The Science Behind How Air Conditioners Work

Air conditioners are probably one of the greatest inventions on earth. They make our surroundings cooler, and our work and home environments more comfortable. It is certainly worth knowing how air conditioners work.

Air conditioners utilize chemicals called refrigerants which quickly convert gas to liquid at low temperatures. These compounds continuously evaporate and condense within the coils of the unit. The refrigerants, along with the fans, ducts, and vents in the system, move and transfer air from the inside to the outside.

Basically, a conventional air conditioner is equipped with these main parts: a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. The set-up and processes involved are essentially the same and may differ slightly because of the different air conditioning variations. The first step involves the chemical compounds which reaches the compressor as a low-pressure, cool gas. As its name suggests, the compressor, which is a large electric pump, compresses the gas. This exerts pressure on the gas and as a consequence, the molecules are packed closer together, resulting in high energy and temperature.

This high pressure, hot gas then makes its way into the condenser which facilitates the transfer of heat and changes the gas to cool liquid. The liquid flows into the evaporator. The evaporator acts as the receptacle or container of the liquid refrigerant and transforms the liquid into gas. It is at this stage when heat is extracted from the surrounding air and cool gas is produced.

Air conditioners have fans that circulate and blow air from the inside to the outside. Cold air is denser than hot air; thus, hot air rises and cold air sinks. To address this, the machines also have vents to draw the air down into ducts, continuously removing the hot air and keeping the air cool. The entire process is repeated all over again until such time the room is at the preferred temperature.

This modern day machinery is indeed a result of the brilliant exploitation of the wonders of science — a combination of physical law and chemistry. For air conditioning and heating needs, do not hesitate to give us a call.