Air Conditioning 101: How Do They Work?
When summer comes knocking on your front door and humid summers leave your home hot, stuffy and stifling, the air conditioner helps everyone beat the heat. It’s an important part of every household’s HVAC system since it’s responsible for cooling high temperatures, changing the general quality of the air, and creating a comfortable environment even in the middle of a solstice.
Almost every house has an air conditioner, but not many people understand how it truly works. It seems unnecessary since any breakdowns call for the aid of professional HVAC contractors, but having a rudimentary knowledge of the AC’s inner workings can help you maintain its quality better. With that in mind, how exactly does an AC work?
The Basics of Air Conditioning
The best way to understand how your AC works is to take apart its primary components that do all the magic behind the scenes: the compressor, condenser coil, and evaporator coil.
Compressor - as the moniker suggests, the compressor is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant to increase its temperature. The higher the pressure, the hotter it gets, resulting in hotter air than the outdoor temperature. This allows the AC to dispel the heat.
Condenser Coil - this is found in the outdoor area of the AC unit, which is what takes in the pressurized, hot air from the compressor and transfers it completely outdoors. Once it removes the heat from the refrigerant, it turns back into its liquid form.
Evaporator Coil - this is what picks up the heat from outside, turning the refrigerant into vapor.
All these parts use a special chemical known as a refrigerant, which transforms into a liquid to gas depending on what temperature you expose it to.
Its liquid state absorbs heat and turns it into gas, but the AC system forces the substance to revert to its liquid form so it can expel the heat and blow cool air into your space.
But Where Does the AC Get Air?
The AC system doesn’t simply pull cool air from nothing, but actually uses the blower and evaporator to get the heat inside before expelling it outdoors. The warm air travels across the evaporator coils, while the refrigerant moving inside the coils draws in the heat to turn the cool liquid into hot vapor. The AC then uses the compressor and condenser to blow the heat outside, leaving your home cooler and fresh.
The Bottom Line: Breaking Down the Basics of How Air Conditioning Works
Being one of the hardiest workhorses at home, it’s only right to provide proper preventive maintenance to your AC so it can continue to function for a long time. Knowing its basic parts and how it works should give you better pointers on how to maintain your AC, allowing you to enjoy an efficiently performing system at home.
Are You Looking for HVAC Services in Chicago, IL?
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We are Chicago's premier HVAC service that specializes in residential and commercial air conditioner installation. We are committed to keeping our clients cool and comfortable in their space, no matter the season! Learn more about our services today!