Air ConditioningHow Does Air Conditioning Work?

Have you ever wondered how air conditioning works to keep your home or business so cool in the summer? Most people mistakenly think that their air conditioner works by “creating” cold air, they don’t. Instead, they work by removing the unwanted heat inside your house and “transferring” it to the outdoors. Then replacing the air inside your home with cooler air. Your refrigerator is very similar, just a much smaller space to keep cool! 

Here is a visual look at how an Air Conditioner works:

Air conditioner

IMAGE SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Saver 101 Infographic

The 7 Phases Of How An Air Conditioner Works: 

  1. The evaporator (A) contains cooling coils that remove unwanted heat and humidity from the air using refrigerant.
  2. The blower (B) then circulates air over the evaporator dispersing the chilled air. 
  3. The condenser (C) contains hot coils that then release the collected unwanted heat into the outside air.
  4. The compressor (D) then begins to moves the refrigerant between the evaporator (A) and the condenser (C). 
  5. The fan (E) then blows the air over the condenser to dissipate the heat outside. 
  6. The air conditioners filter (F) removes particles from the air. 
  7. The air conditioners thermostat (G) controls the amount of cool air that is disrupted throughout the room(s). 

In short, air conditioning works by two actions that occur simultaneously, one inside the home and the other, outside of the home to keep your home nice and cool! 

Type of Systems:

If you’re wondering how air conditioners work, you should also know how the types of systems work. The type of system that will work best for you depends on your geographical location, the size and physical characteristics of your home, and the way you use it.

Split Systems

A split system is the most common type of HVAC system. The indoor unit is used as the heat source, while the air conditioning unit resides outdoors and supports the cooling needs of the home itself. This type of system offers consistent, reliable cooling and heating for the entire home as well as indoor air quality through the use of filters inside the furnace. This type of system offers consistent, reliable cooling and heating for the entire home as well as indoor air quality through the use of filters inside the furnace.

Hybrid Systems

A hybrid system consisting of a heat pump provides both heating and cooling but with greater efficiency. It is typically paired with either a gas furnace or an electric air handler. A Heat Pump works just like an air conditioner when it’s cooling. A heat pump, however, has a reversing valve that allows it to absorb heat energy from outside air, even in cold temperatures, and sends it indoors, while supporting the heating effort for the home as well. On really cold days, the gas furnace becomes the primary heat source to ensure maximum comfort is maintained throughout the house. It’s an energy and fuel-saving solution. Hybrid systems are perfect for any size home.

Ductless Systems

Ductless systems deliver cooling or heating to specific areas within the home. The installation is less invasive and can be a lot less expensive because they don’t rely on ductwork to distribute air. Ductless systems have an outdoor unit connected through a small hole to a compact wall-mounted unit indoors. Each indoor unit is designed to provide warm or cool air only for the room in which it is installed. The indoor unit can be installed on a wall, in the ceiling, or on the floor.


The best way to determine the ideal comfort system for your home is through an evaluation of your home’s heating and cooling needs by a trained HVAC professional. Your MM Comfort Consultant will evaluate your home and help you decide which type of system is right for you. We are the heating & air conditioning experts for Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Redmond, and greater Puget Sound area! We are here to provide our customers with the best service, quality repairs, and professional installations. Click here to contact us or call 425.533.9058 to speak with one of our HVAC representatives right away! #InstallitRight  #FixItFast


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