How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The weather is hitting record numbers throughout the states and most homes are using some type of air conditioner to beat the smoldering heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the team at Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating in St. Louis thought they would give you a sneak peek at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner functions in a comparable way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a more difficult task to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It goes into your house as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main components to your AC system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.

The evaporator coil is the place your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be found indoors, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air passes through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air moves across the coil, heat is pushed outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That completes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner operates on an relentless loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that you are staying cool. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in St. Louis contact us at 314-262-4541. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

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