How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is climbing to record numbers across the U.S. and many homes are using some kind of air conditioner to combat the summer heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the team at Wallpe Heating & Cooling in Greensburg would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science involved in keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner runs in a comparable way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a bigger responsibility to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from your indoor air and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main elements 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 established indoors, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air passes across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home.

Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil flows into the compressor which surges 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. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That accomplishes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner functions 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 talk about staying cool and comfortable in Greensburg give us a call at 812-663-7252. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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