How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are climbing to record highs around the states and most homes are running some kind of air conditioner to beat the seasonal heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner is functioning, the professionals at Garoken Energy Co. Inc. in Beaverton thought they would give you a look at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science regarding keeping your house cooler. Your air conditioner runs in a comparable way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a more difficult responsibility to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner 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 goes into your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from inside the home and expands back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit outside where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 core elements to your cooling system: 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 inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home.

Your compressor resides 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 changed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That completes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner operates 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 talk about staying cool and comfortable in Beaverton contact us at 503-848-3838. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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