How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

July 18, 2016

The temperatures are hitting record highs throughout the states and many homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to combat the seasonal heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc in Phoenix would like to teach you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your house cooler. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however 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 to the external part of your home. This refrigerant quickly changes from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from the indoors and turns back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit outside where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central components to your air conditioner unit: 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 found indoors, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor sits 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 changed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves 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 process is continually repeated.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner functions on an endless loop of science. We realize 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 Phoenix give us a call at 602-832-7808. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.