Understanding How a Compressor Works and Its Primary Functions

The heart of the cooling cycle inside your air conditioning unit is the compressor. Its primary function is to absorb the heat inside your room and exhaust it outside.

An AC compressor is a pump located inside the air conditioning unit. A compressor converts the heat into a chemical called refrigerant and lets it move through the air conditioning system to allow the heat to go out of your room.

The Mechanism of a Compressor

The air conditioning compressor consists of the compressor itself. This compressor absorbs the heat from your room using its suction port and discharges the heat outside through its outlet.

It also consists of a clutch assembly. The clutch of a compressor has three parts which are the hub, pulley, and the coil. These three parts will work together as soon as you turn on your air conditioner. The joint function of the three parts of a compressor clutch creates the suction and discharge of your room’s heat.  

The motor-like compressor will place the gaseous refrigerant under high pressure. The compressor turns the gaseous refrigerant hotter by raising the temperature and pressure so that this gaseous refrigerant leaves the room. Hence, the essence of a compressor is getting heat away so that your air conditioning unit will make your room cool.

Main Functions of a Compressor

As the primary part of your AC’s cooling cycle, here are the primary functions of a compressor.

Transfers the Heat to the Outside

The compressor helps to move the heat to the outside of your room by absorbing its warm air. After the compressor absorbs the heat from your room, the compressor turns the warmed air into a gaseous refrigerant. The compressor will then put this hot gas into the condenser coil. This condenser coil has fins which will help out the heat exchange process.

The finned condenser coil places at the outdoor side of your air conditioner. Fans are blowing cold air from the outside over the coil through the help of the fins. The fins extract the heat from the refrigerant and help out putting the heat to the outside.

Turns Refrigerant Into Liquid

The heat extracted from the refrigerant will condense into a warm liquid. The warm liquid refrigerant will then pass under high pressure going to the expansion valve. The expansion valve will remove the pressure from the warm chemical refrigerant to allow a change of state from a liquid to a vapor refrigerant in the finned evaporator coil.

The expansion valve will turn the warm refrigerant into a cold and low-pressure liquid. From the expansion valve, the gaseous refrigerant will go to the finned evaporator coil located at the indoor side of your air conditioning unit.

Absorbs the Heat

The evaporator coil from your air conditioning unit has a much lower pressure to help evaporate the entering refrigerant. During the process of evaporating the refrigerant, a fan from the evaporator coil will blow the heat that comes from your room’s warm air.

Since the compressor absorbs the heat in your room, so the gaseous refrigerant is now a cold and low-pressure gas. The compressor will incorporate it again to continue the cycle until the place gets cooler as time passes by.


As what all the points mentioned above, the compressor from your air conditioner unit plays a significant role in the overall cooling system. If the AC compressor does not work, then your air conditioner unit will not supply any cooling as well.

Your HVAC systems performance and efficiency will be crucial to how you use your AC unit. Hence, you can try to visit Provincial Heating other related websites on the internet to check out more informative data with regards to your air conditioning systems.