How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is reaching record figures throughout the U.S. and the majority of homes are utilizing some kind of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the team at McNatt Inc in Robstown thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science involved in keeping your living space at a comfortable temperature. Your air conditioner runs in a similar way to your refrigerator, of course your cooling system has a larger task to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant effortlessly alters 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 the indoors and expands back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to your outdoor unit where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main elements to your cooling 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 found indoors, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air transports through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which raises 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 runs across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner operates on an endless loop of science. We know that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Robstown you can reach us at 361-888-4808. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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