The weather is hitting record highs throughout the U.S. and many homes are using some variety of air conditioner to beat the seasonal heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the professionals at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating in Pella would like to inform you how it works.
There’s plenty of science involved in keeping your living space cooler. Your air conditioner operates in a similar way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a larger task to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant easily alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It flows into your residence as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it takes in heat from inside the home and reverts back into vapor. This vapor then moves back to your outdoor unit where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.
There are 4 core components to your air conditioner
unit: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.
The evaporator coil is the place 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 sometimes in your attic. Warm air transports across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your indoor space.
Your compressor resides in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil flows into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is changed into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then enters back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is moved outdoors and the refrigerant is adapted back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil by an expansion valve or metering device. This continues repeatedly throughout the process.
That accomplishes your physics lesson today…your air conditioner operates on an never-ending loop of science. We realize that it’s not as crucial to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to discuss staying cool and comfortable in Pella give us a call at 641-628-3621. Thanks to science and our pros, you’ll get through this hot summer.