If You've Ever Wondered How Home Air Conditioning Works; This Should Provide Some Working Knowledge.
Air conditioners (also called air-to-air heat pumps) 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.
Contrary to popular belief, air conditioners don't really “cool” rooms – instead, they operate on the principle of removing heat and moisture. Basically, the refrigerant absorbs heat from inside and moves it to the outside where it is blown through the compressor coil and into the outside air.