How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is reaching record figures across the country and the majority of homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. Though we are all thankful that your air conditioner is functioning, the team at MPC Heating & Cooling in Chadron thought they would give you a glance at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science regarding keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your cooling system has a bigger responsibility to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly changes 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 absorbs heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to your outdoor unit where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 core sections to your AC system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be found in the home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air moves across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your home.

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

That concludes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner runs on an relentless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Chadron you can reach us at 308-832-4321. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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