How Your Air Conditioning Works

How Air Conditioning Works

Although we all rely on our air conditioners to keep us cool and comfortable during the long, hot summers, most homeowners have no idea how they work. We thought we’d take some time to briefly break down how your air conditioning works so that you have the knowledge to notice if it’s not functioning as it should be.

The Basics
In order to understand how your air conditioning works, it’s important to realize that it’s all about evaporation. In case you need a refresher, evaporation occurs when a liquid is heated until it turns into a gas. The gas can be returned to its liquid state if it is cooled significantly or compressed until it releases the heat. Your air conditioner takes advantage of both of these processes and works by enlisting the help of evaporation inside your home and compression outside of your home. As such, your cooling system requires two components to make this work.

Odds are you’re aware of the outdoor portion of your air conditioner, but there is an indoor component known as an evaporator that works in conjunction with the outdoor unit to cool the air inside your home. The evaporator is located near your furnace and uses coils filled with refrigerant to cool the warm air as it passes over them. The refrigerant changes into a gas as it absorbs the heat from the air. The cool air that results from this process is then distributed throughout your home with the help of the blower fan and your ductwork.

At this point, you might be wondering what the point of your outdoor air conditioning unit is if the evaporator is what works to cool the warm air inside your home. Well, the refrigerant that turns into gas as the heat exchange takes place needs to get compressed into a liquid again. That’s where the outdoor portion of your air conditioning system, which includes a compressor, condenser coil, and fan, comes into play and compresses the refrigerant back into a liquid. As the gas is cooled, the heat removed from the air inside your home is then exhausted outside. Once the refrigerant has returned to its original liquid state, it flows back towards the evaporator to start the process all over again.

It’s important to understand the basic functions of your air conditioning system, but just remember that there are a lot of different moving parts and mechanisms that work together to make this happen. Luckily a licensed technician will have extensive knowledge of those parts and how to repair them if an issue ever arises.

Want to learn more about how your air conditioning works? Contact Team Harding!

Team Harding has been proudly serving Ottawa’s HVAC needs since 1994. Our team of licensed technicians strives to provide our clients with reliable service and equipment.

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