How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record numbers throughout the U.S. and many homes are using some variety of air conditioner to beat the seasonal heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner runs, the professionals at True Temp Heating & Air Inc in Chatsworth thought they would give you a look at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science behind keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner runs in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your air conditioner has a more difficult job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from your indoor air and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit outside where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central elements to your cooling system: 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 inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor is located 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 transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is moved outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted 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 continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an endless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Chatsworth contact us at 706-695-7492. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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