How does an Air Conditioner work?


Tips 2021-06-11

Your favorite electronic equipment in summer- Air Conditioner

Ever wondered how it works?

When the air conditioner makes you feel cool and comfortable, it feels magical. But the science behind it is very simple. It's just an exchange of hot and cold air, also known as evaporation and condensation.

Before we get into the mechanics of how an air conditioner works, lets understand some of its important components:

- This is the heart of an air conditioner. Its job is to circulate the refrigerant necessary for heat exchange. It’s the pump that pressurises the refrigerant.

Condenser Coils - A Condenser coil collects the heat from within and releases it outside

: A condensor facilitates heat transfer

Evaporator Coils - The evaporator coil holds the chilled refrigerant that the compressor moves into it. As the air from the blower fan moves over the coil, the cold refrigerant removes the heat from your home's air.

Cooling Agent - These are also known as Freons. As the name suggests, a cooling agent helps create cool air. 

Expansion Valve: Regulates refrigerant flow into the evaporator


When a liquid converts to a gas , it absorbs heat. This process is phase conversion. 

Air conditioners exploit this feature of phase conversion by forcing special chemical compounds called refrigerants to evaporate and condense over and over again in a closed system of coils. Most ACs also contain fans that move warm interior air over these cold, refrigerant-filled coils.

When hot air flows over the coils, the refrigerant inside absorbs heat as it changes from a liquid to a gaseous state. To keep cooling efficiently, the air conditioner has to convert the refrigerant gas back to a liquid again. 

This is achieved via the compressor putting the gas under high pressure. This also creates extra heat that is then evacuated to the outdoors with the help of a second set of coils called condenser coils, and a second fan. As the gas cools, it changes back to a liquid, and the process starts all over again.

The major parts of an air conditioner manage refrigerants and move air in two directions: indoors and outdoors. 

The cold side of an air conditioner contains the evaporator and a fan that blows air over the chilled coils and into the room.

The hot side contains the compressor, condenser and another fan to vent hot air coming off the compressed refrigerant to the outdoors. 

In between the two sets of coils, there's an expansion valve. It regulates the amount of compressed liquid refrigerant moving into the evaporator. Once in the evaporator, the refrigerant experiences a pressure drop, expands and changes back into a gas. The compressor is actually a large electric pump that pressurizes the refrigerant gas as part of the process of turning it back into a liquid.  

Although this is a conventional setup for an air conditioner, there are a couple of variations you should know about.

Window air conditioners have all these components mounted into a relatively small metal box that installs into a window opening. The hot air vents from the back of the unit, while the condenser coils and a fan cool and re-circulate indoor air. A window air conditioner unit implements a complete air conditioner in a small space. The units are made small enough to fit into a standard window frame. You close the window down on the unit, plug it in and turn it on to get cool air. 

That is, in a window air conditioner- Compressor, motors and connecting pipes are placed on the same base.

In a split air conditioner, there are two units, Indoor and Outdoor.

If you are looking for smart split air conditioners, TCL has the best options for you. Do visit TCL.



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