How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are climbing to record highs throughout the U.S. and many homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. While we are all grateful that your air conditioner is functioning, 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 plenty of science regarding keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, but your cooling system has a more difficult job to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent 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 goes into your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then travels 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 air conditioner unit: 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 moves across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then sent 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 raises 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 changed 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 of the day…your air conditioner operates on an endless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial 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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