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How Exactly Does an Air Conditioner Work?

How Air Conditioners Work To Keep Homes and Businesses Cool

People rely on air conditioners to keep their homes and businesses comfortable. They do this in more than one way, and many people don’t fully understand how they work. But a basic understanding of AC systems can help homeowners ward off air conditioner emergencies. By taking a quick glimpse under the hood, so to speak, it’s possible to give homeowners insight into the systems and processes that keep their homes cool, comfortable, and moisture-free. 
hvac parts

AC Anatomy

Most modern home air conditioners have two different units: one inside and one outside. These separate systems serve different functions and work together to remove warm air from indoors and replace it with cold air.

The main components that make this possible include the condenser, compressor, evaporator, and expansion valve. Other significant parts of the system include the thermostat, air filter, blower, and fan. But it does no good to know all the parts without the context for how those parts work together and what exactly they do. 

How AC Systems Work

Without the compressor, an AC wouldn’t be able to function correctly. The compressor is responsible for pressurizing refrigerant inside the closed system, turning it from a gas to a liquid in the outdoor unit. As the compressor does its job, the temperature of the refrigerant rises. When the refrigerant becomes liquid, it’s an average temperature of 120 to 140-degrees Fahrenheit. 

Then the liquid refrigerant travels to the indoor unit’s evaporator coil, where it turns back into a gas, and in doing so, removes heat from the air. The heat is then transferred back to the outdoor unit, where it’s blown into the air by a fan. Meanwhile, the cooled air inside is pushed through the ductwork to cool the house. 

This happens repeatedly, the refrigerant changing from liquid to gas and back again until the home reaches the desired temperature. The process of pulling the hot air over evaporator coils also helps remove humidity from the home’s air, which helps keep the home cool and dry. 

Why AC Professionals Are Important

professionalsThis process sounds pretty straightforward when it’s written down into two paragraphs, but the reality of any AC system is much more complicated. The basic processes are outlined above, but working on an air conditioner unit, replacing parts, and even determining what is wrong takes some serious training. Some basic things are easy for homeowners to do on their own, such as running diagnostics with smart thermostats, changing air filters, and cleaning outdoor units. Other things should be left to a professional. 

When trained HVAC techs are hired to inspect a home’s HVAC system regularly, they can make sure everything is functioning as it should. They can also spot problems that aren’t yet apparent to the homeowners and suggest solutions to fix those problems, saving the homeowners money and time while preventing an AC emergency. 

About AirLux Heating & Cooling

The professionals at AirLux Heating & Cooling have been serving Niles, MI, for years. They offer 100% free quotes and are always fast and friendly. They specialize in every aspect of cooling and heating, and they always aim to make life a little better for their customers.