How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is reaching record highs around the country and the majority of homes are utilizing some kind of air conditioner to combat the summer heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner runs, the experts at Air Concepts of Middle Georgia in Middle Georgia would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science regarding keeping your living space at a comfortable temperature. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a bigger job to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from inside the home and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit outside where the heat is let go 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 in the home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor sits 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 runs 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 through an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner operates on an endless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Middle Georgia give us a call at 478-200-5689. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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