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 wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your living space at a comfortable temperature. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your air conditioner has a bigger responsibility to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, however with the 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 house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks 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 main components to your cooling system: 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 enters into the compressor which surges 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 runs across the coil, heat is moved outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That completes your physics lesson for now…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 just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Brandon you can reach us at 204-728-0180. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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