How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are reaching record highs throughout the states and many homes are running some type of air conditioner to battle the summer heat. While we are all grateful that your air conditioner works, the professionals at Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in Oxford wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, of course your air conditioner has a larger responsibility to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant quickly changes from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central components to your air conditioner unit: 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 located indoors, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then transferred 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 transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That completes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an relentless loop of science. We know that it’s not as important to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Oxford give us a call at 662-350-0343. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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