Life here in Florida would be uncomfortable without a whole house air conditioning system, but though we use them every day, the way an air conditioner works remains a mystery to many. For most, it’s just the production of cold air. While this is not untrue, there’s a lot more to air conditioning than meets the eye. All air conditioners as well as refrigeration equipment rely on a similar process known as the refrigerant cycle. Knowing a bit more about how your air conditioning system works is a great way to be able to recognize problems as soon as they arise.
If you have any further questions about cooling issues at your home, or you’re interested in having a new air conditioner installed, then we can help. Call Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc. today.
The basic components of an air conditioning system span the mechanical, the chemical and the electrical. The lifeblood of the refrigerant cycle is the refrigerant, which circulates through various coils as well as the compressor in order to bring cooling into the home. How does it work? Let’s take a closer look.
Refrigerant circulates through a cycle of different system components: compressor, condenser coil, expansion valve, and evaporator coil. This is a simplification, of course, but it will give you a sense of the most important aspects of the cycle. Because the cycle is continuous, we’ll have to start somewhere. When refrigerant enters your compressor, which is located in the outdoor unit along with the condenser, it is in a low pressure, gaseous state. The compressor does just what it sounds like it should do: it compresses the refrigerant into a high pressure, high temperature gas. It then circulates through the condenser coil, where a fan will blow through, thus causing the refrigerant to condense into a liquid.
However, it’s not quite ready to be used as cooling, though it is now cooler than the outside air. An expansion valve reduces the temperature of the refrigerant further by depressurization. At this point, it is ready to be circulated through the indoor evaporator coil inside the air handler. As your warm indoor air is extracted from your living space, it is sent through the coils. This thermal exchange results in evaporated refrigerant continuing on for another round in the cycle.
That’s it in a nutshell, though the actual cycle is much more complicated. If you should have any further questions, by all means, give us a call.