How Air Conditioners Work

How Air Conditioners Work
How Air Conditioners Work

Air conditioners circulate a chemical called Freon, which absorbs and releases heat. An air conditioner is primarily made up of three major components: a condenser coil, an evaporative coil, and a compressor. The compressor circulates the Freon through the evaporative coil first, and then, the hot coil and the cold coil. These two coils are connected to each other by a length of copper tubing. Within these coils and tubing, is a chemical being circulated by a motor that we call a compressor. This chemical’s job is to absorb and release heat. Outside of this tubing and coil system, there are two air fans that propel air through both the hot, and cold coils separately.

Meanwhile, the chemical circulates and carries the heat it absorbed to the hot coil, which is situated on the opposite side of the machine. Here, the second air fan blows air over the hot coil, which carries the heat from the chemical inside the coil, out and into a duct that directs the air outside.

Air Cooled Portable Air Conditioner - Locker Room
Example: Heat Ducted from Space
Portable Air Conditioner Condensation

As a by-product of the process taking place in the cold coil, condensation (water) is generated on the outside of the coil. Just like a glass of ice water will generate condensation on the outside of the glass. That water that is generated is then either directed to a drain if a pump is installed or to a collection tank, in case of OceanAire portable air conditioners.