How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

July 18, 2016

The temperatures are hitting record figures around the states and many homes are running some type of air conditioner to battle the smoldering heat. Though we are all grateful that your air conditioner is functioning, the professionals at Cool Power LLC in Ronkonkoma would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner runs in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a bigger job to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant quickly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from the indoors and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit outside where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main components 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 established in the home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which surges the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is moved outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted 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 accomplishes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner operates on an never-ending 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 discuss staying cool and comfortable in Ronkonkoma you can reach us at 631-246-4029. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.