The popular season has arrived with record temps across the country, and with a lot households having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to beat the heat. As you are unwinding in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner works, let’s look at how a normal central heating and cooling system works.
Your air conditioner runs the similar to your refrigerator, but clearly instead of keeping a single space cool, it has to effectively provide cooler air to your whole home. Both use a refrigerant that converts swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a constant circle from the outside to indoors. It goes into the interior as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or absorbs heat from your indoor air, expands back into vapor, then returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is built of four critical components: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The component 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 located in the garage. As warm indoor air is carried across the cold evaporator coil, heat is pulled from the air…and the colder air is blown among your house.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant flows to the compressor located in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it shifts into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor goes into the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows by the coil, moving heat to the outdoors, and returns the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is returned to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is redone.
Your HVAC system is a constant loop of physics at work. We understand the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s operating successfully. If you’d like to talk science or just about remaining cool, give our professionals a call at 479-308-8176. We will work with you and the laws of physics to ensure you comfortable this time around.