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How Does Your Air Conditioner Work?

August 8, 2022 | Blog

Air Conditioning Explained

How many of us really understand the workload our air conditioning units face on a daily basis? It’s one of the most commonly used appliances but somehow the most misunderstood. Although it’s easy to take our AC for granted, taking the time to understand more about how it works can help you better care for your unit.

Our experts at Norman Air know how difficult it is to find helpful air conditioner information. So we’ve made it easier for you to grasp the basic science behind your system by lining up all the essential components below!

Air Conditioner Components

The Evaporator

The inner portion of your unit holds the evaporator. This mechanism pulls warm air from your home across its coils, which are cooled against refrigerant. This air is then blown back into your home through the ducts.


Think of your condenser as the opposite of your evaporator. The condenser pulls heat away from the refrigerant and ejects it to the outside environment. This specific piece is located in your outdoor unit. A great way to maintain your condenser is to routinely check for any debris or foliage that can potentially damage the unit.


The compressor is not only one of the most critical components of your system, but is generally the most expensive part also. The compressor’s job is to take the refrigerant from a cool, low-pressure liquid to hot, high-pressure gas. This is what produces cool air for your home. The air conditioner’s compressor is located in the outside unit as well.

So How Does My AC Work?

Now that you’re familiar with your unit, let’s walk through how it all works together.

The refrigerant in its liquid form is taken from the condensing unit to the evaporator coils. It expands and becomes a gas that absorbs the heat circulating above it. This results in the production of cool air. After this process is done, it begins again. Although it is a simple process, the moving parts are still complex. Having an expert perform routine maintenance on your system will always be the best way to ensure proper AC function.


The thermostat is probably the most familiar part of your unit. Your thermostat is what maintains your desired indoor temperature. It turns your AC on or off and reads the temperature of your room. Many modern thermostats can do more than the basics, like setting temperatures based on your routine or finding the most efficient settings.


Refrigerant is what creates the cooling process. It moves through a series of copper or steel tubes laid out in your unit. It is able to be compressed or expanded to cool or heat a room.

Air Filters

An air filter operates like a front door screen. It keeps out all the dirt, debris, and other nuisance you don’t want to float around in your system. We don’t often recommend DIY AC maintenance on your HVAC system, but learning how to clean or change your filters on a regular basis will help it last longer and perform more efficiently.

Need More Air Conditioner Information?

Whether you want to understand better how your unit works or need an AC installation or repair, give our Norman AC team a call!

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