The summer season is here with record heat across the country, and with many houses having some type of air conditioner, it’s the ideal way to escape the sun. As you are relaxing in your comfortably cool home or office, thankful that your air conditioner runs well, let’s look at how a normal cooling system functions.
Your air conditioner runs the same way as your refrigerator, but understandably rather than keeping a little space cool, it has to cool your entire home. Both use a refrigerant that converts easily 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 house as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or takes in heat from the air within your house, expands back into vapor, then heads to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is made of four critical parts: 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 situated in the garage. As warm indoor air is blown across the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the cooler air is blown within your house.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor based in your exterior condensing unit. The compressor enhances the pressure of the vapor until it shifts into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor goes into the condenser coil where a smaller amount hot air blows by the coil, moving heat to the outdoors, and returns the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is pushed to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is repeated.
Your HVAC system is an endless loop of movement. We realize the important thing to you likely isn’t what happens behind the scenes, but that it’s functioning the right way. If you’d like to think about the process or just about staying cool, give our experts a call at 410-228-4822. We will team up with you and the laws of physics to ensure you comfortable this time around.