Summer is here with record highs across the country, and with many houses having some type of air conditioner, it’s the best way to get out of the heat. As you are relaxing in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner works, let’s take a peek at how a normal central heating and cooling system works.
Your air conditioner works the same way as your refrigerator, but understandably instead of keeping a small space cool, it has to effectively provide cooler air to your whole home. Both use a refrigerant that converts simply from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a constant loop from the exterior to the interior of your house. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and gathers or takes in heat from the air in your home, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four key pieces: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The component where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be indoors, in your attic, or in your garage. As warm indoor air is moved throughout the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the cooler air is driven within your house.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant goes back to the compressor located in your outside condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows by the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and changes the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is sent to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is redone.
Your air conditioner is a consistent loop of physics at work. We understand the important thing to you isn’t really how it works, but that it’s operating successfully. If you’d like to know the inner workings or just about keeping cool, give our technicians a call at 863-216-2923. We will partner with you and the laws of physics to ensure you cool this season.