How Does Air Conditioning Work? The Science Behind AC





Whether you need to cool your home or a business, air conditioning systems can make life more comfortable by lowering the temperature of indoor air. An air conditioner uses refrigeration to remove heat from the air inside your home and then pump it outside. But how exactly does that work? In this article, we'll explain the science behind how central air works so you can understand what's happening when you turn on that AC switch in summer.


What is central air?

Central air is a type of air conditioning system that cools the entire house. It's typically more efficient than window units because it can control humidity, air quality, and airflow within your home.

The main parts of a typical central air conditioning system are

1) an outdoor unit that houses a fan, condenser coil, and compressor.

2) an indoor unit (typically a furnace or fan coil) that houses the evaporator coil and fan to circulate the cooled air.

3) copper tubing that allows the refrigerant to flow between the indoor and outdoor units, copper tubing that allows the refrigerant to flow between the indoor and outdoor units. 4) an expansion valve that controls the flow of refrigerant into the ducts that carries air from the indoor unit outside to the different living spaces and back inside.

  • A compressor that compresses refrigerant gas into liquid form
  • A condenser coil where this liquid evaporates back into gas
  • An evaporator coil where another type of chemical (water) absorbs heat from inside your home before being released into the atmosphere outside via vents near doors or windows


The process of air conditioning is simple.

The science behind it is complex.

Air conditioners come in various shapes and sizes, but they all operate on the same basic premise: They use refrigerant to remove heat from your home or office and then move that cold air into your building through ducts. When you turn on your AC unit, it cycles through this process over and over again until everything inside gets cooled down as much as possible.

Now that you have a fundamental idea of how air conditioners work, let's go deeper and discuss the full process.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Saver 101 Infographic

Warm indoor air is cooled as it passes through a refrigerant-filled, cold cooling coil. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it transforms from liquid to gas. The cooled air is returned to the house.

Before entering the outside unit's big coil, the refrigerant gas is compressed. A big fan pulls outside air through the exterior coil, rejecting the heat that was absorbed from the house, causing heat to be expelled outside as the refrigerant transforms back into a liquid.


Types of air conditioners

  • Split wall-mounted AC: Split system air conditioners, also known as wall-mounted air conditioners, are made up of an indoor and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit is typically put on the ground or up against a wall, while the indoor unit is mounted on the wall. The plumbing that connects the two units is fed through the wall.
  • Ductless air conditioner: A ductless HVAC system, often known as a mini-split, is a heating and cooling system created to provide hot or cold air to one or more rooms without the use of connecting ductwork. For rooms that need to be heated or cooled, sunrooms, garages, and other parts of the house, mini split systems are a terrific solution.
  • Portable air conditioner: A portable air conditioner (PAC) is a self-contained, lightweight machine great for chilling in solitary spaces. They normally have an installation kit and are designed to be quickly set up on the floor. They are a good alternative to window units because the majority of versions have wheels so you can transfer them to different rooms.
  • Window air conditioner: Window AC units are small air conditioners that can be installed in the frame of a window. The system operates by forcing cold air into space while sucking hot air out of it. While the fan is within your home, the component of the appliance that releases hot air is outside.


If you're looking for an efficient and cost-effective air conditioning solution, consider the TCL FreshIN Series AC. These series provide superior cooling performance while saving energy. These ACs feature advanced technologies such as ventilation, Wi-Fi connectivity, smart temperature control, and air purifying filters that ensure clean and healthy air in your home or office. With TCL FreshIN Series AC, you can enjoy cool and comfortable indoor air without worrying about your energy bills.



We hope that this article has helped you understand the basics of how air conditioning works. It's a complex process that involves many different components working together in order to keep your home cool. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us! We would love to hear from you and help with any concerns or questions regarding your system.

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