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Getting to Know Your Air Conditioning System: Part 2: How Your AC Works

Getting to Know Your Air Conditioning System: Part 2: How Your AC Works

Have you ever really thought about the process behind how your central air conditioning unit works? There’s quite a bit of chemistry and physics involved, but it can be broken down pretty easily into a seemingly simple system:

When a liquid converts to a gas, it absorbs heat. Air conditioners use this law of physics to chill the air in your home by forcing special chemical compounds to repeatedly evaporate and condense in a closed system of coils. Refrigerants, the compounds involved in the process, have properties that allow them to change at relatively low temperatures.

Air conditioners have a system of ducts that are designed to funnel air to and from refrigerant-filled coils, as well as fans that movie warm air over the cold coils.

When the warm air flows over the cold coils, the refrigerants inside the coils absorbs the heat during it's chemical process of changes states from liquid to gas. The air conditioner then converts the refrigerants gas back into a liquid by putting the gas under high pressure. This process creates unwanted heat, which is then sent outdoors by a the condenser coils and fan.

The process is an endless cycle of converting refrigerant from liquid to gas and then back to liquid again.

Problems with your AC unit occur when something in this system fails or doesn’t do its job properly. If you are having any problems with your air conditioning, please let us know.