How Does My Central Air Conditioner Work?

When most people think about air conditioning, they think cold. However, the actual science behind air conditions is focused on the transfer of heat. Essentially, the hot air in your home is removed, leaving a cooler environment. This same science is what makes your refrigerator cold, and why heat pours out of the metal fins at the back of the machine. Let’s chat about how your central air conditioner works.

How Does My Central Air Conditioner Work?

It all comes down to one fundamental law a physics that we all likely learned in high school: the conservation of energy. This law states the energy cannot be created or destroyed. So, you can never truly eliminate energy, like heat energy. The only options you have is to either change it from one form of energy to another or remove it. This is why heat comes from the back of your refrigerator. Any heat that is trapped inside is moved to the outside. Are you with us so far?

Your central air conditioner is primarily two units, one inside and one outside. The indoor unit includes a coil box and refrigerant. Your home’s air will flow through this unit and the refrigerant absorbs the heat, converting from a liquid to a gas much like water on your stove becomes steam when it is heated. The process absorbs the heat inside your house, leaving the cool air. The refrigerant is then moved to the outside unit, where it passes through a condenser and a large fan dispenses the heat outdoors. The refrigerant then returns to its liquid state and the process begins again.

Do you still have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how your central air conditioner works, or a related topic, please contact us.

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