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How Does Air Conditioning Work? (AC)
Simplified Explanation of How Air Conditioning Works (AC)
We have all enjoyed the cool breeze coming out of an air conditioning vent, but chances are you haven't stopped to consider just how an air conditioner is able to cool down the air inside. What follows is a general overview of the process.
The main components of any air conditioner are a compressor, two sets of coils filled with a refrigerant (generally referred to as Freon), and an expansion valve, all connected in a circular fashion. The Freon, which takes on both liquid and gas forms, follows the following cycle:
Understanding how air conditioning systems work can help us to better utilize them to cool the places we live and work. For example, many people mistakenly believe air conditioning vents blow new cold air into the room in order to lower the overall temperature. Using this logic, opening windows and doors can help to cool a room faster.
However, knowing that air conditioning actually removes heat from air already inside the room can help us to remember to keep the windows and doors closed when the air conditioning is on. Open windows and doors allow for a constant exchange of inside air with outside air. In a closed room, once the air conditioner removes an adequate amount of heat from the air, its job is done for awhile; in an open room, the air conditioner is never done, because new air that requires heat removal is constantly entering.
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