How Does Your Air Conditioner Work?
If you live anywhere where the summers get warm, or even hot, then you probably understand the benefit of having an air conditioner for your residence. But it’s possible that this may be the only thing you understand about an AC unit.
Luckily, air conditioning experts have compiled the following information and frequently asked questions about air conditioners that will help educate you so you’ll have a better understanding of your home’s need for AC services.
Typical Air Conditioner Parts
An air conditioner cools your home by taking the warm air out of your space, removing the heat, cooling it, and sending it back into your home. In order to do this, it uses a collection of parts including:
- Refrigerant: Sometimes also called coolant, or by the brand name Freon. It’s used in an AC unit because it changes from liquid to gas pretty easily at convenient temperatures.
- Compressor: This part of the AC pressurizes the refrigerant, which causes its temperature to rise. The goal is to get the refrigerant hotter than the outdoor temperature and the easiest way to do this is adding pressure.
- Condenser Coil: This received the highly pressurized, hot gas from the compressor. It’s the opposite of the Evaporator Coil. It turns the gas refrigerant into a liquid.
- Expansion Valve: This takes the very hot liquid and removes some of the heat, so it can be cool enough to go to the evaporator coils.
- Evaporator Coil: The evaporator coils are the opposite of the condenser coils. Meaning it changes the liquid refrigerant back into a gas.
These aren’t all the parts of an AC unit, but they’re the main ones you’ll need to know to understand how an AC unit works.
How Does an AC Actually Work?
This FAQ is complex, but it can be summarized for a homeowner's understanding. The vents inside your home first suck in hot air from inside the room.
The refrigerant absorbs this heat as the air flows over the evaporator coils, which are kept very cold by the refrigerant. Once the refrigerant has absorbed enough heat from the air, it then flows to the compressor.
The compressor then tightens the gas refrigerant so it gets even hotter. After passing through the compressor, it flows through the condenser coils. A condenser fan pushes air over the condenser coils which helps disperse the heat the refrigerant has collected and sends it outside.
The refrigerant turns back into a liquid. The refrigerant then heads to the expansion valve, which depressurizes it and cools it down more before sending it back to the evaporator coils. And your AC unit will repeat this process over and over again until your room reaches the desired temperature.
Why Trust the Pros?
This is, of course, an oversimplified explanation of the complex and complicated process an AC unit uses to keep your home cool. This is why it’s so important to have a professional you can trust.
Because the truth is, air conditioners are not just complicated, they can also be dangerous, too. That’s because refrigerant can actually be poisonous.
When it’s in its gaseous state, if it’s inhaled, it could lead to refrigerant poisoning, a condition that can actually be fatal if the poison absorbed is a large enough dose.
This is why you should never avoid calling a tradesman for services when your AC is facing a problem. Because it could be due to a refrigerant leak, which could be dangerous to your household.
Call Your Local Experts
Go Green Express Home Services are your Newburgh, NY plumbing and HVAC specialists. They offer 24/7 emergency services for when you have a problem that just can’t wait for business hours. They make sure their jobs are on time, done right, and done clean. They’ve been a trusted company since 1977 and they focus on environmentally friendly solutions.