Air Conditioner Basics

Air Conditioner Basics

Air conditioning is a part of the bigger field of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Its primary function is to alter the air properties usually by cooling.

The way an air conditioner works depends on its type. The most popular are window units and central air conditioners. Through-the-wall units and ductless mini-split systems also exist to help cool specific areas in your home without the need for ducts.


An air conditioner cools by extracting heat from household air, adding it to refrigerant, and then forcing the mixture into a cooler space. The blower fan draws warm household air into the evaporator coil, which is located in your indoor system’s air handler. The evaporator coil has coiled tubes that are usually made from copper or aluminum, both of which are excellent heat conductors. The coils are surrounded by thin metal fins that bring passing air closer to the coils so it can maximize the refrigerant’s cooling effect.

The liquid refrigerant that exits the expansion valve is very cold, allowing it to quickly absorb heat from the hot air being blown over the coil. This process is called evaporation, and it transforms the liquid refrigerant into invisible water vapor. The blower fan then forces the cooled refrigerant into your home’s supply ducts. The cooler air is then pumped around your house until it’s at the desired temperature.

The evaporator coil’s performance has a major impact on your air conditioning unit’s energy efficiency. Dirty or clogged coils can’t exchange heat effectively and will consume more power than they need to run. A routine cleaning and maintenance schedule will Air conditioner prevent dust, dirt, and debris from accumulating on the coil’s surface, allowing it to cool your home efficiently.


The condenser is an outdoor unit which contains copper tubes and aluminum fins to conduct latent heat from the cooling air that blows over it. The unit also includes a motorized fan and some grating to keep debris from falling inside. It is connected to the compressor and evaporator coil by tubing.

After the refrigerant absorbs heat in the evaporator coil, it leaves as a gas. It then enters the compressor, where it is compressed tightly together. This increases its temperature to the point that it is above its saturation (or boiling) temperature. The condenser removes this extra heat to lower its temperature and convert it back into a liquid.

This is an important step in your air conditioner’s operation because a liquid can only absorb so much heat before it has to return to the evaporator coil as a cold gas for more heating. This cycle continues until your house reaches the desired temperature.

If the condenser does not perform its function of Air conditioner manufacturer converting the gas into liquid, you will likely notice that your air conditioner is less effective. In addition, the condenser will require more energy to work, and you may see a noticeable increase in your electric bill. Fortunately, you can help your condenser operate at maximum efficiency by having it professionally inspected and maintained on a regular basis.


The compressor is the engine that powers your air conditioner. It transforms the cool, low-pressure liquid refrigerant into a hot, high-pressure gas. Without it, heat would just circulate through your system and back into your home, without changing the temperature.

The compressor works like a pump to move refrigerant between the evaporator coil and the condensing unit in the outdoor cabinet. It raises the temperature and pressure of the vapor refrigerant, or freon, so that it can absorb heat and humidity from your home and send it outside.

When a compressor fails, it can be expensive to repair or replace. If you’re out of warranty, you may need to buy a whole new cooling system. But you can keep your compressor running strong for years with regular maintenance.

When shopping for a new compressor, it’s important to choose a reliable brand with a good reputation for reliability and efficiency. You’ll also want to make sure the compressor is compatible with your system and your vehicle. The best brands to shop for include UAC, Delphi, and Four Seasons. They offer a wide range of options, including models compatible with both R134a and the newer R1234yf refrigerants. They also come with long warranties, which can give you peace of mind.


Fans move air around and can make you feel cooler by speeding up the evaporation of skin moisture. They can also help dehumidify a room or building by drawing out and draining excess water. The fan is the most basic type of fan and can be found in stand-alone units or built into many HVAC systems. Fans use electric motors to spin the blades and generate air flow. These motors are powered by AC, DC, or even solar power for some models. Most stand-alone fans are powered by shaded pole or direct current (DC) motors, and smaller industrial or household ones usually use brushed or brushless DC electric motors. Fan applications include climate control, personal thermal comfort, ventilation, fume extraction, winnowing (separating chaff from grains), cooling machinery and equipment, and other commercial and industrial processes.

Fans are most effective when used in combination with an air conditioner, but the two work in different ways to cool your home. A fan is able to carry cold air throughout your house faster than an AC can, and it will reduce your electricity costs by not running as frequently as an air conditioning system.

The fan setting on your thermostat controls the blower fan, which circulates hot or cold air until the desired temperature is reached. Keeping it on AUTO will ensure that the fan only runs when your system is in heating or cooling mode and that it shuts off once the thermostat has reached its set temperature. Running it on ON will allow the fan to run continuously, but this will increase your energy bills by requiring the AC to work harder to dehumidify your home.

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