How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are climbing to record highs across the country and the majority of homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner runs, the professionals at Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces in Alliance thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science regarding keeping your house cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a comparable way to your refrigerator, however your air conditioner has a larger task to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant easily converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from inside the home and expands back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

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

The evaporator coil is the place 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 across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which raises 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 released outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We know that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Alliance give us a call at 308-646-3827. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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