How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are hitting record numbers across the country and many homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Although we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the experts at Central Heating & Plumbing in New Castle thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science behind keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner operates in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a more difficult job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from the indoors and turns back into vapor. This vapor then travels 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 core sections to your cooling system: 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 inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air transports throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is moved outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That accomplishes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an relentless 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 chat about staying cool and comfortable in New Castle contact us at 724-401-1843. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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