How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is hitting record numbers around the country and many homes are using some variety of air conditioner to beat the seasonal heat. While we are all thankful that your air conditioner works, the experts at Ken Parker Service Inc in Greenville wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science behind keeping your house cool. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a more difficult job to tackle. 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 effortlessly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows 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 transfers back to your outdoor unit where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main elements to your cooling system: 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 established indoors, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is changed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner operates on an never-ending loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Greenville give us a call at 903-883-2829. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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