The popular season is in full swing with record highs across the country, and with a lot households having some type of air conditioner, it’s the best way to get out of the heat. As you are sitting in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner runs well, let’s look at how a typical AC system works.
Your air conditioner operates the same way as your refrigerator, but obviously compared to keeping a small space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that adapts swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a regular ring from the outside to indoors. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and gathers or absorbs heat from the air in your home, expands back into vapor, then back to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four critical 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 inside your home, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is moved over the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the colder air is pushed among your house.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor located in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it turns into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor enters the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows by the coil, moving heat to the outdoors, and switches the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is pushed to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is repeated.
Your air conditioner is a constant loop of movement. We understand the important thing to you isn’t really how it works, but that it’s functioning the right way. If you’d like to think about the process or just about staying cool, give our experts a call at 803-265-4208. We will partner with you and the laws of physics to confirm you cool this summer.