How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are climbing to record numbers around the states and most homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to beat the seasonal heat. Although we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the professionals at D & D Heating & AC in Brighton thought they would give you a look at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner functions in a similar way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a larger job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from inside the home and expands back into vapor. This vapor then transfers 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 main components to your cooling 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 in the home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports throughout the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your indoor space.

Your compressor is located 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 goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That accomplishes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner operates on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as important to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Brighton contact us at 720-316-1401. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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