How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record figures around the U.S. and the majority of homes are running some type of air conditioner to battle the smoldering heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner runs, the experts at Arnold's Air Conditioning of South Florida Inc in Stuart and West Palm Beach areas wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science involved in keeping your house cool. Your air conditioner runs in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your air conditioner has a larger task to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from the indoors and expands back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central sections to your cooling system: 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 found in the home, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air transports throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil flows 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 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 process is continually repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an endless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Stuart and West Palm Beach areas give us a call at 772-205-3269. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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