HOW DOES AN AIR CONDITIONER WORK

Air conditioners are machines that cool and heat rooms and sometimes even whole buildings, there are many types of air conditioners but their functions are generally the same. Air conditioners have the same basic function as a refrigerator. They have three main parts, the compressor, evaporator, and a condenser, the compressor and condenser are generally located on the outside air portion of the air conditioner. The evaporator is located inside the building sometimes in a furnace, this is the part that heats your house. Air conditioners heat things up by blowing air through coils that contain hot water or steam that create heat by passing electricity through resistant metal wires and plates causing the room to heat up. To
cool the room however air conditioners simply draws away heat rather than putting cool air into the room making it feel cooler to its occupants that are inside of the room.
EEG How do Air conditioners work.jpg



Figure 1- a hand drawn diagram of an air conditioner heating and cooling.



Heating
Air conditioners heat things up by sucking in cool air and exhausting hot air out. They do this by sending air through coils that contain hot water or steam that create heat by passing electricity through heat resistant metal wires and plates causing the room to heat up. This makes the room feel warmer to its occupants. A completedversion of an air conditioners heating system is called an HVAC which stands for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. The heat that goes through the air conditioner is then turned into a gas. This is how an air conditioner warms up a room in house or even an entire house.
Cooling
Cooling rooms is different from heating rooms. Air conditioners use refrigeration to cool the rooms down. To do this, instead of putting cool air into the room, it pulls hot air in and then puts the cooler air out. Inside of the air conditioner, gasses are being changed to a liquid in a very fast process. Since the refrigerant evaporates at a much lower temperature than water, it begins to evaporate while traveling through a set of coils. It is this evaporation action that draws heat out of the surrounding air, including the air contained in the room. This causes the room to feel cooler to its occupants.



EEG How Do Air Conditioners Work 2.jpg Figure 2: The inside of an air conditioner.



Glossary
Evaporation- to change from a liquid or solid state into vapor;pass off in vapor.
Refrigeration- to make or keep cold or cool.
Resistance- the act or power opposing, or withstanding.
Compressor- to cause to become a solid mass.
Condenser- to make more dense or compact.


Citations
Air Conditioning.Compton's by Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2012. Web. 12 Sept. 2012.

Brain, Marshall, Charles W. Bryant and Sara Elliott. "How Air Conditioners Work" 28 June 2011. HowStuffWorks.com. Web.27 September 2012.


Levy, Joel. Really useful : the origins of everyday things. Willowdale, Ont.: Firefly Books, 2002. Print.

Macaulay, David. The way things work. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988. Print.