How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are reaching record highs across the U.S. and many homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the team at Oak Point Heating and Air LLC in Denton thought they would give you a sneak peek at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science regarding keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner runs in a similar way to your refrigerator, however your cooling system has a more difficult job to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant effortlessly converts 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 takes in heat from inside the home and turns back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is freed 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 where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located indoors, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air moves 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 resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is changed 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 moved outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That accomplishes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner functions on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Denton contact us at 940-202-1202. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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