The main active component in refrigeration is a chemical that easily converts from gas to liquid and back again. This refrigerant gas is the vehicle by which the hot air inside a room or building is discharged or “exchanged” into the outside air.
There are three main components involved in this heat exchange process:
- A compressor
- A condenser
- An evaporator
The compressor and condenser will most often be situated in a unit outside the building, whilst the evaporator is located inside the indoor unit.
The gas inside the system is pressurised by the electrically driven compressor converting it into a high-temperature liquid. This hot liquid passes into the condenser unit, which is being cooled by the system’s exhaust fan, and metal radiator fins that have the ability to dissipate heat over a wider surface area.
As the liquefied gas passes through the condenser, it is drastically cooled. This cooled liquid then passes through the evaporator in the indoor unit via a tiny inlet (venturi). Here, it rapidly expands back into a gas and acts to remove heat from the evaporator unit causing it to cool significantly. Air then passes through the evaporator by the fan and is cooled as it is blown into the room or other space.