How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

Most people think an A/C system blows in cold air to cool down a home. Let’s examine the A/C process.

A good analogy is to think of how an air cleaner works; taking air from within your home, removing particulates and recirculating that air, minus dust and particles. In much the same way, your A/C system processes the air within your home. The cool air you feel through your registers is your home’s air, minus the heat and humidity.

The A/C unit consists of 3 main components:

  • Compressor — The heart of the system, which circulates the refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser.
  • Condenser — The outside unit which has the compressor and fan motor that dissipates heat from the house.
  • Evaporator — Coil that sits on top of the furnace and transfers the heat to the condenser. It also removes the humidity from your home.

The furnace blower pulls the hat via the return ducts across the coil. The heat is then transferred to the condenser and humidity runs off as water. The air is then blown back through the supply ducts, minus the heat and humidity, and begins to cool the house. This process is continued until the thermostat is satisfied and your home reaches its desired temperature.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work