How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The popular season has arrived with record temps across the country, and with a lot households having some sort of air conditioner, it’s the most effective way to get out of the heat. As you are unwinding in your comfortably cool home or office, grateful that your air conditioner runs well, let’s look at how an average central heating and cooling system works.

The Basics

Your air conditioner runs the just like your refrigerator, but clearly instead of keeping a little space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that adapts simply 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 home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or absorbs heat from your indoor air, expands back into vapor, then returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.

The Components

Your AC system is made of four key parts: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.

The part where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be inside your home, in your attic, or in your garage. As warm indoor air is moved across the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the colder air is pushed throughout your indoor space.

From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant flows to the compressor based in your outdoor condensing unit. The compressor increases the pressure of the vapor until it shifts into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows past the coil, removing heat to the outdoors, and changes the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is pushed to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is redone.

Your HVAC system is a consistent loop of processes. We know the important thing to you isn’t really how it works, but that it’s working the right way. If you’d like to think about the process or just about staying cool, give our professionals a call at 318-671-5355. We will work with you and the laws of physics to confirm you happy this time around.

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