How Does an Air Conditioner Work?07/18/2016 The temperatures are reaching record numbers across the U.S. and the majority of homes are running some kind of air conditioner to battle the smoldering heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner works, the team at Main Heating & Cooling, Inc. in Utica would like to inform you how it works. The Basics There’s plenty of science involved in keeping your house cool. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, of course your AC has a bigger job to tackle. 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 easily changes 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 soaks in heat from your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to your outdoor unit where the heat is freed 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 where your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be found inside your home, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is removed from the air. This cooled air is then transferred 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 accomplishes 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 chat about staying cool and comfortable in Utica give us a call at 586-731-0950 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.