Evaporator

The evaporator contains metallic coils (located in the air handler) that are an indispensable part of any cooling system. These coils hold the chilled refrigerant that the compressor pumps into it. As indoor air from the blower fan moves over the coil, it removes the heat from your house.

2. Blower

The blower facilitates air movement to the area that needs to be cooled. It is an integral part of the HVAC system and disperses air over the evaporator where it is cooled and blows the treated air back into the room.

The blower is backed by its powerful motor that ensures it keeps rotating and distributes cool air evenly.

3. Compressor

The refrigerant that travels from the furnace to the condenser is quite hot. The compressor further raises the temperature and pressure of this refrigerant, and it gets warmer than the air outside. The refrigerant then moves to the condenser.

4. Condenser

Since air travels from hotter regions to colder ones, hot air from the refrigerant moves outdoors and is cooled by the condenser.

Much like the evaporator coil, the condenser also has a set of coils but performs the opposite function. It contains the refrigerant and helps it release hot air outside.

5. Thermostat

The thermostat helps monitor and regulate the air conditioner's temperature and acts as the remote control for the entire system. Without it, the device will not turn on or start the heating or cooling process.

How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Now that you know all about the different air conditioner types and parts, it is time to address the primary question: how does an air conditioner work?

How Does An Ac Unit Work Graphic

We understand you might not want to get into the technicalities of an air conditioner, as long as it's running smoothly. Still, it's essential to know how it works to utilise the device to its maximum potential.

The indoor and outdoor units of a central air conditioner rely on the refrigerant to keep the air inside cool. Air conditioners recycle the air by removing the warm air from the room and sending cool air back into it.

It is a continuous cycle, and the different parts work in conjunction to cool down the house. To make things easier for you, we've simplified the process down to the basics.

Step 1

First, the vents pull the hot air, which moves over the evaporator coil. Here, the refrigerant absorbs the heat and converts it to a gaseous form from its original liquid state.

Step 2

Then, this heated air is pumped into the compressor, where its temperature and pressure are further raised.

Step 3

Next, it travels to the condenser and is released from there. Here, a large fan helps facilitate the movement of hot air outdoors. Once the warm air dissipates outside, the refrigerant cools down and acquires a liquid form again.

Step 4

After this, the refrigerant travels back to the evaporator and re-circulates cold air into the room. This cycle continues until your house or room gets the temperature you have set on the thermostat.

Needless to say, damage to any of the components can hamper the air conditioner's functioning. In that case, you will need the aid of experienced maintenance specialists to fix the system.

Final Words

With that, we come to the end of this guide.

We hope you now have a comprehensive idea of the different parts of an air conditioner and how they work together to cool your room. So, go ahead and buy the air con you've been eyeing!

Air conditioners are no longer viewed as a luxury, but have become a crucial part of households and workspaces. However, to increase its longevity and ensure maximum efficiency, regular servicing of the device is essential.

Countless companies offer to service your air conditioner, and if DIY tasks are not your forte, then you can hire one of them. However, remember to carry out proper research before making a choice. If maintained properly, your electricity bills will be lesser and your life a lot cooler!

That’s it for today. Do reach out to us in the comments below in case of any queries!