How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is reaching record highs throughout the states and most homes are running some type of air conditioner to beat the seasonal heat. Though we are all thankful that your air conditioner runs, the experts at Custom Air Systems Inc in Indian River County thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your house cool. Your air conditioner runs in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your cooling system has a more difficult responsibility 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 quickly changes from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit outside where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 core components to your air conditioner unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the location your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located in the home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home.

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 runs across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That completes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an endless loop of science. We understand 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 Indian River County give us a call at 772-571-1080 or schedule an appointment using our online scheduler. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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