The weather is hitting record highs throughout the country and most homes are running some kind of air conditioner to battle the smoldering heat. Though we are all appreciative that your air conditioner is functioning, the experts at Street Heating and Cooling in Rapid City thought they would give you a sneak peek at how an air conditioner operates.
There’s plenty of science behind keeping your home cool. Your air conditioner operates in a comparable way to your refrigerator, however your AC has a larger task to handle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a consistent loop of refrigerant, with your AC this refrigerant loops from inside to to the external part of your home. This refrigerant effortlessly converts 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 inside the home and expands back into vapor. This vapor then travels back to your outdoor unit where the heat is let go and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid.
There are 4 main sections to your cooling system: a compressor, an evaporator coil, the condensing coil and an expansion valve.
The evaporator coil is the location your refrigerant evaporates from a sub-cooled liquid into a super-heated vapor. This component can be located indoors, in your garage or even in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is separated from the air. This cooled air is then released throughout your home.
Your compressor sits in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil enters into the compressor which raises the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then moves back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is changed back into a sub-cooled liquid. The sub-cooled liquid returns to the indoor evaporator coil through an expansion valve or metering device. This process is continually repeated.
That accomplishes your physics lesson for now…your air conditioner runs on an endless loop of science. We understand that it’s not as important to you how it works, but that it’s working. If you’d like to talk about staying cool and comfortable in Rapid City give us a call at 605-206-3915. You’ll be able to get through this hot weather thanks to science and the support from our experts.