Electric Air Conditioning: How Does It Work?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration states that 87% of homes use air conditioning equipment of some kind. Many residents have electric air conditioners to cool their homes.

How does electric air conditioning work, and how effective is it compared to other types? We’ll answer those questions today so you can learn all about it.

What Is Electric Air Conditioning?

Electric air conditioning simply refers to households that rely on electricity for their heating and cooling needs. All-electric systems use both an electric furnace and an electric air conditioner (outdoor condenser).

Many households have a split system, which means the furnace is powered with oil or gas. The AC still runs on electricity in a split system.

Electric vs. Gas Central Air

You may also hear the term gas air conditioning. However, this doesn’t mean the system runs entirely on gas. The central air conditioning system still runs on electricity, while the furnace uses gas.

As we mentioned above, this is the case for split systems.

Systems with gas or oil-powered furnaces tend to result in higher energy bills, as gas is more expensive than electricity, and prices can vary from month to month.

How Does It Work?

Central air conditioning usually includes the following:

  • Outdoor condenser
  • Thermostat
  • Indoor furnace or fan coil
  • Copper tubing
  • Ductwork
  • Expansion valve

Cooling coils in the evaporator remove heat and humidity in the air through the use of refrigerant. The blower or fan moves air over the evaporator and circulates cool air. Compressors move the refrigerant between evaporators and condensers.

Filters remove particles in the air and keep them from entering the home. Thermostats control the temperature by regulating the amount of cool air that gets distributed.

Inside the home, warm air is moved across a cooling coil that uses refrigerant. Heat is then absorbed into the refrigerant, and cool air is moved back into the house.

Outside, refrigerant gas gets compressed and then enters a coil. Heat is pushed outside as the refrigerant returns to a liquid. A fan moves the air away from the house.

As a result, humidity and heat move from the home as cooler air is circulated through, and heat is pushed away from the house.

How Effective Is Electric AC?

All-electric systems work as efficiently as gas or oil-powered ones. Electricity also has the added benefit of costing less to run.

The effectiveness of your system depends largely on whether you have the right size unit, how old it is, and how well you maintain it.

If it seems your system isn’t running well, contact your local heating and cooling specialists. For instance, customers in Orlando can turn to https://armstrongairinc.com/service-areas/orlando-fl/ for regular air conditioner maintenance and other services.

Keep the Home Cool

Now you understand a little more about how electric air conditioning works. You can now appreciate your AC system and how it works to keep you cool during those warm summer days.

Are you interested in learning about how technology powers our world? Check out our Education section for more.


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