“As air from the house moves across the evaporator, refrigerant within the coil picks up the temperature of the air,” said Hourahan. “The refrigerant is absorbing heat from the air and turns from a liquid to a vapor. It went from being a cold liquid to a hotter vapor, and at the same time, the air had heat removed from it, so the air went from being warmer to colder.”

The vaporized refrigerant then passes into the compressor, which is located outside in the air conditioning unit adjacent to a home (or often on the roof of a business), along with the condenser. As the name implies, the compressor compresses the gas to a state of higher pressure and higher temperature.

From there, the hot, pressurized gas flows over the third component, the condenser. Here, the gas is condensed back into its liquid state as heat is radiated away. Outdoor units often have metal fins on them to help dissipate the heat more quickly.

The cooled-off liquid is now returned into the home. The expansion device regulates the flow of liquid refrigerant into the evaporator, where just as before it will absorb heat and change phase from a liquid into a low-pressure gas.

Moisture trap

Removing heat is not all that an air conditioner does as it, ahem, conditions the air. Humidity — the amount of water vapor in the air — is a major factor in how our bodies feel the heat; a more humid environment prevents sweat from evaporating off the skin, which helps to whisk away unwanted bodily warmth. [7 Common Summer Health Woes]

So, in order to render the environment inside a home or business more comfortable, air conditioners also dehumidify so cheked here for more info o general ac

“As the air moves across the evaporator coil, the coil absorbs heat and also wrings out moisture,” said Hourahan. “The air now has a cooler temperature and is drier, so when it comes out of the registers [vents], it mixes with room air and makes the room more comfortable.”

All that water leached out of the air by air conditioners can pool in or drain out of the unit, especially on humid days.

The modern air conditioning unit came about with the goal of humidity control. In 1902, engineer Willis Carrier drew up a method to remove irksome humidity from the air at a printing company in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“The very first unit by Willis Carrier was not for temperature control, but for humidity control,” said Hourahan. “You got cooling as a byproduct.”

It would take about another six decades before air conditioners really became widespread in America. “In the ’30s and ’40s, they started going into homes — rich homes,” said Hourahan. “It wasn’t until the ’50s and ’60s that air conditioning started going into middle-class homes.”An air conditioner (AC) in a room or a car works by collecting hot air from a given space, processing it within itself with the help of a refrigerant and a bunch of coils and then releasing cool air into the same space where the hot air had originally been collected. This is essentially how air conditioners work.

Imagine that you’re outside in the sweltering heat of a particularly hot summer day, running some godforsaken errands that couldn’t be put off any longer. The heat is so unbearable that it feels like the hottest day on Earth since the dawn of civilization. However, there is one thing that keeps you going: the knowledge that you’ll be inside your air conditioned home in one hour.

Finally, that moment comes. You open the door and step inside your house. A gust of chilled air envelops every cell of your body and you instantly feel better.



I’m sure that all of you have had this experience at least once in your lives. The ‘cooling revolution’ that air conditioners brought to human society can never be discounted. Although previous generations had fans and other methods of keeping cool on hot days, they were never as amazingly effective as modern air conditioners in terms of sheer cooling capacity.

In this article, we’re going to talk about air conditioners and what they do – as well as how do they do it – which makes them almost a necessity in urban regions.

Parts of an air conditioner
Air conditioner installations mainly come in two types: window systems and split systems (these are further classified into mini-split and central systems). In everyday language, these are commonly referred to as window ACs and split ACs, respectively.

Window Ac Vs Split Ac
Photo Credit : ScienceABC

Regardless of the type of installation, all air conditioners consist of four major components that are listed below:

An evaporator is basically a heat exchanger coil that’s responsible for collecting heat from inside a room through a refrigerant gas. This component is known as the evaporator, and is where the liquid refrigerant absorbs heat and evaporates to become gas.

Split Air Conditioner
The indoor unit of a split air conditioner. It contains the evaporator coil (Photo Credit : Shutterstock)

Some of the most common refrigerant gases used in air conditioning systems include hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs (like, R-410A) hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs (like, R-22) and hydrocarbons (like R-290 and R-600A). It is this gas that actually absorbs the heat from the room and travels to the the next component for further processing, which is…

As the name clearly signifies, this is where compression of the gaseous refrigerant occurs. It’s located in the outside unit, i.e., the part that’s installed outside the house.


The condenser receives the vaporized refrigerant from the compressor, converts it back to liquid and expels the heat outside. Needless to say, it’s also located on the outside unit of the split AC.

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