Saturday, September 15, 2007

How Air conditioning works

by Marshall Brain
Inside This Article
Introduction to How Air Conditioners Work
Air-conditioning Basics
Window AC Units
Split-system AC Units
Chilled-water and Cooling-tower AC Units
Lots More Information
See all Household Appliances articles
Air-conditioning BasicsAn air conditioner is basically a refrigerator without the insulated box. It uses the evaporation of a refrigerant, like Freon, to provide cooling. The mechanics of the Freon evaporation cycle are the same in a refrigerator as in an air conditioner. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, the term Freon is generically "used for any of various nonflammable fluorocarbons used as refrigerants and as propellants for aerosols."
Diagram of a typical air conditioner
This is how the evaporation cycle in an air conditioner works (See How Refrigerators Work for complete details on this cycle):

The compressor compresses cool Freon gas, causing it to become hot, high-pressure Freon gas (red in the diagram above).
This hot gas runs through a set of coils so it can dissipate its heat, and it condenses into a liquid.
The Freon liquid runs through an expansion valve, and in the process it evaporates to become cold, low-pressure Freon gas (light blue in the diagram above).

This cold gas runs through a set of coils that allow the gas to absorb heat and cool down the air inside the building.
Mixed in with the Freon is a small amount of a lightweight oil. This oil lubricates the compressor.
So this is the general concept involved in air conditioning. In the next section, we'll take a look inside a window unit.




Palm Beach Air Conditioning said...

Air conditioning has been around for over 110 years now and has dramatically impacted our quality of life and standards of living. A/C did for climate control what the refrigerator did for food preservation. Shoot, we wouldn't even be capable of maintaining servers with air conditioning, so whose to say what the internet would even be like without it.

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