How Your AC Unit Works

What Makes Up An Air Conditioner?

Learn the Air Conditioner basics with Mason Mechanical's expert technicians.

The main components to your air conditioner are below and some of them are directly on the AC Unit and others are indoors to help control the debris and temperature.

Condenser

The condenser is the outside metal unit and where the gas from the compressor is condensed into a liquid. The gas entering the condenser is very hot. The temperature is then lowered, so the gas can convert back to a liquid.

Compressor

The compressor is inside the condenser. It circulates the pressurized refrigerant, to concentrate the heat, and changes the low pressure gas to high pressure.

Evaporator

The evaporator is the part of the system inside the home. In simple language, it absorbs the heat from your home.

Expansion Valve

The expansion valve controls the amount of refrigerant in your system. It regulates the amount of compressed liquid refrigerant moving into the Evaporator.

Fan and Air Handling Unit

A fan on the outdoor component releases hot air via the condensing coil, while the indoor fan expels cool air into your home.

Filters

A filter found in the indoor half of the AC performs the critical role of keeping dust and debris from entering the building in order to ensure high indoor air quality.

Thermostat

A thermostat allows you to adjust the air conditioning unit to your desired temperature. Whether it’s hot or cold!

How Does It All Work?

The air conditioner in a central cooling system provides cool air through ductwork inside your house by providing a process that draws out the warm air inside, removing its heat. This is always needed, especially with the hot Arizona summers.

The compressor then condenses and circulates the refrigerant through the outdoor unit, changing it from a gas to a liquid. The liquid is then forced through the indoor evaporator coil or cooling compartment of the unit. Those are some of the components mentioned above. The indoor fan within your unit circulates the air to pass across the evaporator fins.

The metal fins on the evaporator inside your home also help exchange thermal energy with the surrounding air. From there, the refrigerant turns from liquid into vapor, removing any heat. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled and sent back into the house to keep the whole family cool.

When the refrigerant leaves the evaporator, it is once again a low-pressure, chilled gas. The process starts all over when it goes back to the compressor. There is a fan that’s connected to the evaporator, and it circulates air around the inside of the property and across the fins of the evaporator.

The air conditioner sucks air into the ducts through a vent. This air is used to cool gas in the evaporator, and as the heat is removed from the air, it’s cooled. The ducts throughout your home then blow air back into the house.

This process continues until the inside air of your home reaches the desired temperature. When the thermostat senses that the interior temperature is at the desired level, it then shuts the air conditioner off.

Do you have more questions about how your air conditioner works? Mason Mechanical is here to answer your questions – Ask A Tech now! Looking at having your air conditioner replaced or need just a repair? Call us today at (602) 680-5086.