How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are climbing to record highs across the states and most homes are using some type of air conditioner to combat the seasonal heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner is functioning, the professionals at ACS Heating and Air Conditioning in Tucker thought they would give you a look at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science regarding keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, but your air conditioner has a larger responsibility to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC 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 goes into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from inside the home and turns back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit outside where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 core sections to your air conditioner unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the location your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located indoors, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air passes throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home.

Your compressor sits 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 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 converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner functions on an relentless 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 chat about staying cool and comfortable in Tucker give us a call at 770-450-1539. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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