How do Air Conditioners Work?

How do Air Conditioners Work?

Do you know how air conditioning works?


Here in Augusta, Georgia, nearly everyone has an air conditioner. When living in this climate, it is a home essential. The relationship between how many people own an AC vs. how many understand exactly how it works is a sharp inverse. It is imperative that the mystery behind AC units is cleared up by giving you a precise explanation as to how the machines work.

The gist of the air conditioning process is simple- hot air goes in, cold air comes out. While this may reflect the conventional perception of how the unit functions, this is a stark oversimplification. Multiple working parts collaborate to ensure the success of this intricate process. Failure of even just one component, or failure to maintain your unit throughout the year, will cause the entire system to collapse. In the Augusta summer heat, this is not an accident anyone enjoys to afford.

The process of HVAC units creating cool air

The air conditioning process naturally has to begin with the air entering the unit. Step one sees the AC pull in air from throughout the home. Since a machine can’t cool down air by itself, the air is pushed into a section of the system flowing with coolant fluid. The air then commingles with this liquid, causing its high temperature to dwindle. This temperature clash creates unwanted quantities of excess moisture. Thankfully the AC has a built-in dehumidifier with the sole purpose of eliminating this very condensation.

After the cooling process is complete, the air is funneled into the next chamber. This area serves as a heater, working in direct correlation with the settings on your thermostat. In other words, if it were a chilly day outside, this compartment would warm the air in the home to a comfortable temperature. On blistering days, the thermostat indicates to the unit that not much work is needed in this area.

After the air makes its way through those two compartments, it is finally ready to be discharged. It is at this point that a fan facilitates this exit. If the thermostat in your home is set to cool, the air will now reflect this setting (the inverse applies as well). With the air in your home now at a satisfactory temperature, the AC has completed its job, right?

Well, the process isn’t finished just yet. The air conditioning procedure causes the coolant that lowered the air temperature earlier to evaporate. This causes transforming from a cold liquid into a hot gas in the process. This vapor is then channeled into a compressor, which separates the heat from the coolant. The coolant itself returns to its chilled liquid form, while the unit expels this newfound heat outside of the home. The coolant is then funneled back to the outlet location of the cycle.

How to fix your AC (or lack thereof)

It is this process that enables your home to remain cool despite a high outside temperature, and vice versa. Although this is just a simplified explanation of the process, it is these basic steps that come together to condition the air of your home. If you think your AC unit stopped working and needs repair, it is imperative that you address this dilemma as soon as possible. The less time your family suffers in immense discomfort the better. If you are in the Augusta, Georgia, area, Sig Cox Heating and Air Conditioning has you covered. With state-of-the-art technology and top-notch personnel, they can get your AC back on track in no time. For more information, feel free to call 706-722-5304 or email

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