Summer is in full swing with record temps across the country, and with many houses having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the best way to get out of the heat. As you are relaxing in your comfortably cool home or office, thankful that your air conditioner functions, let’s look at how an average cooling system functions.
Your air conditioner works the similar to your refrigerator, but understandably instead of keeping a little space cool, it has to cool your entire home. Both use a refrigerant that changes simply from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a consistent ring from the outdoors to indoors. It goes into the interior as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or takes in heat from the air within your house, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is changed back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is created out of four main 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 situated in the garage. As warm indoor air is blown throughout the cold evaporator coil, heat is detached from the air…and the colder air is blown throughout your home.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor located in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor increases 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 repeated.
Your air conditioner is a consistent loop of processes. We understand the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s operating the right way. If you’d like to think about the process or just about staying cool, give our technicians a call at 847-362-0262. We will work with you and the laws of physics to keep you comfortable this time around.