You probably know how important a central A/C system can be for keeping your home cool and your air quality high. However, fewer people know how exactly the system makes all this happen. Let’s run through the inner workings of a typical setup.

The Basics

They’re called central air conditioners for the exact reason you might think: air conditioning of the entire house that is sourced from a centralized A/C unit and circulated throughout the home. Air conditioning is a cyclical process that depends on seamless collaboration between the evaporator, condenser, and compressor, as well as many other parts. In split systems, the condenser and compressor are located just outside your home, with the evaporator being part of the air handler inside. Package units, on the other hand, house these components together in one casing.


While the engineering behind air conditioning might seem complex, it’s all possible thanks to a simple set of principles in chemistry. For liquids turn into gases, they need to absorb energy — heat. When the reverse happens, energy (heat) is given off. In air conditioners, the liquid that is manipulated to facilitate this process is refrigerant fluid. In each cycle, the refrigerant fluid cools incoming warm air by absorbing heat and converting into a hot, low-pressure gas. The cooled air then leaves the air handler by means of a blower so that it can be circulated throughout your home. This process of evaporation occurs in — you guessed it — the evaporator, which contains the copper and aluminum evaporator coil responsible for the cooling.

Compression and Condensation

Now that the refrigerant fluid has become a gas, lost pressure, and gained all that heat, the system needs to get rid of the heat and return the refrigerant to its liquid state. First, it moves into the compressor, where high amounts of pressure and heat are administered. The hotter, pressurized gas then moves through another coil, this time responsible for condensing the gas so that it loses its heat and becomes a cool liquid again. The heat is sent into the outside air via a fan as the pressurized liquid returns to its original state. From here, the process starts all over again to keep your interior climate cool and comfortable!

Do you know what type of air conditioning system is right for you? Climate Change YYC specializes in helping your optimize the climate of your home with quality AC and more. Give us a call at (403) 819-2156 today!