How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are climbing to record highs throughout the states and many homes are utilizing some kind of air conditioner to combat the seasonal heat. Though we are all thankful that your air conditioner works, the professionals at Local HVAC Repair & Service in Wheeling wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science regarding keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner runs in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a bigger responsibility to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant quickly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from your indoor air and turns back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central components to your air conditioner unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be established in the home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air moves throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home.

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

That accomplishes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner functions on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as important to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Wheeling contact us at 224-300-4806. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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