How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are hitting record highs around the states and the majority of homes are running some kind of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. Although we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the professionals at Brandon Heating and Plumbing (1998) Ltd. in Brandon would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your AC has a bigger responsibility to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant quickly alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to your outdoor unit where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main components to your air conditioner unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located inside your home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air moves across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your home.

Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which surges 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 flows across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil and through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Brandon give us a call at 204-728-0180 or set up an appointment using our online scheduler. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

Back To Blog