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Many homes now have air conditioning systems installed and this is certainly a fantastic way to keep cool during the warmer months of the year. We have come to rely on air conditioning, both at home and at the office, in fact, many places we visit on daily basis will also have their air conditioning running.

However, have you ever wondered how these marvelous systems work? If the truth be told, an air conditioning system works in very much the same way as a refrigerator. Basically, any excess heat will be transferred outside, whilst a system of condensation and evaporation will help to keep the temperature inside cool.

Evaporator

The evaporator is found on the inside of the area that needs to be cooled down. An evaporator will typically have various fins and coils, thus allowing it to cool a greater area. You will actually find that the coils are completely hollow, thus allowing refrigerant to constantly travel throughout them.

This liquid will eventually be turned into gas by the use of heat energy, which will ensure that the evaporator stays cool to the touch, whilst also cooling the surrounding area.

Condenser

The condenser is found outside of the actual area that needs to be cooled down and will work in the exact opposite way to the evaporator. 

The condenser will convert the refrigerator from a gas back into a liquid, and this process will produce heat. It very much depends on what type of system you have, but this heat will eventually be converted into water, air or a combination of both. The vast majority of home air conditioning system will use condensers of the air variety.

Compressor

The refrigerant must constantly be passed between the evaporator and the condenser, very much like a circuit works. This is exactly what the compressor does and it will ensure that the refrigerant is continuously pumped throughout the air conditioning unit.

Refrigerant

The refrigerant is the liquid which is pumped around the air conditioning system. For many, many years the refrigerant used was chlorofluorocarbons, otherwise known as CFCs. However, this became a banned substance in the United States in 1995, due to the effect CFCs have on the ozone layer.

Nowadays, air conditioning systems use halogenated CFCs (HCFCs) or hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as refrigerant, both of which are completely safe for the ozone.

Air Handler

You will typically notice that there is an extremely complicated series of blowers and ducts used in order to work an air conditioning system, and it is these which will cool a room, home or building.

It is the evaporator which will keep the air cool directly around a specific area, however, if you are looking to cool many different rooms or floors in a building at the same time you will require an air handler.

The air handler, as mentioned, is made up of a series of blowers and ducts, and it is these that are used to maintain the exact same temperature throughout a home or building. This system will allow an entire building to be cooled in the most efficient manner and will complete the task extremely quickly.

This post has been contributed by Jake Tyler, a technician at Dr. HVAC which provides extensive heating and cooling solutions across Canada. His hobbies include bowling and golf. Log on to www.drhvac.ca to know more about his company.

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