How Does A Natural Gas Air Conditioner Work?

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written by:

Updated December 10, 2022

If you are new to the world of indoor cooling, you may wonder how does a gas air conditioner work. Some of the best AC units, after all, use gas as a primary fuel source. So what are the benefits of a gas AC unit, how do they work, and how to maintain one to ensure longevity? Keep reading to find out.


  • Gas air conditioners work similarly to other types like central air conditioners, with condenser coils and the like, but use gasoline as a primary fuel source and not electricity.
  • This makes them especially useful to those who live in mobile homes or travel about in RV campers.
  • Make sure your AC is always gassed up and features liquid refrigerant to ensure a smooth operation and replace or clean the air filters regularly to ensure cooler air.

How Does a Gas AC Unit Work?

The method of operation is actually quite similar to other types, aside from the fuel source, if you are wondering how air conditioners work. Gas units come in mobile-friendly designs and even portable designs if you learning how portable air conditioners work. Gas AC unis are not incredibly common, though they are often found next to RV homes and mobile homes, especially in areas without abundant electricity.

Insider Tip

Make sure to keep your warranty information handy, as gas AC units can experience repair issues from time to time.

Other than the fuel source, gas air conditioning units pull in air and cool it similarly to every other design out there. As a matter of fact, this type of AC is available in multiple designs, from central to portable to window and beyond.

Benefits of a Gas AC Unit

There are some key benefits to choosing a gas air conditioner over other types. First of all, if you live in an RV camper or in a similar situation, you’ll always have a working AC so long as you keep it fueled up. This is true even in remote locations without electricity. Finally, these AC units are often bare-bones no-frills appliances, so they are not as expensive as, say, smart window units or central AC units.

Maintaining Your Gas Air Conditioning Unit

You never want to find yourself stuck in the wilderness on a hot day and learn that your gas AC unit is on the fritz. Here are some common-sense steps to properly maintaining your air conditioner to ensure longevity.

  • Keep it gassed up – This is the most important step. Make sure the unit is gassed up so it will work when you need it. Make a habit out of refilling it at regular intervals. If you aren’t a fan of refilling and want something where you can hook up a continuous stream of water for example to power your unit, consider reading our Honeywell CO60PM Evaporative Air Cooler review.
  • Clean or replace filters – Just like all other types of AC designs, you’ll find a dedicated air filter or two. Clean or replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep it clean – Take some time out to regularly clean the exterior of the unit and run through basic maintenance tasks according to the instructions.


What is central air?

Central air conditioners use cold refrigerant and a cold evaporator coil to spread cool air throughout the home. Central air conditioning systems cool the whole space at once, and not just a single room.

How do smart thermostats work?

Smart thermostats work just like regular thermostats, as they keep an eye on the temperature of air conditioning systems and alert you accordingly. This is true for central air conditioning systems or gas-powered air conditioning units.

What steps should homeowners take before installation?

Before purchasing and installing any unit, check to see if there will be any conflict with other appliances, such as heat pumps, an electric furnace, or another split-system air conditioner.

STAT: Air conditioners transfer heat to the outside, taking it from the inside air. The compressed gas refrigerant in the system absorbs the excess heat before it’s pumped through the piping in a closed system to an outside coil. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image