Many of us may have had the misfortune of getting stuck behind an air conditioner and experiencing a blast of unwanted hot air. It’s obvious that this is coming from the Air conditioner but have you ever wondered, why? How does an AC work and why does it throw out hot air?
Not many of us would know that the AC was an accidental discovery when a moisture reduction technique was being researched and as a by-product the temperatures of the rooms started to become lower. In the 112 years since its invention, AC’s have had many changes in how they look and how much cooling one can expect from them but the fundamental technology has remained the same.
The Diagram below shows the working of a Split AC (I’ll take you through in detail below) however, window air conditioners also work in exactly the same way except, that they are condensed into a single unit.
How does it work?
As the Air-conditioner starts working, the first thing it does, is to pull in all the hot air from the room where it is installed. Normally Air conditioners pull in air from a single direction but Whirlpool’s unique 3D cool technology enables air to be pulled in from three different directions. know more about how the Whirlpool Ac’s have a revolutionary technology enabling faster, more consistent cooling in a follow up post.
The hot air is then cooled, by passing it over the compressor coils. The compressor coils are filed with super cooled liquids that absorb the heat and cool the air. The engineering is in keeping the coils cool for an indefinite period of time. The process is explained below-
- Internal Evaporator coil – These are the cooling coils that help keep the temperature in your houses at your desired level. They contain the cooling fluid in a liquid form. This liquid starts to absorb the heat from the air and evaporates. One of the key chemical properties of the materials used in this section is that they evaporate at relatively low temperatures. Once this liquid turns into a gaseous state – it then passes on to the compressor.
- The compressor starts to pressurize the gaseous form of the coolant inside the AC. This coolant, when turning from gas into liquid form expels all of its extra heat. This heat is then expelled through the outside unit using another fan and a second set of coils called the condenser coils.
- Condenser coils carry the liquid form of the coolant back into the evaporator coils through an expansion valve. Air is blown over these and expelled outside to reduce the heat that the coils carry.
- Expansion valve works like a regulator controlling the amount of liquid coolant flowing into the evaporator coils.
In essence, the Air-conditioner can be split into two distinct parts, the cool part and the hot part. The cool portions typically sit inside the house in the case of split AC’s and the hot portions are outside.
There are coils with the same liquid in both parts and a flow controller managing the quantity of this coolant moving back and forth between the cool and hot parts. In the cool part the coolant absorbs the heat from the air and pushes out cooler air into the room. In the hot part, air from the environment absorbs heat from the coolant and pushes out the hot air.
So if you thought that the hot air coming from the AC is the hot air from your room – you are mistaken*. The air inside stays inside and the air being pushed outside had been outside all the time.
Whirlpool has made radical improvements in this age-old technology thereby, making the air conditioner more suitable to Indian conditions of relentless heat and high moisture. We have also developed a second cooling system for the hot part of the AC to keep that working at the optimal level. Stay tuned in to read about the new technology in detail here and meanwhile you can check out the AC range online.
*Unless the exhaust option is turned on which pulls in outside air, cools it and pushes it inside and the inside air is thrown outside. The actual workings are more complicated and maybe the topic for another post.