How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps 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 thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your house at a comfortable temperature. 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, with your AC 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 house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from your indoor air and turns back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit outside 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 the space inside your home.

Your compressor resides 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 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 continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That concludes your physics lesson for now…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 you can reach us at 813-418-7884. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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