How Air Conditioning Works

How Air Conditioning Works
Thu, 07/04/2019 - 9:00am 

How Air Conditioning Works

Air Conditioning and the Works

There are multiple steps that your HVAC system needs to complete to generate cool air in your home. These steps require four tools: an evaporator, a compressor, a condenser and an expansion chamber.


The refrigerant in your cooling system moves from liquid to gas and back again. During evaporation, the liquid expands into a series of coiled tubes as it turns to gas. The refrigerant gets very cold when it expands. Air is directed across the coils, chilled and routed through the ductwork of your home.


The expanded gas actually removes heat from the air passing around the coils. Eventually, this transfer will exhaust the cool temperature of the gas in the coils and this gas needs to be passed into the compressor. Compressors are generally stored outdoors as they:

  • Can be quite noisy
  • Generate a lot of heat
  • Require a great deal of air flow
  • Can pull a lot of power and need a single power supply

The compressor pressurizes the gaseous coolant and prepares it for condensation. As it's compressed, this gas can get very warm.


The condenser returns the gaseous coolant back to a liquid so the process can be started again. Condensers live inside the outdoor unit described above. If your AC unit has fins that allow plenty of airflow, your condenser has access to the air that it needs. Be aware that the air blowing out of those fins will be quite warm!

If you find that these fins are bent from storm damage or blocked with plant debris, you'll likely notice that your air conditioning is not cooling your home. Be sure to contact an HVAC professional at Command Service Center to restore air flow.

Expansion Chamber or Device

When refrigerant goes from a liquid state to a gaseous state, it requires more cubic inches. The expansion process is critically necessary, however, or the needed cooling can't happen.

The expansion device is in control of the transfer of liquid coolant into the evaporator. Depending on the temperature of the air in the home, the expansion device may or may not be working very hard to keep the home cool. If your system is consistently struggling to keep your home cool, you may need to consult with an HVAC Professional to make sure the unit is properly sized to do the job.

While HVAC systems are generally single units, it's critical that you do your best to keep the system working smoothly. Take care to change your air filters regularly and don't let your outdoor unit get clogged with vines or dust. Call us at (847) 588-7780 to speak with an HVAC professional at Command Service Center.


Need to request a service appointment? Contact Command Service Center at (847) 558-7780 or use our online form to get started today!