How Does an Air Conditioner Cool Air?

March 9, 2019 12:40 am Published by Leave your thoughts

You have an air conditioner at your home to make your home cooler when the weather is hot—for most people, this is about the extent of their knowledge of how their AC system works. But if you’re interested in learning a bit more about how the air conditioner actually cools and conditions the air it brings into your home, here’s some more information from our company specializing in AC repair in Kalamazoo, MI.

Removing heat

The first step in the air conditioning process is to remove the heat from the air. The air conditioner technically does not “create” cold air, it just sucks heat out of warm air.

There are several mechanical components of the machine that are important in this process. The compressor is a pump that pressurizes the refrigerant, while the evaporator coil and condenser coil are located inside and outside the house (respectively) to assist in the process.

The air in your home flows over the cold evaporator coil inside your house, which absorbs all the heat from the air that comes into the house with the use of refrigerant, a fluid that assists in heat transfer. The refrigerant in the coil flows to the warm condenser coil, where the compressor compresses the refrigerant to make it hotter than the air outside. When this happens, the outdoor air absorbs the heat in the refrigerant, which then flows back through the coil until the refrigerant cools down, at which point it travels back inside to absorb more heat. The refrigerant continues flowing back and forth in this manner until the indoor temperature reaches the desired level.

Moving air

It’s not just enough to remove heat from the air—it actually has to move it throughout your home. The fan circulates the air in your home through a vent, blowing it over the cold evaporator coil and then through your air ducts. There are a variety of blower options, including variable speed blowers that operate at the speed most suitable for the conditions of your home.


Part of the air conditioning process is removing moisture from the air. Hot air holds more moisture than cold air, which is why condensation forms on a glass of water, or on a window when indoor and outdoor temperatures are very different. When hot air blows over cold evaporator coils, moisture from the air condenses on the coils and gets captured, then drained out through its drain line.


Finally, air conditioners also clean the air, because they filter the air that flows from your home to the air conditioner. You must change the filter regularly to ensure the system is continually able to keep the air clean. Dirty filters can put an unnecessary amount of stress on the AC system, leading to higher energy bills.

For more information about how air conditioners actually work, or to schedule an appointment for service, we encourage you to reach out to the team at All Brands Heating & Cooling to discuss AC repair in Kalamazoo, MI.

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