How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are hitting record numbers throughout the U.S. and most homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the professionals at Faust Air Conditioning and Heating in Wharton wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science regarding keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Your air conditioner operates in a comparable way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a more difficult job to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly changes 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 absorbs heat from inside the home and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit outside where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central sections to your air conditioner unit: 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 in the home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then sent 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 moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air runs across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That accomplishes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner operates on an never-ending loop of science. We know that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Wharton contact us at 979-532-2511. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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