How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record highs throughout the country and many homes are running some type of air conditioner to combat the smoldering heat. Though we are all grateful that your air conditioner works, the professionals at Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in Oxford would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science involved in keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a bigger responsibility to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant quickly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from your indoor air and turns back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central components to your AC system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the location your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be found indoors, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an relentless loop of science. We know that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Oxford give us a call at 662-281-1231. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

Back To Blog