How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are reaching record figures throughout the country and many homes are utilizing some variety of air conditioner to battle the summer heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Tri County Air Care LLC in Dallas thought they would give you a sneak peek at how an air conditioner operates.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science involved in keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner operates in a similar way to your refrigerator, but your cooling system has a bigger job to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to the outdoors. This refrigerant quickly 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 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 released 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 indoors, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air passes through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout the space inside your home.

Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes 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 then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil through 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 realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Dallas you can reach us at 469-617-3437. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.

Back To Blog