How Your Central Air Conditioning System Works

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Commercial Central Air Conditioning Units

Outdoor air conditioning unit for a small office building.

You enjoy its service every day, but you may ask yourself how your air conditioning system works. Educating yourself on how the central air conditioning system works will help you when service or repairs are necessary.

Air Conditioning System Basics

Most central air conditioning systems in our area are split systems. They have an outdoor unit with a condenser coil and compressor and an indoor evaporator coil, installed in the attic, usually with the HVAC Systemfurnace. The general principle behind how your air conditioning system works is that heat moves from a warmer surface to a cooler surface. The air conditioning system works by transferring the heat from the air in your home to the refrigerant in your system.

How the Air Conditioning System Works

Your central air conditioning system works by moving the warm air from your home over the evaporator coil inside. The heat from the air transfers to the refrigerant inside the evaporator coil, which changes the liquid to a gas. The gas refrigerant is pumped back to the compressor outside your home. The compressor applies pressure that raises the temperature of the refrigerant to make it a high pressure gas. The pressure forces the gas to the outdoor coil that releases the heat from the refrigerant. This allows the refrigerant to return to a liquid state. The liquid refrigerant then returns to the indoor evaporator coil.

How You Get Cooler Air

When the warm air from your home blows over the evaporator coil, the heat is transferred to the coolant. The temperature of the air is thus reduced. The cooler air is then routed back into your home through the ducts.

Knowing how your air conditioning system works can help save you some headaches. While we still recommend hiring a licensed technician for major repairs, it will help you to understand what requires repairs and how it affects your system.


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