How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are hitting record highs throughout the states and many homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to combat the seasonal heat. Though we are all grateful that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Innovative Mechanical, LLC in Dallas and Atlanta surrounding areas wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your house cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a larger job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant easily converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows 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 transfers back to the unit outside where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main 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 across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home.

Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil flows 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 moves across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted 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. The process is then repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner functions on an endless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as important to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Dallas and Atlanta surrounding areas give us a call at 770-726-7407. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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