So how does and air conditioner work? Here is a basic explanation of just how an air conditioning system works. I will attempt to provide with enough detail to give you a good understanding without being overly technical.
The Components of an Air Conditioning System The compressor is the first component. An air conditioning unit compresses refrigerant gas at a lower pressure into a higher pressure and temperature. The AC unit's compressor is often located outdoors. The compressor portion is essentially a high pressure pump driven by an electric motor.
Next we have the condensor. The condenser coils receive the hot gas from the compressor (above) and quickly the compressor begins to condense the refrigerant back into a liquid by removing heat from the hot gas. The condenser unit is a coil of tubing with fins sticking out of it and a fan that blows air across the coil. Of there's a motor to drive the fan. when the refrigerant change state from vapor to liquit heat is released. The compressor is responsible for releasing this heat away from the system which genrally means outside.
Also there is something called a metering device. Thermostatic expansion valves are the most commonly used. the metering device is responsible for dispensing the liquid refrigerant to an evaporator coil. it can be a simple tube like device or something more elborate but in general it has to do the same thing in the end. Ultimate the goal of the metering devices in an air conditioning system is to create a pressure drop in the refrigerant. When this occurs, the refrigerant temperature drops. Now we have something cold!
Another type of coil in an AC unit is evaporator coil or cooling coil. It is responsible for absorbing heat. Again this is a similar tubing device like the condenser coils, a tube with fins. The cold refrigerant is allowed to evaporate from liquid to gas inside the evaporator coil. The point of this is to get cool air out of the refrigerant. When the refrigerant changes from liquid to gas it absorbs heat. This is a a heat exchange process that takes place between the air and the refrigerant. The result is a cooling of the evaporator coil surface. With a cool surface to work with, the air conditioning unit just needs to blow air over the colder surface and release into your home.
So to get the air moving over the cool evaporator coil, we have an air handler and blower unit. This is another fan tha moves the home's or building's inddor air across the evaporator coil surface in order to cool the air and remove moisture fromt the air.
Lastly we have a structure to deliver the cool air into the home or office, etc. This is a duct system. The duct system may also be used to acquire intake air to be cooled starting the whole cycle over again.
There are different types of AC units with differing components, but generally air conditioners need these basic components to work. Most additional componentry are added to make the systems more efficient, use less power and operate less frequently.
Proper maintenance of your HVAC system is important. You may need new furnace filters.
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