How Air Conditioning Works

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How Air Conditioning Works Written by Airway Group Team

Airway AC

Now that summer is truly upon us, more and more people will be reaching for their air conditioning controls. The thermal comfort in homes and businesses is not only refreshing but it can also improve work rates in offices and save the lives of those most at risk from the heat.

When we turn our air conditioning systems on however, we may never really give a thought to what is actually happening and how the cool air is created. Many might hear their system kicking into operation, or wonder exactly what the fan on the outside of their building does, but in this article we’ll be explaining just what process is occurring within your air conditioning unit and what the components are for.

The Process

The essential principle on which air conditioners work is that of evaporation – just as you might feel cool from the evaporation of a liquid on your skin, so the same reaction occurs inside your air conditioner. The liquid your air conditioner uses is called a refrigerant; this is a liquid which evaporates at a far lower temperature.

Inside your unit the refrigerant is evaporated at a low temperature, and this makes the coils inside your unit cold. A fan is then used to blow air across the cold coils – and in turn blow the cool air into your house. Once evaporated, the refrigerant is transformed into a gas. This gas can be reused by passing it through a compressor where it is squeezed back into its former state and passed back into the system as liquid refrigerant.

As a by-product of the compression stage, a great deal of heat is produced. This is why there is an external fan which blows out of your premises. The fan keeps the compressor cool and allows the system to continue functioning safely.

The Components

There are several key components all air conditioners have, regardless of how they are set up and regardless of what kind of building or room they are cooling.

  • The evaporator – this part of the unit takes in the liquid refrigerant
  • The expansion valve – this is where the amount of refrigerant let into the system is controlled
  • The condenser – in this component, the transferal of heat occurs
  • The compressor – this is a pump that turns gas refrigerant back to liquid

Other key features of your air conditioner include the outside fan, the blower, your controls and the pipework that conveys cool air over long distances in some buildings. There are other variations on the air conditioner, but this is the most common type and is more likely to be found in homes and offices than any other.

Here at Airway Air Conditioning, we provide a variety of air conditioning services, with everything from installation to maintenance available. Simply contact us today if you’d like to learn more about how air conditioning can benefit you or how you can better improve the optimal functionality of your unit.