How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are climbing to record figures throughout the country and many homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to battle the smoldering heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner runs, the experts at Total Comfort in Franklin Lakes wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, of course your air conditioner has a larger responsibility to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant effortlessly alters 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 inside the home and turns back into vapor. This vapor then travels 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 central elements 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 located inside your home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air moves throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which raises 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 runs 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 process is continually repeated.

That completes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner functions on an endless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Franklin Lakes you can reach us at 201-268-5663. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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