How Do Air Conditioners Work?

Have you ever wondered how air conditioners work? The process of cooling the air through modern air conditioning is fascinating. Basically, when gas is compressed, the temperature of the gas rises in proportion to the applied pressure. Air conditioner refrigerant is the gas that is compressed in the AC unit’s compressor. When the refrigerant is compressed, the temperature of the gas rises and is trapped. The heat is released outside the house and then the gas travels through a cooling area, the condenser, returning to liquid form. The liquid is much cooler in liquid form and the cool air is captured and blown through the house with a motorized fan.

The Workings of AC

Most people believe that air conditioning units blow cold air into the home. However, the AC unit essentially extracts heat and moisture from the air inside the home to cool the living space. The cooler air is a byproduct of the release of the home’s heat to the outside. AC uses the principle of evaporation to cool the air.

The Compressor

The cooling process begins at the compressor. The refrigerant enters the compressor as a cool gas. As the gas passes through the compressor, the gas compresses and becomes very hot. The temperature rises proportionally to the pressure placed on the gas.

The Condenser Coils

The hot gas passes through the condenser coils and the heat is dissipated into the air outside the home. When the gas has traveled through the condenser coils and the heat is released, the gas changes back into cool liquid form. The liquid is still under high pressure as it passes through the expansion valve.

The Expansion Valve

The high pressure liquid refrigerant is passed through the expansion valve and is released in very small amounts at the other side of the valve. The liquid begins to travel through a second set of coils, the evaporator coils.

The Blower

As the liquid refrigerant evaporates in the coils, the heat is drawn from the surrounding area. The blower fan blows the cooler, evaporating air into the living area to create the sensation of cooling. The liquid returns to cool gas form and enters the compressor to start the process all over again.

The process of the circulation of gas, changing temperatures to draw out the heat, continues until the room reaches the temperature set on the thermostat. Once the temperature is reached, the unit kicks off until the room temperature begins to rise again. This is just a brief explanation of how air conditioners work.

Most residents, especially those who live in warm climates like Mount Vernon TX, could not even imagine life without air conditioning. AC has become such an integral part of our lives that we often take this technology for granted. In fact, AC is a complex system that operates on principles of thermodynamics in the most ingenious way to keep us comfortable and cool. The next time someone asks you how air conditioners work, you can describe the process to them.

When you need maintenance or repair services for your air conditioner in Mount Vernon TX, call Wood Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

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