How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

 Central Air Conditioner Facts

  • Most central air conditioning systems are called split systems.
  • They require three main pieces of equipment in order to work  1)  The outdoor condenser unit, 2) the indoor evaporator coil, and 3) the blower motor in the furnace.
  • The outdoor air conditioning unit, contains the compressor, the condensing coils, and the outdoor condenser fan motor.
  • The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor coil, or evaporator coil, which is usually installed on top of the furnace in the attic, basement, garage, or utility closet inside the home.
  • The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor coil by a copper refrigerant line.
  • Using electricity, the outdoor compressor pumps refrigerant (sometimes referred to as FREON, or PURON) through the system to gather heat from inside the home and remove it.
  • The law of science is “hot travels to cold”.
  • Since the refrigerant becomes very cold, as the warm air in the house is blown over the cold evaporator coil, the heat from the house transfers to the refrigerant, which flows to the outdoor condenser coils where the outdoor condenser fan blows over the condenser coils, and releases the heat outdoors.
  • The process starts over again, with the compressor compressing the refrigerant, causing it to become very cold.
  • As the cold refrigerant passes through the indoor evaporator coil, the furnace fan blows the warm air in the house over the evaporator coil, where the heat transfers to the refrigerant and then is released outdoors.
  • It sounds strange, but the furnace fan works in the summer and the winter.
  • The furnace fan, or blower, is what circulates the conditioned air throughout the house through pipes called ducts.
  • A Heat Pump can also provide air conditioning for your home.