Gone are the days when getting an air conditioner was a matter of personal luxury. With increasing heat in the weather every year, it is now a requirement for every home. But what is special in air conditioners that the water coolers lack? To know that let’s see how does an air conditioner work.

Working of Air Conditioner
©Vankool

A fan or a water cooler can help you make ends meet but air conditioning offers more comfort. Physically speaking, it works much like a refrigerator. Both devices transport thermal energy from a place with a lower temperature to a place with a higher temperature. Heat only migrates towards a lower temperature from higher temperature by itself.

Therefore a trick is required with air conditioners. It works with a refrigerant that is pumped through a closed circuit of tubes and is alternately in the liquid or gaseous state. Let’s see how an Air conditioner works.

Here Is How Does An Air Conditioner Work

Liquid refrigerant flows into the air conditioner. On the way in, the pressure in the tube is reduced using a throttle valve, which allows the refrigerant to expand. This lowers the temperature of the substance to below the air temperature inside the AC. Inside, on a meandering pipe and supported by a blower, there is a heat exchange with the air.

In this way, the indoor air of the building cools down as the refrigerant in the tube gradually warms up and evaporates eventually.

Functioning of An Air Conditioner
©How Stuff Works

The now gaseous refrigerant leaves the interior of the building and reaches a compressor. Here the gas is strongly compressed. As a result, the molecules collide more often, which also heats up the refrigerant. The temperature of the gas rises significantly above the temperature of the outside air.

Outside the building, the refrigerant then releases the absorbed heat into the surrounding air. This cools the refrigerant and liquefies it again. In the next step, the system returns the liquid to the building and the cycle starts again.

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Air Conditioning Works In A Closed Environment And Also Reduces The Humidity

Both air conditioning and refrigerator use the mechanical energy of a compressor, a pump, and fans to transport heat from a cold to a warmer reservoir. However, this principle only works if the interior remains closed. An air conditioning system works poorly when the windows are open because warm air flowing in negates the cooling effect.

Many air conditioning systems can not only lower the temperature, but also the air humidity in the interior because when the temperature inside the building cools, the air humidity rises at a slower than usual rate. It is because cool air can store less water vapour than warm air.

Air Conditioning System
©Pixabay

The mechanism additionally installed in air conditioning systems is very simple. Water vapour present in the air condenses into water droplets on the cooler surface of the tubes through which the refrigerant flows. This condensed water is collected and passed outside as you might have already noticed in the morning behind the window air conditioning unit.

Various substances have been used as refrigerants for air conditioning systems and refrigerators over time. Certain chlorinated hydrocarbons fluorinated gases have now been banned because they attack the ozone layer. But the substitutes also have their pitfalls. For example, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.

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The substitute propane neither damages the ozone layer nor warms the climate, but is flammable. The search for a refrigerant that is efficient, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly is yet to be completed.

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