How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record numbers throughout the states and the majority of homes are using some type of air conditioner to combat the seasonal heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc in Carpentersville would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science involved in keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your cooling system has a bigger responsibility to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from the indoors and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central sections to your cooling system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the place your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be established inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout the space inside your home.

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

That concludes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We understand that it’s not as important to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Carpentersville contact us at 224-699-9229. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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