Summer is in full swing with record highs across the country, and with the vast majority of homes having some type of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to get out of the heat. As you are unwinding in your comfortably cool home or office, thankful that your air conditioner functions, let’s take a peek at how an average AC system works.
Your air conditioner operates the same way as 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 changes easily from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a constant loop from the outside to indoors. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and assembles or absorbs heat from your indoor air, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is switched back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is built of four critical 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 inside, in your attic, or situated in the garage. As warm indoor air is carried over the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the cooler air is driven among your indoor space.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor located in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor goes into the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows by the coil, moving 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 air conditioner is a constant loop of movement. We know the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s operating successfully. If you’d like to think about the process or just about remaining cool, give our experts a call at 937-558-9478. We will work with you and the laws of physics to ensure you happy this time around.