How Your AC System Works
Air conditioners employ the same operating principles and basic components as your home refrigerator. An air
conditioner cools your home with a cold indoor coil called the evaporator. The condenser, a hot outdoor coil, releases
the collected heat outside. The evaporator and condenser coils are serpentine tubing surrounded by aluminum fins.
This tubing is usually made of copper. A pump, called the compressor, moves a heat transfer fluid (or refrigerant)
between the evaporator and the condenser. The pump forces the refrigerant through the circuit of tubing and fins in the
coils. The liquid refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, pulling heat out of indoor air and thereby cooling
the home. The hot refrigerant gas is pumped outdoors into the condenser where it reverts back to a liquid giving up its
heat to the air-flowing over the condenser's metal tubing and fins.