Your Split A/C Is a Fine-Tuned Piece of Equipment: Here’s How it Works

By August 22, 2013May 28th, 2024No Comments

Air conditioning can seem like magic to the uninformed, but with a few simple explanations, the process comes right down to earth. These explanations should enlighten you on how air conditioning works and how the various parts of an A/C function.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

Air conditioners work through the use of a simple physical principle, that liquid absorbs heat once it converts to a gas.  In the simplest terms, an air conditioner can be summed up as a system that forces special chemicals to evaporate and condense rapidly in a system of coils. For more detailed explanations on the major parts of an A/C, read on.

1. Heat Pump Compressor

In a split A/C, one of the most important components is the compressor. Like the name suggests, this part compresses the low pressure, low temperature refrigerant. Through this process of compression, the gas is turned into a high pressure gas. This component is powered by a strong electric motor and usually resides on the outdoor portion of an air conditioning system.

2. Condenser

The condensing unit is where high temperature refrigerant flows. In this unit, a fan blows air cooling the refrigerant gas back to a liquid. If you need to identify the condenser unit, you should look for a thin coil as well as a fan that is used to blow air across the coil. Just like the compressor, this component also resides in the outdoor part of the air conditioning system.

3. Air Handler

The air handler is the most visible part of a split A/C. It contains a fan that blows air across the evaporator coil cooling it. Through this process, it also manages to remove moisture from the cooled air.

4. Evaporator

The evaporator is what receives the liquid refrigerant. In this component, the refrigerant drops in pressure, expands and then changes back into a gas.


With this, you should have a better understanding of how an A/C works. For more expert advice about split air conditioners or any other heating and cooling topics that pertain to home comfort, contact us at McWilliams & Son.

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