air conditioner working principle

The most effective way to save yourself from the heat in summer, and to warm up indoors in winter is a household air conditioner, but many, not knowing how it works, do not buy it, because they are not sure of the ability of this device to create climatic conditions comfortable for human life or use it not in full force.

Many ordinary people, having met the concepts of air conditioning and split system, begin to think that these are different indoor climate control devices, but this is not so. Both terms refer to equipment that has the same principle of operation and functions, only the air conditioner consists of one wall-mounted unit, and the split system consists of two (indoor and outdoor).

In this article, you will learn the basic principles of operation of air conditioners (split systems) in all temperature conditions.

Air conditioner device

The main part of the population uses split-system air conditioners to regulate the microclimate in their living and working premises, as they effectively cool and heat the air.

Such air conditioners consist of two parts:

  • the external unit consists of a fan, a compressor, a four-way valve (to change the direction of freon), a condenser, a filter and fittings;
  • indoor unit — front panel, two filters, evaporator, condensate pan, display panel, fan, control board, fitting connections.

Single-block wall-mounted air conditioners use outdoor air ducts to remove heat.

The principle of operation of a domestic air conditioner

The whole process of the air conditioner is built on the basis of the property of the liquid (freon) to absorb and give off heat when the temperature changes. Therefore, they say that they do not produce cold or heat, but simply transfer it from one place (room) to another (outdoors).

How this happens can be seen in the following figure.

principle of operation of the air conditioner

  1. The cooling process begins in the external unit, where freon is in a gaseous state.
  2. Then it moves to the compressor, which increases the pressure, the gas is compressed and its temperature rises.
  3. Freon passes into the condenser (heat exchanger — consisting of copper tubes with thin aluminum plates), where the air drawn in by means of a fan blows it through, while cooling, this leads to the transition of the gas into a liquid state.
  4. Further, in the form of a liquid, it enters a thermostatic valve (a thin copper tube in the form of a spiral), which reduces the pressure in the system, which lowers the boiling point of freon. This provokes its boiling and the beginning of evaporation.
  5. Once in the evaporator (heat exchanger in the indoor unit), where freon is blown with warm air from the room. Absorbing heat, it turns back into a gaseous state, and the cooled air leaves the air conditioner through the grill into the room.
  6. Freon in the form of gas moves back to the external unit at the compressor inlet with already low pressure and the air conditioner cycle is repeated.

The operation of the air conditioner in winter to heat the room

The same principle applies to heating the air in the room.

The difference between these processes lies in the fact that, thanks to the four-way valve installed in the external unit of the air conditioner, the gaseous refrigerant (that is, freon) changes its direction of movement and the heat exchangers change places — heat is released in the internal heat exchanger, and heating in the external one.

principle of operation of the air conditioner

It is necessary to use the air conditioner very carefully at low temperatures, since during operation the liquid refrigerant may not have time to completely turn into a gaseous state (heat up) and liquid will enter the compressor, which will lead to a breakdown of the entire device.


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