How Does an Air Conditioner Work?07/18/2016 The temperatures are hitting record numbers throughout the country and the majority of homes are using some kind of air conditioner to battle the summer heat. While we are all grateful that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Davis Heating & Air Conditioning in Rocky Mount would like to tell you how it works. The Basics There’s a plethora of science behind keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner runs in a similar way to your refrigerator, but your AC has a larger job to manage. Both your fridge and AC cool with a reoccurring loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant quickly alters from a liquid to gas and back to a liquid again. It enters your home as a sub-cooled liquid and as it evaporates it absorbs heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to your outdoor unit where the heat is released and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid. Four Components There are 4 central elements 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 located inside your home, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air transports across the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then sent throughout your home. Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil and through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated. That completes your physics lesson of the day…your air conditioner runs on an never-ending loop of science. We realize that it’s not as top-priority to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Rocky Mount give us a call at 540-483-5605 or set up an appointment using our online scheduler. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.