The popular season is here with record temps across the country, and with many houses having some type of air conditioner, it’s the most effective 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 gain some insight at how a normal AC system works.
Your air conditioner operates the same way as your refrigerator, but understandably instead of keeping a small space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that changes simply from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a consistent circle from the outdoors to the interior of your house. 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 returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is created out of four key pieces: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The part where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be inside your home, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is moved over the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the cooled air is driven among your indoor space.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant flows to the compressor located in your outside condensing unit. The compressor increases the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows past the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and returns the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is sent to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is replicated.
Your air conditioner is an endless loop of movement. We know the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s operating correctly. If you’d like to know the inner workings or just about keeping cool, give our technicians a call at 336-853-6070. We will partner with you and the laws of physics to ensure you cool this time around.