How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

The temps are hitting record numbers throughout the states and many homes are utilizing some kind of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. Although we are all thankful that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Lycoming Heating Company in Williamsport would like to inform you how it works.

The Basics

There’s a plethora of science regarding keeping your house cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a comparable way to your refrigerator, but your air conditioner has a bigger responsibility to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, however with the air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from the indoors and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to the unit located outdoors where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.

Four Components

There are 4 main 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 established in the home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air transports across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken 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 goes into the compressor which increases the pressure of the vapor until it is changed 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 adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid then goes back to the indoor evaporator coil via an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.

That concludes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We know that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but just the fact it’s running. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Williamsport contact us at 570-244-2510. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.

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