How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The summer season is here with record highs across the country, and with a lot households having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the most effective way to escape the sun. As you are unwinding in your comfortably cool home or office, thankful that your air conditioner functions, let’s take a peek at how a typical cooling system functions.

The Basics

Your air conditioner works the same way as your refrigerator, but obviously rather than keeping a small space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that converts simply from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular circle from the outside to the interior of your house. It goes into the house as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and gathers or absorbs heat from the air within your house, expands back into vapor, then returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.

The Components

Your AC system is created out of four main parts: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.

The piece where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be inside your home, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is moved throughout the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the colder air is blown within your house.

From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant flows to the compressor stationed in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor enhances the pressure of the vapor until it turns into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows by the coil, moving heat to the outdoors, and changes the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is pushed to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is repeated.

Your air conditioner is a consistent loop of movement. We understand the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s operating successfully. If you’d like to know the inner workings or just about remaining cool, give our technicians a call at 972-938-0033. We will team up with you and the laws of physics to ensure you happy this time around.

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