The popular season has arrived with record highs across the country, and with the vast majority of homes having some sort of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to beat the heat. As you are unwinding in your comfortably cool home or office, thankful that your air conditioner runs well, let’s take a peek at how an average central heating and cooling system works.
Your air conditioner runs the same way as your refrigerator, but obviously rather than keeping a single space cool, it has to cool your entire home. Both use a refrigerant that changes swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a consistent ring from the outdoors to the inside of your home. It goes into the home as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or soaks up 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 changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is built of four critical parts: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The piece where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be indoors, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is blown over the cold evaporator coil, heat is detached from the air…and the cooled air is blown within your home.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant goes back to the compressor located in your outside condensing unit. The compressor increases the pressure of the vapor until it shifts into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor enters the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows past the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and returns the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is sent to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is redone.
Your air conditioner is a constant loop of movement. We realize the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s functioning correctly. If you’d like to know the inner workings or just about staying cool, give our technicians a call at 928-263-8570. We will partner with you and the laws of physics to confirm you cool this season.