Air conditioners work using a very simple scientific principle which is called phase conversion. According to this, when a liquid gets converted to a gas, the process absorbs heat from the air. In case of modern air conditioners, the chemical compounds used in the form of a liquid are called refrigerants. They are kept inside the evaporator coils, so that when the indoor air enters the circuit of the coil, the refrigerants are converted to a gaseous form, thereby absorbing the heat and cooling the indoor air.
There is also a fan used around the coils and the fan helps to blow the air over the refrigerant coils in an even manner, so that the cooling process can occur more efficiently. This is how it happens in separate units. In central air conditioners, the principle used is the same, only there a more sophisticated and intricate system is used. Central ACs, for example, use a whole complex of ducts which funnel the indoor air to and from the refrigerant coils.
How does air conditioning work: The other end of the process
This is only one part of the story, though. For the conditioners to go on working, the liquid that is converted into gas needs to be converted into liquid again, and this process is performed by the compressor that is included in the system. The compressor changes the gas into liquid by putting it under high pressure. The compressor is basically an electric pump which pressurizes the gas back into the liquid state. This liquid refrigerants are then channelled back into the coils through another major part called expansion valve. This regulates the flow of the liquid from condenser back to the evaporator.
So, you can see that this is a two-way process– one that keeps the indoor air cool by absorbing heat off it through the process of phase conversion. Then, phase transition converts the gas into liquid again, so that the cycle can repeat itself endlessly. However, during the compression of the gas, heat is generated which needs to be vented outdoors. This is performed by another fan and another set of coils called condenser coils. These cause the hotter air to move outdoors and thereby keep the cycle running.
Air conditioners have become almost an indispensable appliance at modern homes and offices. If you need any help with your air conditioner and heating systems, please feel free to call us today and we will answer promptly to your needs.