• Home & Living

How Air Conditioners Work



The fluid that collects at the evaporator and releases it at the condenser is called refrigerant. Apump, called the compressor, forces the refrigerant through the circuit of tubing and fins in the coils. Air moves through the tiny spaces between the fins and is cooled by the refrigerant in the coils.

employ the same operating principles and basic components as your home . An air conditioner cools your home with a cold indoor coil called the evaporator. The condenser, a hot outdoor coil, releases the collected heat outside. The evaporator and condenser coils are serpentine tubing surrounded by aluminum fins. This tubing is usually made of copper. A pump, called the compressor, moves a heat transfer fluid (or refrigerant) between the evaporator and the condenser. The pump forces the refrigerant through the circuit of tubing and fins in the coils. The liquid refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, pulling heat out of indoor air and thereby the home. The hot refrigerant gas is pumped outdoors into the condenser where it reverts back to a liquid giving up its heat to the air flowing over the condenser’s metal tubing and fins.

air conditioner working