How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are reaching record numbers around the states and many homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to combat the smoldering heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner runs, the team at Northern Comfort Inc in Mankato area thought they would give you a look at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner runs in a comparable way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a larger task to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant effortlessly 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 transfers back to your outdoor unit where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 core elements 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 established in the home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air moves across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil flows into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is changed 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 pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We know that it’s not as important to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Mankato area give us a call at 507-307-4818. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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