The summer season is here with record temps across the country, and with many houses having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the best way to get out of the heat. As you are sitting in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner works, let’s look at how a typical AC system works.
Your air conditioner runs the just like your refrigerator, but clearly instead of keeping a single space cool, it has to cool your entire home. Both use a refrigerant that converts swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular loop from the outdoors to the interior of your house. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and assembles or takes in heat from the air in your home, expands back into vapor, then back to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four key pieces: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The part where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be inside your home, in your attic, or situated in the garage. As warm indoor air is moved across the cold evaporator coil, heat is detached from the air…and the cooler air is driven within your home.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor located in your outside condensing unit. The compressor increases the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor goes into the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows across the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and changes the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is sent to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is replicated.
Your AC system is a constant loop of movement. We know the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s functioning the right way. If you’d like to know the inner workings or just about staying cool, give our experts a call at 256-801-4701. We will work with you and the laws of physics to ensure you cool this summer.