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How Does My AC Work?
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Residential HVAC Service Technician

Heating and air conditioning systems are complex machines that magically alter the temperature of your home (ok not magically—scientifically). While sipping your lemonade in a cold home during a sweltering summer day, you may have wondered, “How does my air conditioner work?” We’re glad you asked.

Air conditioning systems look pretty complicated, but here’s an easy way to understand how your air conditioner works:

  1. The Compressor and the Condenser Coils
  2. First, the refrigerant in your system starts off as a gas in the condenser that transfers heat to the outdoor compressor unit. The compressor then squishes the gas into a fluid. In the process, the refrigerant becomes hot, and the spinning fan turns on to dissipate the heat. When the refrigerant is sufficiently cooled, it travels to the indoor evaporator coils for the next process.

  3. The Evaporator Coils
  4. As the refrigerant flows through the evaporator coils in your home, the liquid starts the process of evaporation. If you’ve ever taken a swab of alcohol and wiped your skin with it, you may have noticed that it makes your skin cold for a little while. This is due to evaporation. The same process takes place in the evaporator coils of your HVAC system but under much colder conditions.

As the blower in your air handler extracts warm air from the inside of your home, it transfers the air over the cold evaporator coils, which then circulates cold air through your ducts and into the various rooms in your home.

Once your home is cooled, the thermostat waits for a temperature change and starts the process all over again.

At G+S, we understand heating and air conditioning systems like the back of our hands (and the fronts too, which are more complicated). If you're having an issue with your cooling system, contact us today, and one of our specialists will get your home cool again.

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