How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are hitting record highs around the U.S. and many homes are running some type of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner is functioning, the team at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. in Muskogee wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science involved in keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner runs in a parallel way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a larger job to tackle. 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 effortlessly 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 soaks in heat from inside the home and reverts 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 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 located indoors, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air passes across 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 goes into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is converted 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 converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns 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 runs on an never-ending loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Muskogee give us a call at 918-534-8286. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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