How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are hitting record numbers around the U.S. and many homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner works, the professionals at Air Solutions, Inc in Groves thought they would give you a look at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science regarding keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner functions in a similar way to your refrigerator, but your cooling system has a larger task to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from inside the home and expands back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to your outdoor unit where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main elements to your AC system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located indoors, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air transports through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which surges the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner functions on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Groves give us a call at 409-962-2476. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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