Most people think that air conditioners work by pumping cool air into their premises. But ACs actually remove warm air and recirculate it as cool air. An AC works like a refrigerator. It uses a refrigerant liquid such as Freon to provide cooling. A central air conditioner provides both heating and cooling as well as controlling moisture levels and cleaning the air. Here are a few tips on air conditioning for beginners.

Air Conditioning For Beginners

There are several ways you can cool your home, but with any central air conditioner, the basics are pretty much the same. The ac system works to create cool air by removing warm air, distributing the cool air to rooms in your residence, typically through a duct system, and a way to regulate the temperatures (thermostat).


One of the most critical components of your air conditioner is the thermostat. When the temperature of the air rises above the preset levels on your thermostat, a signal is sent to the air conditioner that it’s time to turn on.

Air Conditioning For Beginners


At the heart of the air conditioning system is the compressor, which is controlled by the thermostat. The compressor acts like a pump, causing the refrigerator to flow through the system. It draws in low-temperature, low-pressure refrigerant in a gaseous state and compresses the gas thus raising the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant. This high-temperature, high-pressure gas then flows to the condenser coil.

Condenser Coil

The condenser coil exchanges heat with air that passes over it. As the refrigerant passes through the condenser coil and cooler air passes across it, the cool air absorbs heat from the refrigerant. This causes the refrigerant to condense from a gaseous state to a liquid state. The high-temperature, high-pressure liquid then reaches the expansion valve.

Expansion Valve

The expansion valve is the system’s “brain”. It senses the evaporator’s temperature or cooling oil and allows liquid to pass through a small opening, causing refrigerant to expand to a low-temperature, low-pressure gas. The resulting cold gas then flows to the evaporator.


The evaporator coil is a series of pipes connected to an air handler or furnace that blows indoor air across it. As a result, the coil absorbs heat from the air. The cooled air then passes through the ducting into the house. The refrigerant then goes back to the compressor and the cycle starts over again.

Other options for cooling your home include geothermal systems and heat pumps. The basic principle of creating cool air by replacing warm air applies to these systems as well.

It helps to understand that air conditioners are rated for efficiency by what’s known as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) an air conditioner with a higher SEER is more efficient, more environmentally friendly and less costly to operate.

Bottom Line

So those are the basics on air conditioning for beginners. The central air conditioning unit to create cool air by removing warm air, the thermostat for temperature control, and a duct system to move the air through your home. And that’s how your air conditioner keeps your home cool and comfortable. Always remember to properly maintain your AC unit as well.