if heat is energy, then why can’t air conditioners use that energy?

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if heat is energy, then why can’t air conditioners use that energy?

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Different type of energy entirely. You need a catalyst to transfer and the process would be wildly inefficient.

air conditioners run on electricity, and machinery necessary to turn heat into electricity would be too expensive to pay for itself.

moreover, 2nd law of thermodynamics tells us that you cannot transfer heat from colder system (inside) to hotter system (outside) without using an external source of energy.