We go from a simple rise in temperature to a sweltering combination of heat, humidity and suddenly find ourselves struggling to find relief. The easiest way to escape the heat is through our homes and businesses, which usually have excellent air conditioning. Although we are all eternally grateful for the work that air conditioners do for us, there are many misconceptions about how they cool our living spaces. We don't blame you, it's our job at Bannister Plumbing & Air to know the mechanics of your air conditioner and what it needs to run. But today we're going to take you through a crash course on everything you need to know about your air conditioner and how it works.

Different Types of Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are part of your overall HVAC system, which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. You can choose from several types of air conditioning to determine what cools your home or business best. Here are three of the most popular options and how they work.

Central Air Conditioning:

This is the most common form of air conditioning available. Its ability to comprehensively cool multiple rooms makes it best suited for larger homes and spaces. Central air conditioning systems transport cool air through a room via supply and exhaust ducts. Supply and exhaust ducts are typically located in walls or floors and carry cooled air throughout the home until the air is warm. It then circulates the heat through the ducts and into your air conditioning system.

Ductless Air Conditioners:

Ductless mini-split air conditioners work with an outdoor unit, called a “condenser,” and an indoor unit, called an “evaporator,” to cool individual rooms. This allows you to adjust the temperature accordingly in different rooms in your home or workplace. This is a beneficial cost saving system as it allows you to cool only the parts in use.

Window Air Conditioner:

You're probably familiar with this type of air conditioner as it usually blares loudly outside old dorm rooms and hotel rooms. This unit is compact and typically only cools a specific room, making it the best choice for large complexes with many individual rooms. Many of these large complexes have a window for each room. It works by filtering hot air from the back of the device and pushing cold air from the front out and into an area.

How Your Air Conditioner Works

Now that you know some of the different types of air conditioners, let's get into the basics of how your air conditioner actually works. Basically, an air conditioner cools a room by removing heat and moisture from the air that is already there. It pushes cooler air into the room and then sends warm air back out. Air conditioning systems can remove heat and moisture using a chemical called refrigerant and use three main mechanical systems: a compressor, a condenser coil, and an evaporator coil. Here is the step-by-step process for the most common central air conditioning system.

Step 1:

The refrigerant chemical is vital to the success of any air conditioning system because it has the unique ability to convert from liquid to gas when heat is added. Cooling or evaporative coils, located behind the wall in the unit, remove heat and moisture from the room air using this refrigerant gas.

Step 2:

A fan then circulates air over the evaporator, distributing the cold air throughout the room. The thermostat then determines the amount of cold air to be released into the area to be cooled.

Step 3:

The compressor in the outdoor unit moves the refrigerant gas away from the evaporator, where it is converted to liquid in the group of coils called a condenser.

Step 4:

In the outdoor unit, the condenser releases the heat collected from the refrigerant gas from the indoor air to the outdoor air via a large fan. The compressor then transfers the refrigerant to the evaporator to continue extracting heat from the indoor air.

This cycle continues until the user is satisfied with the amount of fresh air permeating their home or business.

How to Keep Your AC Unit Happy

Of course, your air conditioner has many moving parts, so it's important that all of these different elements are functional. Regular maintenance of your air conditioner, regardless of type, is not only important for your comfort, but can also contribute to energy efficiency and save money on your utility bills. It also saves you from purchasing a completely new air conditioner, which can be quite expensive.

A regular inspection can also improve the air quality and circulation in your home, as much of HVAC maintenance and inspection focuses on cleaning your air ducts, and dirt and mold can easily build up in these invisible places.

FAQs that talk about "Inner Workings Of A Air Conditioner"

Q: How does an air conditioner work?

A: An air conditioner works by transferring heat from the inside of your home to the outside. It does this using a refrigerant, which is a chemical that can change from a liquid to a gas and back again.

The refrigerant is circulated through a closed system of coils. Inside the coils, the refrigerant evaporates, absorbing heat from the air. The refrigerant then travels to the outside unit, where it condenses and releases the heat to the atmosphere.

The cooled refrigerant then travels back to the inside unit, where the cycle begins again.

Q: What are the main components of an air conditioner?

A: The main components of an air conditioner are:

  • Compressor: The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, raising its temperature and pressure.
  • Condenser coils: The condenser coils condense the refrigerant gas into a liquid, releasing heat to the atmosphere.
  • Evaporator coils: The evaporator coils evaporate the refrigerant liquid into a gas, absorbing heat from the air.
  • Blower fan: The blower fan circulates the air over the evaporator coils, cooling it down.
  • Expansion valve: The expansion valve controls the flow of refrigerant through the system.

Q: What types of air conditioners are there?

A: There are two main types of air conditioners: central air conditioners and window air conditioners.

Central air conditioners are installed in the attic or basement and use a system of ducts to distribute the cool air throughout the house. Window air conditioners are installed in individual windows and cool the room in which they are installed.

Q: How do I choose the right air conditioner for my home?

A: When choosing an air conditioner, you should consider the following factors:

  • The size of your home
  • The number of rooms you need to cool
  • The climate you live in
  • Your budget

It is also important to choose an air conditioner that is energy efficient. Energy-efficient air conditioners will save you money on your energy bills.

Q: How do I maintain my air conditioner?

A: To maintain your air conditioner, you should:

  • Change the air filter regularly.
  • Clean the condenser coils every year or two.
  • Have your air conditioner inspected by a qualified technician every year.

What We Do at Bannister Plumbing & Air

Whether you're familiar with an HVAC unit or simply know your air conditioner isn't working properly, Bannister Plumbing & Air is here to help you with all of your heating and cooling needs. We have diligently served the communities of East Texas for over years and are committed to providing the best service possible. Whether you need an annual inspection, general maintenance, or a completely new HVAC design specifically for your space, we are the company for you! We combine cutting-edge technology with an incredibly knowledgeable staff to provide you with the easiest, most efficient air conditioning, whether in your home, business or new construction project.

So if you're looking for answers to all your cooling questions, visit our website, request a quote today, or call us at 903-201-4820.