How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is reaching record figures throughout the country and the majority of homes are running some variety of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner runs, the team at Four Seasons Air Conditioning and Heating LLC in Kingsville wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science involved in keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner functions in a similar way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a larger responsibility to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant easily changes 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 takes in heat from inside the home and turns 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 sections 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 located in the home, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air transports across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which surges the pressure of the vapor until it is transformed 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 adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner functions on an never-ending loop of science. We know 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 Kingsville give us a call at 361-214-1203. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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