How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are hitting record highs around the states and many homes are utilizing some kind of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Though we are all grateful that your air conditioner works, the experts at Air Alliance Team in Saint Charles would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner runs in a similar way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a more difficult job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant quickly alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from the indoors and turns back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central sections to your AC 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 possibly in your attic. Warm air passes throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your indoor space.

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

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Saint Charles you can reach us at 636-229-1544. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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