Air ConditioningHow Does Air Conditioning Work?

Have you ever wondered how air conditioning works? How does it keep your home or business so cool in the summer? Most people think their air conditioner “creates” cold air, but that’s actually not the case.

Instead, air conditioning works by removing the unwanted heat inside your house and moving it outside. It then replaces the air inside your home with cooler air. Your refrigerator is quite similar, but it works on a smaller scale.

Here is a visual look at how an Air Conditioner works:

how air conditioning works graphic

IMAGE SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Saver 101 Infographic

The 7 Phases Of How An Air Conditioner Works:

  1. The evaporator (A) contains cooling coils that remove unwanted heat and humidity from the air using refrigerant.
  2. The blower (B) then circulates air over the evaporator, dispersing the chilled air. 
  3. The condenser (C) contains hot coils that then release the collected unwanted heat outside.
  4. The compressor (D) then starts to move the refrigerant between the evaporator (A) and the condenser (C). 
  5. The fan (E) then blows the air over the condenser to dissipate the heat outside. 
  6. The air conditioners filter (F) removes particles from the air. 
  7. The air conditioner’s thermostat (G) controls the amount of cool air that is dispersed throughout the room(s). 

In short, air conditioning works by two actions that happen at once. One occurs inside the home and the other outside. Both work together to keep your home nice and cool!

Types of Systems:

air conditioning unit on brown wall in home

If you’re wondering how air conditioning works, you should be familiar with how the types of systems work. The type of system that will work best for you depends on your geographical location, the size and physical characteristics of your home, and the way you use it.

Split Systems

A split system is the most common type of HVAC system. The indoor unit is the heat source, while the air conditioning unit resides outdoors and supports the cooling needs of the home. This type of system consistently and reliably cools and heats the entire home. It also maintains indoor air quality due to the filters inside the furnace.

Hybrid Systems

A hybrid system consisting of a heat pump provides both heating and cooling, but with greater efficiency. It’s normally used with either a gas furnace or an electric air handler. A heat pump works just like an air conditioner to cool the air.

The difference is that a heat pump has a reversing valve, which allows it to absorb heat from outside, even when it’s cold outside. It then sends the heat indoors to help heat up the home. On cold days, the gas furnace becomes the main heat source. Hybrid systems are an energy and fuel-saving solution that are perfect for any size of home.

Ductless Systems

Ductless systems provide cooling or heating to specific areas of your home. The installation is less invasive and often less expensive since these systems don’t rely on ductwork to move air around. Ductless systems have an outdoor unit that’s connected via a small hole to a compact wall-mounted unit indoors. Each indoor unit is made to provide warm or cool air solely for the room it’s installed in. The unit can be installed on a wall, ceiling, or floor. Learn more about our ductless system installations!

The best way to figure out the right comfort system for your home is through an evaluation of your home’s heating and cooling needs by a trained HVAC professional. Your Sullivan Consultant will evaluate your home and help you decide which type of system is right for you.

We are the heating & air conditioning experts for Bremerton and the surrounding areas. We are here to provide our customers with the best service, quality repairs, and professional installations. Click here to contact us or call (360) 405-0723 to speak with one of our HVAC representatives right away!


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