There is hardly any building or car without an air conditioner these days. It has become a useful component of houses, homes, vehicles, and so on. With each passing day, air conditioning is becoming more and more of a necessity. Although everyone enjoys a cool room, not all know how the air is cooled. While this may seem like something only a professional air conditioning repair company may need to know – understanding how something works will help you identify any issues that arise and whether they can be simple DIY AC fixes or require professional AC repair.
Parts Of An Air Conditioning Unit
To understand how an air conditioner works, you’ll need to know the four major components of an air conditioner. These parts are:
The evaporator collects heat from a space via a refrigerant gas. The evaporator coils are where the absorption of heat by the liquid refrigerant takes place, and after the absorption process, the liquid evaporates into a gas.
An additional function of the evaporator coil is to dehumidify the room by drawing out moisture from the incoming hot air.
As the name suggests, this is the area in which the compression of the gaseous refrigerant occurs. By increasing the pressure of the gas, the temperature rises. The gas is the transferred to the condenser for conversion.
This is where the gas refrigerant is converted back to liquid, and the heat I absorbed from the air is expelled outside.
- Expansion Valve
The valve is positioned between the cooling coils of the evaporator and the hot coils of the condenser. Sometimes referred to as the throttling device, it monitors the amount of refrigerant that moves into the evaporator.
How An Air Conditioner Works
When you turn on an air conditioner and select your desired temperature, there is a sensory device in the AC that senses whether there is a difference between the temperature of the room and the one selected by you.
If there is, then warm air is taken into the air conditioning system through an intake vent, typically located at the base of the indoor unit or in a central part of your home. Some homes have multiple intake vents. The warm air then follows through your ducts and over the evaporator coils containing the liquid refrigerant. The refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air and turns into hot gas.
The hot refrigerant gas is sent to the compressor which is on the unit installed outside. The gas is compressed, further increasing the gas’s temperature.
The now high-temperature, high-pressured compressed refrigerant gas is then transferred to the condenser which cools the hot gas back into a liquid. The heat of the gas is released into the open air through metal fins in your outdoor part of the AC unit.
The liquid travels through an expansion valve and back into the evaporator as a cool liquid refrigerant. The air passes over the evaporator coils and cools before being blown back into you’re your home.
The process is repeated until the desired temperature is achieved.