man relaxing in air conditioning

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are reaching record figures throughout the states and the majority of homes are utilizing some type of air conditioner to combat the seasonal heat. Although we are all grateful that your air conditioner works, the team at Klaus & Sons Heating & Air Conditioning in Upland would like to teach you how it works.

The Basics

There’s plenty of science behind keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, but your AC has a more difficult 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 outside your home. This refrigerant effortlessly changes from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your home 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 main sections to your air conditioner unit: 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 established inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air transports through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home.

Your compressor is located 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 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 released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil and through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That accomplishes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We realize that it’s not as important to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Upland give us a call at 909-982-5698 or set up an appointment using our online scheduler. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.