Working of an air conditioner

Working of an Air Conditioner

Before leading in to working of air conditioners, Let us know what is air conditioning and construction of an air conditioner

What is Air Conditioning ?

Air-conditioning is the process of control of temperature, humidity, purity, and motion of air in an enclosed space, independent of outside air conditions.

Parts of an air conditioner

Condenser Coil:

The condenser coil, located in the outer half of AC in a split system, This removes heat from the refrigerant by absorbing it and converting it into a liquid state.


This cooling liquid is moved throughout the system by the compressor found in the outer half of the air conditioning unit.

Types of Refrigerants

The most common refrigerants used for air conditioning over the years include:

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs):including R12. This is known to contribute to the greenhouse gas effect. Production of new stocks ceased in 1994.
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs): including R22. Slightly less damaging to the ozone than R12, but the EPA has still mandated a phase out as a result of the Clean Air Act of 2010. R22 will phase out completely by 2020.
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs): including R410A and R134. With no chlorine in the mix, this is safer for the environment and is now being used in place of R22. Air conditioners that run on R410A are more efficient, offer better air quality, increase comfort and improve reliability (Source)


By name, a compressor converts a low pressure fluid into high pressure fluid.

Evaporating Coil:

This liquid moves from the condensing coil to the evaporating coil found in the indoor half of the AC. Pressure decreases in the evaporating coil in order to convert the liquid back into a cooled gas. Heat from inside of your home is absorbed by the evaporating coil and sent to the condenser for the cooling process to take place again.
Fan and Air Handling Unit: A fan on the outdoor component releases hot air via the condensing coil, while the indoor fan expels cool air into your home.


A filter found in the indoor half of the AC performs the critical role of keeping dust and debris from entering the building in order to ensure high indoor air quality.


A thermostat is present for you to adjust the air conditioning unit to your desired temperature.

Also read : Difference between Hollow shaft and Solid shaft

Working principle of air conditioner

  • An air conditioner continuously sucks the air from an enclosed space to be cooled and cools it by the refrigeration theories. Then send back the conditioned air into the space to be cooled.
  • The compressor will compress the low pressure refrigerant gas in to high pressure refrigerant. Then the compressed gas is passed in to the condensor coil.
  • The condenser coil is a series of piping with a fan that draws outside air across the coil. As the refrigerant passes
  • through the condenser coil and the cooler outside air passes across the coil, the air absorbs heat from the refrigerant, which causes the refrigerant to condense from a gas to a liquid state. The high-pressure, high-temperature liquid then reaches the expansion valve.
  • The expansion valve is also called as a Capillary tube. By sensing the temperature of the evaporator, or cooling coil, it allows liquid to pass through a very small opening, which causes the refrigerant to expand to a low-pressure, low- emperature gas. This “cold”refrigerant flows to the evaporator.
  • The evaporator coil is a series of piping connected to a furnace or air handler that blows indoor air across it, causing the coil to absorb heat from the air. The cooled air is then delivered to the house through ducting.
  • The refrigerant then flows back to the compressor where the cycle starts over again.

Also Read : Difference Between Motor and Generator

How an air conditioner works animation

How does an Air Conditioner work Animation

Image Credit – Airconco

What are the types of Air Conditioning Systems ?

  • Window
  • Split
  • Centralized

What are the classification of air conditioning systems ?

According to the arrangement of the equipment

  • Window
  • Split
  • centralized

According to purpose

  • Comfort air conditioning system
  • Industrial air conditioning system

According to season

  • Summer air conditioning system
  • Winter air conditioning system

Also read : How does a generator work ?

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