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How Do Air Conditioners Work? Our Experts Explain

We use our air conditioners every summer, but how much do we really know about them? If you’ve ever wondered how an air conditioning system actually works, you’ve come to the right place.

The home cooling experts at Patterson Heating & Cooling break down the key parts of an air conditioner, what they do, and how they all work together to keep your home cool.

First, some background information. According to the laws of thermodynamics, when a liquid converts into a gas, it absorbs heat. This is important to know, because air conditioners use a special type of refrigerant in order to take full advantage of this law.

heat pump works by extracting energy stored in the ground or water and converts this in a building’s heating system. Heat pumps work on the same principles as a fridge, cooling System, or air conditioning.

Now, onto the cycle that takes place inside of your A/C:

  • Refrigerant enters the compressor in a gas form, where it is squeezed. This forces the molecules closer together, raising the temperature.

  • The refrigerant leaves the compressor as a hot, high-pressure gas, where it then enters the condenser and is converted into a liquid. This is also the part of the air conditioner with the metals fins attached. This helps the refrigerant release its heat more efficiently.

  • The liquid passes through a very small hole into the evaporator, where the pressure drops and it is converted back into a gas. In doing so, it absorbs heat from the air around it.

  • The low pressure gas returns to the compressor, where the cycle starts all over again.

A fan is usually connected near the evaporator, which is used to circulate the cold air throughout your home and keep you cool. You can learn more about air conditioning at energyquest.ca.gov.

Patterson Heating & Cooling has proudly served Pueblo County, Colorado and the surrounding areas for more than 30 years. If you need your air conditioner repaired, replaced, or tuned up, contact us online or give us a call at (719) 544-4922.

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