The Basics of Cooling: Understanding How AC Units Work

Posted on: 9 October 2023

In the summer, many rely on air conditioning (AC) units to keep their homes or offices cool and comfortable. But have you ever stopped to wonder how these machines can quickly and effectively cool down an entire room? Explore the basics of cooling and how AC units make it all happen.

How Cooling Works

The primary goal of air conditioning is to remove the heat from a room, thereby lowering the temperature. AC units use a special chemical called refrigerant, which is responsible for extracting heat from the air. This ongoing circulation ensures the efficient transfer of heat and enables the system to effectively cool its surroundings. This continuous looping allows for seamless heat exchange, facilitating the optimal functioning of the cooling system. As it moves, it undergoes a change in pressure, which allows it to absorb heat from the air while inside the evaporator coil. This heat is carried by the refrigerant to the condenser coil, where it is released outside, and the cooled refrigerant starts the process again.

The Importance of Airflow

Another essential factor in how AC units function is airflow. The air that circulates throughout your home needs to move through the AC unit correctly to achieve efficient cooling. When air enters the AC unit, it is filtered, removing dust and other particles that get trapped in the air filter. After being cleaned, the air passes through the evaporator coil. From here, the cooled air is circulated back to the room through another duct while the heat from the room is absorbed by the refrigerant. To promote airflow, it is essential to have your ducts and vents cleaned regularly.

The Different Types of AC Units

There are several AC unit options you can choose from, each with its own unique cooling mechanism. There are several popular types of AC units available, such as window, portable, split-system, and central air. These options provide various solutions for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment in different settings. Window AC units are ideal for cooling smaller spaces. Portable AC units are perfect for those who are always on the move. Split-system AC units consist of both indoor and outdoor components, with the exterior unit containing the compressor and condenser coil, while the interior unit houses the evaporator coil and filter. Finally, central air units circulate cool air throughout your entire home and are often energy efficient.

Maintaining Your AC Unit

Like any other machine, an AC unit needs to be maintained to function correctly. One crucial step is to keep the filter clean to ensure that the airflow is unobstructed, leading to better cooling performance. You should also have your unit inspected and serviced regularly by a qualified HVAC technician. They will be able to identify any issues and make any necessary repairs to prevent a complete breakdown of the unit.

Air conditioning has become a fixture in many homes and offices, making life much more comfortable during the hot summer months. Understanding how AC units work will help you know how to maintain and use them correctly. Whether you opt for a window, portable, split-system, or central air unit, having regular maintenance and keeping your filter clean is essential to keeping it running smoothly and efficiently. 

To learn more about cooling services, contact a professional near you.


HVAC For The Layman

Do you remember the last time your air conditioner died? Although you might have been tempted to write off the problem as a simple quirk, serious air conditioning issues might mean that your family gets stuck living in a hot, humid, uncomfortable environment. I have been a homeowner for a long time, and you wouldn't believe how many times I have come across issues with my HVAC systems. I want you to know how to recognize the early signs of trouble, which is why I decided to put up this page. By reading here, you might be able to learn the intricacies of HVAC in layman's terms so that you can get things resolved as quickly as possible.