How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are hitting record highs across the country and most homes are running some kind of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Although we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the team at Brandon Heating and Plumbing in Brandon would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your living space at a comfortable temperature. Your air conditioner functions in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your air conditioner has a larger 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 absorbs heat from the indoors and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then travels 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 elements to your cooling system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the location 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 through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed 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 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 adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

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 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. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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