Working Process of an Air Conditioner (AC) – A Complete Guide!

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More or less we all use air conditioner in our home to soothe our hot days in summer. But if you have ever thought about how does an air conditioner work, then this article is for you. 

The air conditioner works with a very intricate process.

For that, you have to get ready with some terminologies related to the air conditioners. 

how does an air conditioner work
working process of air conditioner

Here we are mentioning all the components that you will get in an AC, and after that, we have mentioned a step-by-step working process of the air conditioner.

So to know in complete detail, go through the whole thing. And we are pretty sure that you will leave the page with a complete knowledge of how an air conditioner works.

The below elements are the main components of an air conditioner.

Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil or evaporator core is a part of the AC where the refrigerant absorbs the heat. These coils are made of copper, aluminum, or steel so that they can conduct heat efficiently. 

Most of the AC evaporator coils have a U shape, and they are set into panels. And all the panels together make the shape of A. 

Pieces of the thin metal line up the coils together. We call them fins.


The compressor of the air conditioner circulates the refrigerant into the whole system. And it does so by creating the exact pressure. 

The compressor is one of the primary components of an air conditioner. And this is a vital part of all kinds of refrigeration systems.

You will find different types of compressors in the market. Such as-centrifugal compressor, reciprocating compressor, rotary compressor, screw compressor, and scroll compressor.

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is another type of coil in the AC other than the evaporator coil. These two components are part of the heat pump system of your air conditioner.

These coils are mainly made of aluminum or copper. And it is located at the outdoor unit of a split AC.

The condenser coil pairs with the blower fan that pushes the hot air outside. 

Expansion Valve

The expansion valve controls the refrigerant flow in the AC. It also controls the changes in the temperature of the air conditioner.  

When you change the temperature to your preferred temperature, the expansion valve manages the flow of the refrigerant and gives you the desirable cooling.

The expansion valves consist of some sensors. These sensors inspect the information given to the AC and produce the outcome accordingly.

refrigeration cycle of air conditioner
Refrigeration Cycle: 1) Condenser Coil 2) Expansion Valve 3) Evaporator Coil 4) Compressor


The refrigerant is the most essential part of any refrigeration system. Be it an air conditioner or a refrigerator

But what is the refrigerant? A refrigerant is a substance that can change its phases into gas, liquid, or solid according to the need. 

With this unique capacity, it can carry away the heat from an area. And also can replace the heat with chilling temperature. 

And this is why the AC has a great need for refrigerants.

These are human-made chemicals that different companies manufacture.

Only a few organizations have succeeded in manufacturing refrigerants that have less potential to create global warming

How Does The Air Conditioner Cool Down The Room?

AC in the living room and a man sitting on sofa

Step One:

The warm air of your room is observed through a vent, and it is passed to the cold evaporator coil.

When the evaporator coil makes the hot air cold, it blows the cold air into the air ducts.

The air ducts distribute the cold air into your room.

Step Two:

The refrigerant of your air conditioner absorbs the heat from the passing hot air.

After absorbing the hot air, the refrigerant transforms itself into gas and treks to the compressor.

Step Three:

The compressor receives the hot gas conducted in the form of the refrigerant. And then, the compressor decreases the volume of the gas. 

To decrease the gas volume, the compressor uses two solid objects to pressurize the gas between them very tightly.

In this squeezing process, the refrigerant raises its pressure and temperature. 

Step Four:

Now the refrigerant journeys to the condenser coil. The condenser is located outdoors, and it is exposed to the outside area. 

When the refrigerant reaches the outside area, the air absorbs the heat of the refrigerant.

After the air absorbs the heat of the refrigerant, the temperature goes down, and the refrigerant transforms into liquid.

Step Five:

Now when the refrigerant has cooled down, it again travels to the evaporator coil to collect the hot air from your room.

And it repeats the whole process again until the room gets cool down totally.

When the room is cooled at your stipulated temperature, the thermostat tells your AC to shut off.


So, we have just known the working process of an AC. We hope that it will be enough to clear your doubts and give you a clear idea.

Next time when you run your AC, you will have a clear-cut idea about the whole thing.

And this will also lead you to take care of your machine properly.


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