How air conditioners work

For those who live in warm climates or in areas that have warm summers, life without air conditioning is just about unthinkable in this day and age. Like so many of the machines we use in our daily lives, most people don’t know how air conditioners work. That’s what this article is all about.

How do these machines keep us cool and comfortable during warm weather? It seems like magic but actually it’s a relatively simple process, broken down as follows. Air conditioners were, and still are, designed and created to cool the air in a confined space such as a home, a building or a motor vehicle. Air conditioners need to draw air from the outside so they need to have access to a window, vent or some other way of making contact with the outside world. When we look at the Frigidaire FRA065AT7, all we know is that it is providing us with lovely and refreshing cool air. It’s doing this by taking air from the outdoor atmosphere and literally ‘conditioning’ it to be cool. Even when the air outside is warm, the appliance cools the air to make our homes so much more comfortable.

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What does this? The most important factor in air conditioning units is a substance called freon. This is a powerful refrigerant. Freon is a cold gas and when the air conditioner is switched on, it is filtered into an equally important part of the unit, the compressor. This compressor creates a huge amount of pressure, which in turn heats the freon. The freon then continues along its journey through the condenser coils which are located outside the main body of the unit. In doing so it gives off heat which rises and the freon itself has now become liquid in form.

Now it can drip into the evaporator. Now we have a transformation again and the freon returns to its gaseous state and meets the hot air, cooling it. The freon continues on it’s circular journey and the cycle starts all over again. At the same time, fans within the air conditioning unit force the cool air into our home.

Today, air conditioners are regulated by thermostats which can cut off the unit once the desired temperature is reached and fires up the appliance again should the air temperature rise. This feature helps to keep the running costs low and the unit more efficient. Today, most units have timers so that we can set our appliances to switch themselves on just before we get home from work. We can enjoy the luxury after a day’s work of walking into a home that’s already the perfect, comfortable temperature.

Air conditioners can be extremely complex and modern units can have many advanced features but nevertheless, they all follow the basic principles outlined above. Thanks to this, our lives during the warmer months are far more pleasant, relaxed and cool than they used to be in the days before this wonderful invention was created.


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