The summer season has arrived with record temps across the country, and with a lot households having some type of air conditioner, it’s the most effective way to beat the heat. As you are sitting in your comfortably cool home or office, grateful that your air conditioner functions, let’s take a peek at how a typical central heating and cooling system works.
Your air conditioner works the same way as your refrigerator, but obviously instead of keeping a small space cool, it has to work to cool down your whole house. Both use a refrigerant that converts swiftly from liquid to gas, back to liquid again. In your air conditioner, the refrigerant is on a consistent ring from the outside to indoors. It goes into the interior as a sub-cooled liquid that evaporates and collects or absorbs heat from your indoor air, expands back into vapor, then returns to the outside condensing unit where it dissipates the heat and is transferred back to a sub-cooled liquid.
Your AC system is built of four key parts: an evaporator coil, a compressor, a condensing coil, and an expansion valve or metering device.
The piece where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid to a super-heated vapor is called the evaporator coil, which may be indoors, in your attic, or situated in the garage. As warm indoor air is moved throughout the cold evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air…and the cooled air is driven among your indoor space.
From the evaporator coil, the now super-heated vapor refrigerant returns to the compressor located in your outdoor condensing unit. The compressor increases the pressure of the vapor until it changes into a hot, high pressure vapor. The now super-hot vapor meets the condenser coil where less hot air blows by the coil, eliminating the heat to the outdoors, and switches the refrigerant to a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid refrigerant is returned to the indoor evaporator coil where, through an expansion valve or metering device, the process is repeated.
Your HVAC system is an endless loop of processes. We understand the important thing to you might not be how your AC operates, but that it’s operating correctly. If you’d like to know the inner workings or just about keeping cool, give our experts a call at 713-469-3357. We will work with you and the laws of physics to keep you happy this season.