How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are climbing to record numbers around the country and most homes are using some type of air conditioner to combat the summer heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Brooks Heating and Air Conditioning in Bossier City thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your house cool. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your air conditioner has a larger job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant quickly 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 transfers back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central components 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 established inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air passes across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then transferred 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 increases the pressure of the vapor until it is transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is moved outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That accomplishes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We realize that it’s not as important to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Bossier City give us a call at 800-COOLING. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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