How do Window Air Conditioners work?

how do window air conditioners work
(Last Updated On: May 3, 2019)

In this article you are going to learn how window air conditioner works. Window air conditioners has four main components for cooling.

  1. Compressor
  2. Condenser
  3. Metering Device
  4. Evaporator


You can find compressor in the middle of the unit. Usually it comes in black color and looks like football. compressor turns on When you set your AC on cool setting, and the regulator is adjusted for a cooler temperature.  It compresses the refrigerant gas from a low to a high pressure. When refrigerant gas highly pressurized it gets cooled and converts into liquid then, it goes to Condenser.


Now before how condenser works you should know that condenser is a collection of tubes with propellers. You can find Condenser on the back side of your Air Conditioner. When the liquid refrigerant enters the condenser, it produces heat. The condenser take off heat from refrigerants. Now liquid refrigerant goes through more tubes and gets inside another small tube known as capillary tube or Metering device. Metering device connects condenser to Evaporator.


Evaporator is located on the front side of window Air conditioner. Once liquid refrigerant leaves the metering device it enters into the big tubes of evaporator. After entering to evaporator tubes refrigerants turns back into gas. The gas absorbs the heat. Gas refrigerants take a reverse and goes back to compressor. If you touch evaporator you feel it cool because it absorbs all the heat. The rapid drop of temperature causes the removal of humidity.

There is also a fan unit involved which circulates the air among compressor, condenser and Evaporator.

Metering Device

Metering device is a small tube which starts from the ending of condenser and finishes on the inlet of Evaporator. In easy words, it is a tube which can be found in between condenser and Evaporator. In larger units metering device looks like a valve.

What Happens when Air Conditioner is Running?

When air conditioner is on both compressor and fans are working. The fan has two blades which connects on both ends. Inner fan blade throws air in the room by using cool evaporator coils. The outer blade takes the air from outside and send it to warm condenser coils. As, evaporator coils are cold in nature they suck away any moisture left inside the room.


Thermostat reads the temperature coming inside the window air conditioner. In this age, we have digital thermostats which are more accurate. So, whatever temperature you will set the thermostat of AC reads it and let the compressor work until it reaches the desired temperature you have set. After that the compressor will turn of automatically.

Fan Speed

There are selector switches which allows you to set fan speed. You can set fan speed according to your requirements. However, you cannot adjust the speed of compressor it runs on similar speed. If you set fan speed on low the air it blow will be on low speed. But keep in mind cooling capacity of compressor does not change.

Other Features

The above mentioned components are in every window air conditioner, but you can find other features as well depending upon the make and model. Now a days you can find window air conditioners with dehumidifiers, air cleaning functions etc.

This is the end. Hope this article have helped you in understanding the working of Window Air conditioners.

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