How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is hitting record highs around the country and many homes are utilizing some kind of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner works, 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 plethora of science behind keeping your house cool. Your air conditioner operates in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a more difficult job to handle. 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 quickly changes 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 reverts back into vapor. This vapor then moves 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 components to your air conditioner unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the place 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 sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports 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 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 moves across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is changed 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 accomplishes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner functions on an endless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to chat about 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.

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