How Do Air Conditioners Work | How Does AC Work

How Do Air Conditioners Work | How Does AC Work
8 min read

Air conditioners have become a vital part of our lives, giving comfort and respite during hot summer days. Have you ever wondered how these gadgets work? 

In this essay, we will study the inner workings of air conditioners and discover the secret behind their cooling abilities.

Understanding The Basics Of Air Conditioners

What Are Air Conditioners?

An air conditioner is a device that controls the temperature, humidity, and ventilation in an enclosed environment. It works by extracting heat from the inside air and transferring it to the external environment, therefore cooling the indoor area.

Components Of An Air Conditioners

Air conditioners consist of numerous components that work together to provide their cooling function. The key sections include:


It compresses the refrigerant gas, increasing its temperature and pressure.

The Refrigeration Cycle

Air conditioners function based on the principles of the refrigeration cycle, which comprises four key stages: evaporation, compression, condensation, and expansion.


The refrigerant, a unique chemical molecule, evaporates at a low temperature, collecting heat from the interior air in the process. This cools down the air and causes the refrigerant to convert from a liquid to a gas.


The compressor plays a significant part in the refrigeration cycle. It compresses the refrigerant gas, elevating its temperature and pressure. As a consequence, the refrigerant gets highly compressed and superheated.


Next, the refrigerant flows to the condenser, where it transfers heat to the external environment. 

The high-temperature refrigerant gas condenses into a liquid condition when it transmits heat to the surrounding air or a nearby water source.


Once the refrigerant has been condensed, it travels through the expansion valve. The valve decreases the pressure of the refrigerant, enabling it to expand and cool down fast. This prepares the refrigerant for the evaporation step, resuming the cycle.

The Role Of Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a vital ingredient in air conditioning systems. It acts as a medium for transmitting heat from one area to another. Commonly utilised refrigerants include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). 

These compounds have low boiling points, allowing them to shift states readily throughout the refrigeration cycle.

The Air Conditioners Functions

Absorbing Heat From Indoor Air

As the air conditioners function, the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the inside air, thereby chilling it down. 

The heated air from the room travels over the cool evaporator coil, allowing the refrigerant within to evaporate and absorb heat. The cooled air is then cycled back into the space, decreasing the total temperature.

Releasing Heat To The External Environment

Simultaneously, the condenser coil transfers the heat received from the inside air to the outside environment. 

The refrigerant, now in a high-pressure, high-temperature condition, transmits its heat energy to the surrounding air or a water supply, therefore cooling down and reverting to its liquid form.

Controlling The Temperature And Humidity

Thermostat And Temperature Control

Air conditioners are integrated with thermostats that enable customers to select their preferred temperature. 

Once the interior temperature reaches the desired level, the thermostat tells the system to halt its cooling cycle until the temperature rises again. This guarantees that the room stays at a suitable temperature.


In addition to chilling the air, AC also aids in managing humidity levels. When heated air travels over the evaporator coil, the moisture in the air condenses on the coil's surface, lowering the humidity in the room. 

This dehumidification method promotes comfort and eliminates excessive moisture-related difficulties, such as mould development.

Air Conditioners Efficiency

SEER Rating

The energy efficiency of air conditioners is assessed using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The SEER rating represents the cooling output of the system divided by the energy 

it is used during a normal cooling season. Higher SEER ratings suggest more energy efficiency, resulting in cheaper energy expenses.

Energy-Saving Features

Modern air conditioners frequently integrate energy-saving technologies to enhance efficiency. 

These features include programmable thermostats, variable-speed compressors, and sophisticated fan motors. 

By employing these technologies, air conditioners may work more intelligently and decrease energy loss.

Common Types of Air Conditioners

Central Air Conditioning Systems

Central air conditioning systems are meant to cool large buildings or residences. They consist of a central unit linked to a network of air ducts that circulate the cooled air throughout the building. 

Central air conditioning is often employed in bigger residential residences and business enterprises.

Window Air Conditioners

Window AC are self-contained devices that are put in a window or a specifically built wall opening. They are perfect for cooling individual rooms or small areas. 

Window air conditioners are very economical and quick to install, making them a popular option for flats and small homes.

Split Air Conditioners

Split AC consists of two basic components: an inside unit and an outside unit. The indoor unit is put within the room, while the outdoor unit is positioned outside the building. 

Split air conditioners provide versatility in terms of installation and are extensively utilised in household and commercial settings.

Maintenance And Care

To guarantee the best performance and durability of your air conditioners, frequent maintenance and upkeep are important.

Regular Cleaning And Filter Replacement

Clean the AC filters periodically to eliminate dust, dirt, and allergies. Clogged filters may impede airflow and diminish performance. Additionally, plan frequent cleaning of the evaporator and condenser coils to avoid the development of dirt and grime, which may hamper the cooling process.

Professional Servicing

Consider arranging expert service of your air conditioners at least once a year. Trained professionals may examine and clean internal components, check refrigerant levels, and detect any possible concerns. 

Regular service may enhance performance, reduce malfunctions, and lengthen the lifetime of the machine.

Benefits Of Air Conditioning

Air conditioning has various advantages beyond merely cooling the air.

Comfortable Indoor Environment

Air conditioning promotes a pleasant interior atmosphere, particularly during hot and humid weather. It helps maintain a steady temperature and decreases the discomfort associated with excessive heat.

Improved Air Quality

Air conditioners filter the air, eliminating dust, pollen, and other airborne particles. This improves indoor air quality and may be especially useful for persons with allergies or respiratory issues.

Protection Of Electronic Devices

Excessive heat and humidity may harm electrical items, such as computers and household appliances. Air conditioning helps manage the temperature and humidity, saving these equipment from possible injury.


AC serves a critical part in keeping us cool and comfortable throughout the warm summer months. 

Understanding how air conditioners function may help us understand their value and make educated choices when it comes to selecting, utilising, and repairing these equipment.


Is it vital to clean air conditioners filters regularly?

Yes, frequent cleaning of air conditioners filters are necessary to ensure maximum performance and avoid airflow constraints.

How frequently should I schedule expert service for my air conditioners?

It is essential to arrange expert service at least once a year to preserve the effectiveness and durability of your air conditioners.

What is the relevance of SEER rating in air conditioners?

SEER rating reflects the energy efficiency of an air conditioner. Higher SEER ratings mean higher energy savings and reduced operational expenses.

Can air conditioners enhance indoor air quality?

Yes, air conditioners assist filter the air, eliminating airborne particles and improving indoor air quality.

Are there energy-saving measures available in air conditioners?

Yes, new air conditioners frequently contain energy-saving technologies such as programmable thermostats and variable-speed compressors to enhance efficiency and minimise energy use.


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