How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temperatures are hitting record figures around the states and most homes are using some type of air conditioner to beat the seasonal heat. While we are all grateful that your air conditioner works, the experts at Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning in Winnipeg would like to tell you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science behind keeping your home cooler. Your air conditioner runs in a comparable way to your refrigerator, of course your air conditioner has a larger responsibility to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it soaks in heat from the indoors and turns back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit outside where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 central sections 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 located in the home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air transports across 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 flows into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is transformed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air runs across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.

That concludes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an relentless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to chat about staying cool and comfortable in Winnipeg contact us at 204-272-8128. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.

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