How do air conditioners work to keep you cool? Air conditioners have many of the same components and work the same way as your refrigerator. Air conditioners use energy (usually electricity) to transfer heat from the interior of your home to the relatively warm outside environment.
The two most common types of A/C systems are central air conditioners and room air conditioners (most commonly installed in a window). Both of these systems contain the same central components and both of these air conditioner systems work in the same manor.
Air Conditioners Work Using these Main Components:
- Evaporator: This is the indoor coil that cools the air inside of your home or office.
- Blower: This fan circulates air over the evaporator dispersing the cold air through the duct system.
- Condenser: This is the hot outdoor coil, which releases all of the collected heat outside.
- Compressor: The compressor is a pump that moves heat transferring fluid called “refrigerant” between the evaporator and the condenser. The refrigerant is forced through serpentine tubing and fins in the coils by the pump.
- Serpentine Tubing: Both the evaporator and condenser coils are made up of serpentine tubing which is surrounded by aluminum fins. Serpentine tubing is usually made of copper.
- Liquid Refrigerant: Pulling heat out of an indoor air, the liquid refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, which in turn cools your home or office. During this process hot refrigerant gas is pumped outdoors where it enters the condenser. Here it converts back into a liquid and exhausting the heat to the outside air which flows over the condenser’s aluminum tubing and fins by the fan.
Even though most air conditioners work in the same way, the efficiency of units can vary dramatically. Switching to a new high-efficiency air conditioning system to cool your home or business can reduce the amount of energy consumed by 20% to 50%.