How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are climbing to record highs across the U.S. and most homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to battle the smoldering heat. Though we are all grateful that your air conditioner runs, the professionals at Nisair Air Conditioning in Fort Pierce wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner functions in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a more difficult responsibility to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant quickly alters 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 your indoor air and expands 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 main components to your AC system: 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 located inside your home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor sits 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 flows 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 through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That accomplishes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an endless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Fort Pierce give us a call at 772-318-4252 . You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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