How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

July 18, 2016

The temperatures are hitting record figures across the states and most homes are using some variety of air conditioner to battle the summer heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the professionals at Titan Heating & Air Conditioning in Central Point wants to give you a glimpse at just how an AC system works.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science regarding keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your air conditioner has a larger job to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from inside the home and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit outside where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central components to your AC system: 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 sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor sits 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 transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated.

That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We understand that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Central Point contact us at 541-286-6617. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.