The popular season is here with record highs across the country, and with many houses having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the best way to beat the heat. As you are sitting in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner functions, let’s look at how a normal central heating and cooling system works.
Your air conditioner works the just like your refrigerator, but understandably instead of keeping a little space cool, it has to effectively provide cooler air to your whole home. Both use a refrigerant that converts simply from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a consistent loop from the exterior to the inside of your home. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and assembles or absorbs heat from the air within your house, expands back into vapor, then returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is switched back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is created out of four key 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, in your attic, or in your garage. As warm indoor air is moved throughout the cold evaporator coil, heat is pulled from the air…and the colder air is blown among your indoor space.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant flows to the compressor based in your outdoor condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it shifts into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where a lower amount hot air blows past the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and changes 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 HVAC system is a consistent loop of movement. We know the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s functioning the right way. If you’d like to know the inner workings or just about staying cool, give our experts a call at 239-241-5318. We will work with you and the laws of physics to keep you cool this season.