Air conditioning has become an essential item for the work office around the country, as the months close in towards Summer. Heat waves are more and more common these days, but air conditioning technology is here to assist and bring comfort to our daily lives. Though installation has been simplified, there is still a deceptive amount of activity going on inside your air conditioner.

For most people, just knowing that the system works is enough. But have you ever wondered how exactly a typical air con unit works? For those who have, we will explore the ins and outs in this article.

How Air Conditioners Cool The Air

Air conditioners are designed to optimise both the temperature of the air and its humidity – the content of water in the air. To achieve this, air con units use a chemical known as a ‘refrigerant’. This chemical loops between the air inside the building and the air outside, acting as a heat sink. The property of refrigerants that make them so valuable is that they evaporate and condense easily, which makes them perfect for the job.

Air is sucked into the system through the use of fans. The warm air inside will run across the evaporator, into the air conditioning supply which contains the refrigerant chemical. When the liquid absorbs heat, it eventually evaporates into a gas. This allows it to travel through the air conditioning unit and into the compressor, which is located outside. While in there, the gas is compressed to a high pressure and temperature, allowing it to pass through into the condenser.

The hot, pressurised gas then travels over the condenser. The condenser is designed for maximum heat dispersal, containing a large, metallic surface area. The gas loses heat as it is radiated outside. This process causes the refrigerant chemical to condense back into a liquid, which is fed back into the system. The cycle repeats, and the now-cooled liquid is ready to absorb heat from the inside air again. This process continues, ensuring cool air for every office worker, customer and business owner.

How Air Conditioners Control Humidity

Not only do air conditioners change the temperature of the air, another important function is that they optimise the humidity content of the air. Too low a humidity can cause health problems, including sinusitis and dry skin. It has been proven that air of a low humidity encourages survival of the flu virus, as well as increasing the number of colds suffered. High humidity has its own problems, and can encourage the growth of moulds and bacteria, as well as causing the room to feel uncomfortable and ‘clammy’.

In order to improve the environment, air conditioners are designed to dehumidify the air and keep it at a reasonable percentage. With less humidity, the room feels cooler despite no change in temperature. To perform this feat, water is leached out of the system.