Your air conditioner is an extraordinary appliance that works tirelessly in the background to keep the environment inside your home healthy and comfortable. So how does an air conditioning system actually work? The equipment may be complex, but the principle the technology is based upon is remarkably simple.
The Role of the Refrigerant
Refrigerant is the essential fluid an air conditioner uses to transfer heat from inside your home to the outdoors. The refrigeration cycle is based on a fundamental law of physics relating to the fact that a liquid absorbs heat when it is converted into a gas. Air conditioners take advantage of this principle—known as phase conversion—by utilizing specially formulated compounds that have the capacity to repeatedly evaporate and condense within a sealed system. These refrigerants are developed to include properties that enable them to change form at relatively low temperatures.
How Air Conditioning Equipment Works
An air conditioning system has three main components including the compressor, evaporator and condenser. The compressor and condenser are located outside, usually in a separate enclosure. The evaporator coil is part of the air handler, which includes the blower.
The refrigeration cycle begins as low-pressure liquid arrives at the evaporator coil. Heat energy from the indoor air is absorbed by the refrigerant, which subsequently changes into a low-pressure gas. As the gas travels to the condenser, the action of the compressor changes the refrigerant into a high-pressure gas that contains a significant amount of heat. The action of the condensing fan helps dissipate the thermal energy as the refrigerant travels through the condensing coil. As the heat is removed from the refrigerant, it is converted back into a liquid, which starts the entire process over again. This cycle continues endlessly until enough heat is removed from the indoor environment to satisfy the thermostat setting.
Learn More about the Air Conditioning Process
If you are experiencing high utility bills and increasing air conditioning repair costs, it may be time to consider replacing your aging unit with a new energy efficient model. Call today – 678-369-0500 – to learn more about the benefits of owning a modern air conditioner and arrange an appointment for a free system evaluation.