Summer is in full swing with record temps across the country, and with many houses having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to escape the sun. As you are sitting in your comfortably cool home or office, grateful that your air conditioner functions, let’s take a peek at how a typical central heating and cooling system works.
Your air conditioner works the just like your refrigerator, but obviously instead of keeping a little space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that changes swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular ring from the exterior to the interior of your house. It goes into the interior as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or absorbs heat from your indoor air, expands back into vapor, then back to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four critical parts: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The piece where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be indoors, in your attic, or in your garage. As warm indoor air is blown over the cold evaporator coil, heat is pulled from the air…and the cooler air is pushed throughout your indoor space.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor based in your outdoor condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it turns into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows across the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and returns the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is returned to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is repeated.
Your air conditioner is a consistent loop of processes. We understand the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s working correctly. If you’d like to talk science or just about remaining cool, give our professionals a call at 1-866-781-0111. We will work with you and the laws of physics to ensure you happy this season.