Summer has arrived with record temps across the country, and with many houses having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the best way to get out of the heat. As you are relaxing in your comfortably cool home or office, grateful that your air conditioner functions, let’s take a peek at how a normal AC system works.
Your air conditioner runs the similar to your refrigerator, but clearly instead of keeping a little space cool, it has to effectively provide cooler air to your whole home. Both use a refrigerant that adapts swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a consistent circle from the outside to indoors. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or soaks up heat from the air in your home, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is switched back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four main 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 indoors, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is carried over the cold evaporator coil, heat is pulled from the air…and the cooled air is driven within your home.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant goes back to the compressor stationed in your outside condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor enters the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows across the coil, removing heat to the outdoors, and changes 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 redone.
Your AC system is a constant loop of movement. We realize the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s operating successfully. If you’d like to think about the process or just about staying cool, give our professionals a call at 843-485-0967. We will team up with you and the laws of physics to confirm you comfortable this summer.