The popular season is in full swing with record temps across the country, and with the vast majority of homes having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the most effective way to beat the heat. As you are sitting in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner works, let’s gain some insight at how a typical cooling system functions.
Your air conditioner works the similar to your refrigerator, but clearly compared to keeping a little space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that changes easily from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a constant ring from the outside to indoors. It goes into the house as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and gathers or absorbs heat from your indoor air, expands back into vapor, then back to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is built of four key parts: 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 inside your home, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is carried over the cold evaporator coil, heat is detached from the air…and the cooler air is blown throughout your home.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor based in your outside condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it turns into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows by the coil, moving heat to the outdoors, and returns the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is returned to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is repeated.
Your HVAC system is a constant loop of physics at work. We understand the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s working successfully. If you’d like to think about the process or just about keeping cool, give our technicians a call at 239-244-3439. We will partner with you and the laws of physics to ensure you comfortable this season.