Let's talk about "How HVAC compressor works".One of the most essential parts of an HVAC system is the compressor, which plays a key role in compressing the refrigerant when entering the device to raise its overall temperature. When the HVAC system heats up, the gas exits the compressor and then moves to the condenser. The condenser is where the cooling procedure starts.

What does an HVAC compressor do?

To understand how a compressor works, it is necessary to first understand how refrigeration works. Refrigeration is the procedure that permits air conditioners to drag heat from inside a room and transfer it to the outside, so cooling the interior temperature.

First, the refrigerant soaks the heat from a building in the evaporator coil and thus forcing it to alter from a cold liquid to a warm and low-pressure refrigerant gas. Then, the compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, decreases its volume, and changes it to a high-pressure and hot gas. As the gas moves to the condenser, outside air streams over it and releases heat, which then creates a high-pressure, cool liquid. The expansion valve reduces the pressure and temperature of liquid refrigerant to convert it into cold gas and transmits it to the evaporator to duplicate the heat transfer procedure.

Today, there are various HVAC-R compressors available in the market, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Although all types of AC compressors have different ways of working, they all do the same job. In the following, we will discuss the types of AC compressors.


These types of compressors are very efficient and trustworthy. In large places where it is necessary to continuously cool a large amount of air, these types of compressors are used, in which there are two distinct helical rotors that push the air from one end to the other. While the refrigerant starts to move through the compressor, the space shrinks and condenses.


This type of compressor is undoubtedly the most popular type of AC compressor, the lower part of which is a piston that compresses the air. This can be done by making up and down movements inside a cylinder. A vacuum-like effect is created by the piston as it moves down, which sucks in the refrigerant. Also, during the upward movement, the piston gas is compressed and then goes to the condenser. Since AC units can own up to eight cylinders inside the compressor, this type of HVAC compressor is a smart selection of AC compressors.


One of the newest HVAC compressors is the scroll compressor, which consists of a fixed coil called a scroll. There is also another coil that goes around the first coil. During the procedure, the second coil moves the refrigerant towards the center and condenses it. Scroll compressors are likely to become one of the most popular HVAC compressor options today because they don't come with numerous moving components. They are a reliable selection of compressors for air conditioning.


This compressor employs centrifugal force to pull in the refrigerant gas. Then, it rotates the gas quickly by a propeller, which causes its compression. This type of compressor is suitable for all very large air conditioning systems. Different types of air conditioning compressors are utilized for different goals and in various HVAC systems depending on their characteristics.


A rotary AC compressor is found in several air conditioning units, which are small and quiet. For this reason, it can be used in places where sound causes disturbance. There is a shaft inside the compressor to which many blades are attached. Then the shaft turns within the cylinder. This can push the refrigerant through the cylinder, and compress it at the same time.

How does an HVAC compressor work?

As the reciprocating compressor is the most used, we will examine how this type of compressor works. A reciprocating compressor is similar to an internal combustion engine. A central crankshaft moves between two and six pistons in the cylinders. In each cylinder, there is a suction line to absorb the low-pressure refrigerant and also a discharge valve to remove the high-pressure refrigerant. These pistons condense the refrigerant. The steps to this procedure are:

  • A pressure difference is created between the cylinder and the suction line, which drives the valve to open and the low-pressure refrigerant to rush into the cylinder. After the cylinder is filled with refrigerant gas, the suction line valve is closed.
  • As the crankshaft continues to spin, the piston is pushed up, which raises the pressure of the refrigerant gas as it has less room inside the cylinder. High pressure in the cylinder and low pressure in the discharge line causes a pressure difference, as a result of which the valve opens and the refrigerant comes out with high pressure.
  • This process is repeated after the compressed refrigerant is completely removed from the cylinder.
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