How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are climbing to record numbers throughout the U.S. and many homes are using some type of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Though we are all grateful that your air conditioner works, the team at Air Temperature Control in Macon thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science regarding keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner runs in a parallel way to your refrigerator, of course your cooling system has a more difficult job to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant easily converts 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 expands back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to your outdoor unit 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 established inside your home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is moved outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner runs on an endless 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 chat about staying cool and comfortable in Macon you can reach us at 478-202-3170. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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