The popular season is in full swing with record temps across the country, and with a lot households having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the most effective way to escape the sun. As you are unwinding in your comfortably cool home or office, grateful that your air conditioner runs well, let’s look at how an average cooling system functions.
Your air conditioner runs the same way as your refrigerator, but clearly rather than keeping a small space cool, it has to effectively provide cooler air to your whole home. Both use a refrigerant that changes simply from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular loop from the outdoors to the interior of your house. It goes into the house as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and assembles or absorbs heat from the air within your house, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four key pieces: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The component where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be inside, in your attic, or in your garage. As warm indoor air is carried over the cold evaporator coil, heat is detached from the air…and the cooled air is pushed among your house.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant goes back to the compressor located in your outside condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it turns into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor goes into the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows by the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and changes the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is returned to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is replicated.
Your HVAC system is an endless loop of movement. We know the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s functioning the right way. If you’d like to talk science or just about staying cool, give our experts a call at 877-389-2465. We will work with you and the laws of physics to ensure you comfortable this summer.