How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

July 18, 2016

The weather is hitting record figures across the U.S. and most homes are running some kind of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Though we are all thankful that your air conditioner works, the team at Air Houston Mechanical LLC in Huffman wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science regarding keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, of course your air conditioner has a bigger responsibility to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, however with the 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 residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from inside the home and turns back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is let go 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 the location your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be found inside your home, in your garage or even 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 home.

Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is released 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. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That completes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner functions on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Huffman contact us at 832-777-1521. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.