Your Air Conditioner Does Its Job, But Do You Know How It Works?


A central air conditioner is a major investment and important to maintaining the comfort of your home. This is why it is good idea for you as a homeowner to have a reasonable understanding of how your system works.

This will allow you to perform some basic maintenance tasks yourself, as well as to spot major problems when they happen. This knowledge will also help you better understand the information a professional relates to you about the system.


The heat transfer process that allows an air conditioner to work requires that the refrigerant change its state and density during the process. The compressor, which is located in the outside part of your air conditioning system, compresses the gas, increasing its density and temperature.


The condenser is another part of the outside unit and is the component that the compressed gas travels to. The condenser functions like the radiator on a car, by transferring the heat from the compressed gas to the outside air via a series of metal fins. As this happens, the gas is momentarily converted to liquid. The liquid is then expelled through a small hole into the line leading to the home, where the pressure drops and the liquid becomes a gas again.


The evaporator is inside your home and is the part that actually cools the air inside your home. As the gas passes through the fins in the evaporator, a fan blows air over them to create cold air that then travels throughout your home via your ductwork system.

An air conditioner is not a simple piece of equipment, but understanding at least the basics will benefit you in many ways. If you have any further questions about your air conditioner and how it works, please contact Summers Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We have served the people of central Indiana for more than forty years and our staff of experienced professionals will be happy to help you.