How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is climbing to record numbers around the country and the majority of homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to combat the seasonal heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the professionals at Stan's Heating, Inc in Ontario would like to teach you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science regarding keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a more difficult job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring 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 house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from the indoors and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is let go 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 found inside your home, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air transports through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor resides 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 transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That completes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner functions on an endless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Ontario give us a call at 541-286-6602. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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