How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are hitting record figures throughout the U.S. and many homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. While we are all grateful that your air conditioner works, the experts at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc in Huntsville wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science behind keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner operates in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your air conditioner has a more difficult task to handle. 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 effortlessly alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from the indoors and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to your outdoor unit where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central components 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 indoors, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air moves throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken 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 enters into the compressor which surges the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves 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 via an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner functions on an endless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Huntsville you can reach us at 256-801-4701. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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