How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

July 18, 2016

The temps are reaching record figures around the country and the majority of homes are running some variety of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Booneville Heating & Cooling LLC in Booneville would like to tell you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science behind keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your AC has a bigger job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner 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 goes into your house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from the indoors and turns back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit outside where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 core elements to your air conditioner unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the place your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be established in the home, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air transports throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which surges the pressure of the vapor until it is changed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner operates on an never-ending loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Booneville you can reach us at 662-269-8716. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.