While we greatly appreciate our air conditioners during the summer months, it’s a bit of a head scratcher for most when they think about how the taupe box labeled ‘Napoleon’ outside their home manages to keep their indoor environment so cool? I was discussing this with a friend of mine as we were wandering through the different temperature zones in our own home (or should I say sauna). She thought it was magic and giant blocks of ice. I wasn’t so sure, so I did a little research and discovered it’s an incredible science. Read on to learn how an air conditioner works and the important parts that make it run.

The Core Of Your Unit


Think of an air conditioner the same as your car. There are a lot of moving and each one plays a very important role. This is why you should check up on your air conditioner regularly. Air conditioners have four main components that are all interconnected and work together as a system.

  1. Compressor – Takes the refrigerant gas and compresses it from a low pressure to a high pressure changing the temperature from cold to hot.

  2. Condenser – Pulls the outside air across the condenser coil, and expels the heat from the refrigerant gas in the compressor, lowering the temperature and causing it to condense.

  3. Metering Device – Comes before the evaporator coils and lowers the temperature of the now liquid refrigerant before going to the evaporator coils.

  4. Evaporator – The furnace pushes the warm air from the house across the evaporator transferring the heat from the air into the liquid refrigerant causing it to boil off and evaporate. This results in cool air that is then pushed through the house.

Air Conditioners Are Hot Stuff


Air conditioners actually pull heat from the air in your home, while releasing the cooled and filtered air through your ducts. Here’s a step by step guide of the cooling process:

  1. Hot air gets pulled into the unit – The fans pull the warm air from your home into the system to cool the air and re-circulate.

  2. Refrigerant blasts the air – The refrigerant gas flows through your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. Its job is to absorb heat and convert the liquid from the heat into a gas through evaporation.

  3. Away with the hot air – Condenser coils absorb the excess heat, which is taken and blown back outside by the fan in the unit.

  4. Cool down – The condensed refrigerant has gone from a gas to a liquid and is now in the TXV changing the refrigerant from a high pressure (HOT) gas to a low-pressure gas, but it’s still hot at this point.

  5. Keep on chilling – At this point, the liquid will turn back into evaporated gas through the evaporator where the hot air in your home will pass over the coils and evaporates the liquid cooling the air that is going into your home.

  6. So Refreshing! – The air is ready to flow into your loving arms. It travels through ductwork via the fans on your furnace. The air is dispersed from the various vents in your home. You are now cool and comfortable, in air-conditioned bliss.

Now that you’ve read about the cooling process, you can see why it’s so important to check up on your unit regularly. Just like our car analogy, if you keep up with the maintenance, your air conditioner will run smooth. There will be no sticky jungle heat in your house.

Further Recommendations: Change the furnace filter

The best thing you can do to keep your air cool and comfy is to check your furnace filter once per month. Especially if it’s been a hot summer and your air is on quite often. Pet hair, dust, hair, and pathogens are filtered from your home and into the air conditioner, and may eventually re-distribute into your living space. A smooth running air conditioner will save you some money and run at peak efficiency. Remember to have a maintenance service performed at least once every year. To find the right air cooling unit for your lifestyle click here. Or check out these helpful tips on purifying the air in your home.

Happy Chilling!!

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