How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record numbers throughout the U.S. and the majority of homes are running some type of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner is functioning, the professionals at Cool Power LLC in Ronkonkoma wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner operates in a comparable way to your refrigerator, however your air conditioner has a more difficult responsibility to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant quickly alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from your indoor air and turns back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main elements to your AC 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 found indoors, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air passes through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor sits 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 changed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an endless loop of science. We understand 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 Ronkonkoma contact us at 631-246-4029. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

Back To Blog