How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Air Conditioning SystemUnderstanding how your home air conditioning system works, helps to know when it is not working quite right. An air conditioner work much the same way as your home refrigerator. But, unlike a refrigerator, which cools a smaller space, your home air conditioning system cools your entire house.

There are three basic sections of an air conditioning system. You have a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. You also have a chemical that converts from a gas to a liquid and back again. It’s basic function is to take the heat out of the air and move it outside of the home. When your outside condenser unit is running, place your hand over the top of the unit and feel the temperature of the air that is being blown. It is very warm. You would think that an air conditioning unit would do just the opposite, that of changing the air to a cool temperature. Well it is doing that, but simply removing the heat from the air, leaving your air cooler.

Your outside unit is comprised of the compressor and condenser. On the other hand, the evaporator is on the inside of your home and is typically part of your furnace or blower.

So basically the way the whole cooling system works is through the chemical changes that take place with the fluid that circulates from the outside unit and the inside evaporator (furnace).

The fluid or chemical will arrive at the compressor (outside unit) as a cool gas and then move through the compressor and leave as a hot gas. When in the compressor it is compressed, squeezing the fluid, pushing the fluid molecules closer together. In doing so it creates a higher temperature and forms a gas under high pressure.

It then moves through the condenser, which is a radiator, and dissipates the heat from the gas. That is why you can feel the hot air that is blown from the top of your outside unit. So coming into the condenser hot, it leaves cooler. As it is cooled down, it is changed from a gas back into a fluid.

This cooler fluid now travel inside of your home to the furnace unit through the evaporator. Inside the evaporator the fluid is pushed through a tiny hole. As it comes through this hole the fluid pressure drops and is changed into a gas. The evaporator unit is also like a radiator, as it transfers the heat around it into the gas in the tube and heats up the gas. The gas then is back on its way to the outside unit and arrives at the compressor and begins the process all over again.

The blower of your furnace unit is used to blow the cooler air into your home through a series of duct work which is connected to vents in each room of your home. Adjusting your vents (Opening or closing them) helps you to maintain a proper temperature balance for each room.

All of the components of your cooling system require regular maintenance to continue working properly and efficiently. So it is important to have them checked and service annually. Call iRepair Heating and Air for an annual check up.

Posted in Air Conditioner, Energy Savings, Salt Lake City, Staying Cool