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How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

If you ask most people “How does an air conditioner work?” they’ll say turn it on at the thermostat. That’s because these durable machines mostly function without requiring any effort from a homeowner. However, they do require maintenance to perform at peak efficiency and avoid breakdowns. An air conditioner works by moving air across lines filled with chemical refrigerant. Although the design is relatively simple, leaks, dirt, and mechanical failures will prevent cooling.

If you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware and have any questions about how your air conditioner works, give the experts at Oliver Heating & Cooling a call at 1-888-810-2681. We’re proud to say we’ve been providing the most trusted air conditioning repair and replacement services throughout the Delaware Valley for over 50 years.

Anatomy of a Central Air Conditioner How Does an Air Conditioner Work

These three components work together to cool your home throughout the summer:

  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Evaporator

Additionally, the blower motor mounted inside your ducts alongside the furnace moves air within your home. The blower fan draws warm air out of rooms and moves it over the evaporator. Refrigerant moving between the evaporator and condenser transfers interior heat outside. The fan then pushes cooled air through the ducts back into rooms. Finding the answer to the question “How does an air conditioner work?” relies on the efficient flow of refrigerant and heat exchange.

Collection and Release of Heat

As the main indoor component of an air conditioner, the evaporator transfers heat from the warm air to refrigerant. Many small metal fins surround the evaporator to aid in the process of thermal exchange. These fins require cleaning from time to time because they pick up dust and dirt moving through air ducts. A layer of dirt impedes the cooling process.

Refrigerant enters the evaporator lines after being cooled in the external condenser unit. Within the evaporator, the refrigerant fluid changes into a gas. To achieve this conversion, the evaporator absorbs heat energy from the warm household air passing through the duct. This effectively removes heat from the air so that cooler air moves out the vents. The process also strips moisture from the air which drains through a condensate tube.

At this point, the compressor increases pressure on the refrigerant as it enters the condenser. Located outside, the condenser includes a large fan and metal fins that aid the exchange of heat. The fan pulls air across the refrigerant lines and the air movement forces heat transfer into the external air. During this process, the refrigerant cools and turns back into a liquid. The liquid cycles back inside to enter the evaporator to collect heat energy again.

Your thermostat determines how long this process goes on. Once internal air reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat shuts off the air conditioner. It will restart once the inside of your home warms up again.

Oliver Offers the Most Trusted Air Conditioning Services

The A/C technicians at Oliver know everything about the inner workings of your air conditioner. We are trained to install, maintain, and repair any brand of air conditioner. Our HVAC installation team ensures high performance from the start. We can help recommend the correct size air conditioner for your home’s square footage. This prevents energy waste and unnecessary strain on the equipment. We know how to handle refrigerant safely and build well-sealed connections that won’t leak.

Annual inspections and maintenance preserve an air conditioner’s ability to function. Inspections also provide an opportunity to clean the evaporator coil and condenser. If your air conditioner does not cool your home like it used to, we can help. Contact Oliver with your air conditioner concerns today.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

Contact us today at 1-888-810-2681 Get a Free Estimate
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