Air Conditioner Basics - How They Work

  • All residential window air conditioners have a cooling system made up of four primary components, a compressor, an evaporator, a metering device, and a condenser.
  • Air conditioner cooling systems are better understood if you think of them as devices that remove warmth from the air rather than cooling the air.
  • When the unit is running, the circulating fan and compressor are running simultaneously.
  • The fan motor has two fan blades attached to it on either end.
  • The fan blade on the inside part of the air conditioner continually draws room air over the evaporator coils, which are cold.
  • The fan blade on the outside part of the unit continually draws fresh outside air over the condenser coils, which are warm.
  • Because the evaporator coils are cold, they cause moisture in the room to collect on them, much like a cup of ice water on a warm, humid day.
  • When the amount of moisture increases, it begins to drip down off of the coils into the bottom pan of the air conditioner.
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