How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are reaching record numbers around the U.S. and many homes are running some variety of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Although we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the team at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. in Muskogee would like to tell you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science involved in keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a bigger job to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from your indoor air and reverts 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 main sections 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 even in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil flows into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air runs 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 through an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That accomplishes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner operates on an never-ending loop of science. We know that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Muskogee give us a call at 918-682-8238. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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