There’s nothing like walking into your house on a warm summer day and having the cool air swarm you as you let out a sigh of relief. Your air conditioner has been on full blast all day and you are ready to relax in the comfort of your home. Have you ever wondered how an air conditioner works? Let’s take a closer look at the process of how an air conditioner cools down your home.
Although there are many different types of air conditioners, we are going to stick with the most basic version. An air conditioner normally has four essential parts to it: the evaporator, the compressor, the condenser, and the expansion device.
Step 1: The evaporator
First off, it is important to recognize where certain parts of an air conditioner reside. The part inside your home that evaporates the refrigerant is the evaporator. As the air in your homes moves across the evaporated, which has fans blowing air across the coils, the refrigerant absorbs the heat and changes from a liquid to vapor. Simultaneously we see a cold liquid transform into a hot vapor and the hot air around you replace the cold air.
Step 2: The Compressor
The now vaporized refrigerant enters the compressor. The compressor is normally located outside your home somewhere near your air conditioner or even sometimes on the roof if it’s an apartment or office building. The compressor goes to work compressing the gas into a higher pressure state and a higher temperate.
Step 3: The Condenser
From here the now hot, pressurized gas enters the condenser which is responsible for returning the gas back into its liquid form. Normally, you will see metal fins on the condenser to help cool down the gas quicker and speed up the cooling process.
Step 4: The Expansion Device
Once the heated gas is cooled down and returned to liquid form it enters the expansion device which regulates the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator and the process happens over and over again until your house is cool!