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How Air Conditioning Units Work


The inner workings of any air conditioning unit are fairly straightforward. You’ll find many parts such as the heat exchange pipes, a refrigerant tank, and an air conditioner damper motor that look complex at first glance. However, a closer examination will show you that it’s not as complicated as one would think.

Let’s understand how a basic air conditioning unit works and perhaps, in the future, we can communicate better with AC repair technicians once issues begin to arise.

Parts of an AC Unit

As with all thermodynamic systems, the basic parts are similar in many respects. The air conditioner damper motor acts as a valve that allows or restricts airflow based on the needs of the machine. The heat exchange and heat sink function to transfer heat from one area to another and the refrigerant acts as a “carrier agent” for heat. The motor itself powers the mechanism, which is basically an air intake and output pump.

Induction Motors

Most battery-driven devices rely on direct current, or DC, as a power supply, but for large appliances in a household, an alternating current, or AC, is commonly used. The differences between these two dictate the way that a motor works. In an AC motor, the constant flow and reversal of the current induce a magnetic field, which then causes a rotor to turn. This powers the motor itself and allows the device to run normally.

Advantages of Induction Motors

With the exception of the air conditioner damper motor controlling the airflow, an air conditioning unit’s motor essentially only has one moving part: the rotor. The rotor is virtually suspended on a magnetic field that powers its movement and makes no contact whatsoever with the rest of the parts of an AC unit. This makes induction motors run quietly, a popular feature of most newer air conditioning models.

MightyServ Expert Air Conditioning Services 

Learn more about the basics of air conditioning devices from the expert technicians at MightyServ, formally MightyServ. Fill out our form or give us a call at (818) 348 -4785 to schedule a visit or get a free estimate on any HVAC repair and maintenance.


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