How Does an Air Conditioner Work?07/18/2016 The temperatures are reaching record figures throughout the states and the majority of homes are using some variety of air conditioner to beat the summer heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner runs, the professionals at Beck Cohen in Charlottesville would like to teach you how it works. The Basics There’s a lot of science behind keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner functions in a parallel way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a bigger task to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant effortlessly converts from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to your outdoor unit where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid. Four Components There are 4 core elements to your air conditioner unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve. The evaporator coil is the location your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located inside your home, in your garage or sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home. Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil and through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated. That completes your physics lesson of the day…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 that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Charlottesville give us a call at 434-296-0129 or set up an appointment using our online scheduler. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.