How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

Summer is in full swing 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 AC system works.

The Basics

Your air conditioner works the similar to your refrigerator, but obviously instead of keeping a single space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that changes swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular circle from the exterior to the interior of your house. It goes into the house as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and assembles or absorbs heat from the air within your house, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is switched back to a sub-cooled liquid.

The Components

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

The part 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 situated in the garage. As warm indoor air is carried across the cold evaporator coil, heat is pulled from the air…and the colder air is driven among your house.

From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant goes back to the compressor based in your outdoor condensing unit. The compressor enhances the pressure of the vapor until it turns into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor enters the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows past the coil, removing heat to the outdoors, and returns 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 redone.

Your air conditioner is an endless loop of processes. We realize the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s functioning the right way. If you’d like to talk science or just about staying cool, give our experts a call at 772-200-3617. We will team up with you and the laws of physics to confirm you cool this summer.

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