How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record highs around the U.S. and the majority of homes are using some type of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. Although we are all appreciative that your air conditioner runs, the experts at Dynamic Comfort Solutions in Locust thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science behind keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner runs in a similar way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a bigger job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant quickly alters 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 takes in heat from your indoor air and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then travels 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 sections 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 sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes 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. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That accomplishes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner operates on an relentless loop of science. We know that it’s not as important to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Locust give us a call at 704-485-5506. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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