How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

July 18, 2016

The temperatures are climbing to record figures throughout the states and most homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to battle the summer heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Assured Appliance and Heating & Air in Genoa wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science involved in keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your air conditioner has a more difficult task to manage. 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 enters your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit outside where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main sections 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 located indoors, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes across 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 surges the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted 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. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner operates on an never-ending loop of science. We understand 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 Genoa contact us at 847-306-8990. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.