The popular season has arrived with record heat across the country, and with the vast majority of homes having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to beat the heat. As you are relaxing in your comfortably cool home or office, grateful that your air conditioner runs well, let’s take a peek at how a typical cooling system functions.
Your air conditioner runs the similar to your refrigerator, but understandably rather than keeping a single space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that converts simply from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a consistent loop from the outside to indoors. It goes into the house as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or absorbs heat from the air in your home, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four main components: 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 indoors, in your attic, or in your garage. As warm indoor air is moved across the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the colder air is blown throughout your house.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant flows to the compressor stationed in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor enhances the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor enters the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows past the coil, moving heat to the outdoors, and changes the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is pushed to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is replicated.
Your air conditioner is a consistent loop of processes. We know the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s working the right way. If you’d like to talk science or just about staying cool, give our experts a call at 772-247-2283. We will team up with you and the laws of physics to keep you happy this season.