The summer season is in full swing with record highs across the country, and with many houses having some kind of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to beat the heat. As you are relaxing in your comfortably cool home or office, appreciating that your air conditioner functions, let’s look at how a normal central heating and cooling system works.
Your air conditioner works the similar to your refrigerator, but obviously instead of keeping a little space cool, it has to effectively provide cooler air to your whole home. Both use a refrigerant that converts swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a constant ring from the outside to indoors. It goes into the interior as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and gathers or soaks up heat from the air in your home, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is switched back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four main pieces: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The part where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be inside, in your attic, or located in the garage. As warm indoor air is blown across the cold evaporator coil, heat is pulled from the air…and the cooler air is driven throughout your indoor space.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant goes back to the compressor based in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor raises the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor goes into the condenser coil where less hot air blows across the coil, removing heat to the outdoors, and switches the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is returned to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is redone.
Your AC system is a constant loop of processes. We know the important thing to you isn’t really how it works, but that it’s working correctly. If you’d like to talk science or just about remaining cool, give our technicians a call at 717-220-4502. We will partner with you and the laws of physics to ensure you comfortable this season.