What Are the Functions of Compressors on Air Conditioners?

A compressor is one of the three main parts that make up an air conditioner. Whether it is at your home or in your car, an air conditioning compressor performs several functions to help the system do its job of cooling the air.

Air Conditioner Parts

The three main parts of an air conditioner are the condenser, evaporator and compressor.

General Function

Refrigerant enters an air conditioner compressor as a low-pressure gas and decreases in size so the fluid molecules will compact and increase in energy and temperature. The refrigerant then leaves the compressor and enters the condenser, which cools it and changes it to a high-pressure liquid to cool the air that enters your home or car.

Pumping Refrigerant

There are pistons inside a compressor motor, which move up and down. Refrigerant is drawn into the compressor on the down strokes and compresses on the up strokes.

Adjusting Temperature

Compressing a gas causes its temperature to rise. The refrigerant enters an air conditioner compressor at a low temperature and moves to the exiting side of the compressor at a higher temperature before it enters the condenser.

Removing Humidity

A compressor removes vapor from the evaporator, which will draw the humidity out of the air before it blows into your home or car.

About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.