Summer has arrived with record temps across the country, and with many houses having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to escape the sun. As you are unwinding in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner works, let’s gain some insight at how a typical AC system works.
Your air conditioner works the similar to your refrigerator, but understandably compared to keeping a small space cool, it has to cool your entire home. Both use a refrigerant that adapts easily from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular circle from the outside to indoors. It goes into the interior as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and assembles or soaks up heat from the air within your house, expands back into vapor, then returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four main components: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The piece where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be indoors, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is blown over the cold evaporator coil, heat is detached from the air…and the colder air is driven among your home.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant goes back to the compressor based in your outdoor condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows past the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and changes 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 repeated.
Your AC system is a consistent loop of processes. We understand the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s operating successfully. If you’d like to talk science or just about keeping cool, give our professionals a call at 478-202-3170. We will team up with you and the laws of physics to ensure you cool this season.