Air conditioning (often referred to as AC or A/C) is the process of altering the properties of air (primarily temperature and humidity) to more favourable conditions. Heat is a form of energy. Transferring that energy from the air in one space to another allows us to control the temperature. Air conditioning systems allow us to absorb the heat in a space and then move it to another.
An air conditioner is designed to change the air temperature and humidity within an area (used for cooling and sometimes heating depending on the air properties at a given time). The mechanics of the refrigerant evaporation cycle are the same in a refrigerator as in an air conditioner. A compressor compresses cool refrigerant, causing it to become a hot, high-pressure gas. This hot gas runs through a set of coils so it can dissipate its heat and it condenses into a liquid. The liquid then runs through an expansion valve, and in the process it evaporates to become a cold, low-pressure gas. This cold gas runs through a set of coils that allow the gas to absorb heat and cool down the air inside the home.
A complete system of heating, ventilation and air conditioning is referred to as “HVAC.” A heat pump absorbs heat and moves it from inside your home to the outdoor air in the summer, then by use of a changeover valve it can reverse the process and absorb heat from the outdoor air and bring it inside for heating during the winter.
A furnace burns fuel through a controlled combustion process to create heat and then transfer it into a home.