Home Service Blog Articles by Tiger®

The “Not-So-Technical” Explanation of How an Air Conditioner Works

Published: June 18, 2014
ppe ac tune up

air conditionerAn air conditioner is basically a refrigerator without the insulated box. An air conditioner is doing exactly the same thing as your fridge, except it dumps the heat it takes out of the controlled area and puts it outdoors instead of in your kitchen. To understand what goes on in the system, let’s start where the “freon” gas enters the compressor located typically in the outside part of the unit.

As the refrigerant gas enters the compressor, it squeezes this freon gas that has just absorbed heat from the indoor air, causing it to become extremely hot. This is just like what happens near the end of a bicycle pump when you push the handle down. The air being compressed into the end of the pump will get hot, because all the heat that the air inside it contained, is squeezed into an area that is many times smaller than where it just was. This now high-pressure freon gas, that is now many times hotter than it was before it got squeezed, runs through a set of coils outside where a fan blows on it to cool the high temperature gas, so that a large portion of this concentrated heat is removed from it. The fan and coil arrangement outside are very similar to a radiator on a car.

As the outside unit (or radiator) cools this hot vapor, it condenses into a liquid just like steam condenses into water when it loses its heat. This high pressure freon liquid which has now had a lot of its original heat forced out of it, is then pulled back into the house where it waits its turn to pass through a tiny opening that is the entrance to the indoor coil that sits within your home’s air stream.

By using this tiny opening to “back-up” the pressure on the outdoor part of the system, it allows the compressor to maintain a low pressure side within the indoor coil that is in your home’s air stream. When the cooled High pressure gas finally passes into this low pressure area, the difference in pressure causes part of it to immediately expand into a gas. In a sense, this is like the compressor working in reverse, because now the cool freon is occupying a bigger area, so the heat that was left in it now has to spread itself out over its bigger size.

This need to use its limited heat over a now bigger gas molecule, causes it to rapidly become quite cold, so that as it passes through the indoor coil, the air passing over this coil (the radiator effect again) is cooled and then spread through your home by your home’s duct work. Meanwhile the heat that was taken out of your home’s air, has entered the warming freon gas so that when it gets back to the compressor the whole process is repeated.

You Can Trust Tiger
True professionals
"Brian did an amazing job for us. A true professional!"
- Rob B.
Personable and efficient
"Mark was personable and efficient. I like the pictures he took for an explanation of problems especially since I couldn't get to the area that had the problem."
- Mike H.
We definitely recommend Tiger!
"My families a/c went out randomly today. I went around the house troubleshooting what I could. It got to the point where we had to call someone. We called the first places that showed up on google. Most places either wanted tons of money just for diagnostics, or couldn’t come out today. We called Tiger they went over the cost and they got someone out to our house in 45 minutes. Josh Moravec was our tech and was super professional, kind and intelligent. He was here for about 15 minutes before he figured out our issue. He went over in depth the cost and verified everything was good before getting started to resolve it. There was no pressure to buy the service if we didn’t want to. He went back down and in 15 minutes the a/c was running strong! He asked if we had any questions and then was on his way! He was great with our kids, very polite and courteous of me and my wife. He answered all our questions, and the price was more than reasonable. We definitely recommend Tiger, and make sure you ask for Josh Moravec if you can!"
- James L.
Prompt and ready to help
"Mark came within 24 hours and was prompt and ready to help. He fixed our problem in no time at all! I will be calling them again!"
- Monica J.
Professional electrical service
"We appreciate that Tiger was able to accommodate our appointment request the next day which was a Sunday. Tyler was on time and provided very professional service regarding our electrical issues we had."
- Anne N.
Professional, knowledgable and polite
"Service man was very professional, knowledgeable, and polite. Work was organized and every step taken was toward accomplishment of goal. System was repaired and returned to service promptly. I felt confident in the serviceman's performance and that my AC will work properly...satisfied customer."
- Walter B.
    See how fast we can get to you!

    Financing
    Options

    Today's
    Offers
    Join Our
    Winning Team

    Here’s a Little More About Our Heating Services