man relaxing in air conditioning

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record figures around the country and most homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Although we are all appreciative that your air conditioner runs, the professionals at Langford Cooling in Tampa Bay would like to tell you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your house cool. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a larger task to tackle. 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 effortlessly 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 absorbs heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then moves 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 main sections 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 found inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air moves throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then released 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 increases 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 concludes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Tampa Bay give us a call at 813-898-9553 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.