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How Does an Air Conditioner Work?


Trying to figure out how your air conditioner works can be tough. One day it’s working and the next day it’s not. You mess with one little thing and suddenly boom! It no longer works. Luckily, here at Partney Heating and Cooling, we can help you out. You may be wondering, “how does my air conditioner work?” You may even be wondering what it does. Does an air conditioner just cool air or does it do more? Is it supposed to make that funny sound? Well, that’s what we’re here for! We’ll try to answer any questions you have about how your air conditioner works and if we don’t address the ones you were thinking of, leave us a comment below! 

What Does an Air Conditioner Do?

Air conditioners do a variety of things. Not only do they draw heat out of your house, but they filter your air to make sure the quality is up to standards. Bad quality air can lead to a number of health problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and even lung damage. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air to combat humidity. The more moisture in your air the harder your air conditioner works. More humidity in the air can lead to mold growth, dust mites, and sleep problems. Your air conditioner deals with this by taking the moisture out of the air.  

A Close Up of an Air Conditioner

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

Air conditioners work by drawing air in and out through a series of ductwork in your home. It acts as a filter for everything mentioned above. A click of a button, and cool rushes up to meet you. Your air conditioner takes warm air in, cools it, and then puts it back into your home. The warm air is cooled by being turned into a liquid before being converted to a gas again. You can tell your air conditioner is working by hearing the small, whirring sound it makes. If that sound is a loud one that sounds like rocks having a party inside of your ductwork, then we, unfortunately, have to inform you that’s not normal. It doesn’t matter even if it’s quite the rock party either. Alright, we’re sorry. We are the air conditioning experts, not the pun experts. We’ll stop now.

An Air Conditioner Being Installed

Common Issues

There are several common issues that can lead to your air conditioner not working the way you expect. Here are a few of them that are easy to answer and the most common ones we see:

  • Why is there no air coming out of my vents? 

It is likely your evaporator coil has frozen up. You can avoid this by changing your filter regularly. Here at Partney Heating and Cooling, we recommend you change your filters monthly. 

  • My air conditioner won’t work at all. What likely happened?

Sadly, your capacitor likely swell or blew up.  You’ll need to call an HVAC technician to fix it. The best way to avoid this is to have your air conditioner checked yearly by an HVAC technician and to change your filters regularly. Regular maintenance can solve several issues and save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

  • My fan motor stopped turning, what do I do?

Your fan monitor likely stopped turning due to a bad capacitor. You will need to replace your capacitor and have an HVAC technician install it. Regular maintenance will help prolong the life of your capacitor. 

  • My evaporator randomly froze up, how do I fix it?

Your evaporator is likely low on Freon and you need a certified HVAC technician, such as Partney Heating and Cooling, to find the leak and fix where the leak is. You may need to replace your evaporator coil if the leak is bad enough. You should never have to replace Freon as your heating and cooling system is a closed system. 

HVAC Tech Working on Air Conditioner


An air conditioner does not just do one singular thing and instead does many things in order to keep your household running. A series of components helps it draw air in and release it out. Some of these components include your ductwork and vents. Most common issues can be solved by regularly maintaining your air conditioner. We hope we helped you out with this article and that you know a little more about your air conditioner now! If you have any issues, call Partney Heating and Cooling! Our number is 636-475-9384.

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