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Have you ever wondered if the air coming in through your vent is “fresh” air? If it is fresh, why do your allergies not get worked up on high pollen days when you stay indoors?


And if it’s not fresh, then where is the air coming from? If you’re interested in finding out how your AC works and where all that great cold air is coming from, keep reading!


How Your AC Actually Works


If you’ve ever been curious enough to inspect your air conditioning unit, you probably noticed that there are typically two components. An inside component and an outside component. These components are connected by copper lines. And the copper lines are filled with refrigerant that is either gas or liquid.


Might be hard to believe, but this is the only thing that is passing between the two units. The air inside? Yeah, that’s only inside air and isn’t mixing with outside air at all. And the same is true of the outside air. It isn’t mixing with inside air at all.


Your outdoor unit uses only a fan to draw the air in, taking the existing heat back out of the refrigerant and allowing it to cool down before being recycled. This air simply passes through the outdoor unit. It doesn’t stick around. The heat is drawn out and it is allowed to go it’s merry little way.


The indoor part of your unit however, has an A/C return air intake, which is sometimes located on the ceiling or a wall. The return air intake will have some type of filter that is supposed to keep dust and debris out, but still allow the air to pass through. As the air blows through it, it passes over the supercooled coils inside to cool down.The process will transfer the heat out of the air and into the supercooled coils.


And all before the now-cold filtered air is pushed back out into your home. Tada! That blazing summer heat can’t reach the inside of your home thanks to all of those coils and coolant. And now you can rest in (mostly) pollen-free indoor air!


The Benefits of “Recycled” Air


While it might not seem that incredible, the fact that your home separates the outdoor air and the indoor air is actually, for many reasons, very helpful. Think about it: if your home was bringing in air from outside all the time you’d end up with pollen and dust and mold and mildew and who knows what running rampant within the walls of your house!


It can also be helpful because it helps you narrow issues down. Are you having an air quality issue inside? Well, you’ll know the problem is within your house and not outside drifting in!

A certified technician can help you with this problem too, and help you clean up the air quality so that your air conditioning unit isn’t spreading dust and possible allergens in all directions in your home.


While it may seem a little more enchanting to think about fresh air drifting in through the windows, it’s really much better the way it is. Every now and then though, it doesn’t hurt on a beautiful day to throw those windows open and enjoy the fresh air from the great outdoors!