San Mateo Cooling Pros Explain How Air Conditioners Work

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While you probably enjoy the cool, refreshing air your air conditioner provides during summer months, you’re probably like most homeowners – you have no idea how it all works. As long as it functions properly and keeps you comfortable, everything is wonderful. Some of you may be interested in learning more about the process behind the technology of comfort while at home or work.

Actually, the way your air conditioner works is quite simple. The hot air inside your home flows across low-pressure evaporator coils that are cold. This makes it possible for the refrigerant inside the coils to absorb the heat as it transforms from liquid stage to a gas. Once this phase has completed, the compressor, a component of your air conditioner, converts the gas back into liquid form, which results in undesired heat. At this point, the condenser coils and a second fan disperse the heat into the outdoors. The process simply starts over again once the gas inside the closed system transforms to liquid form.

This explanation applies to central air conditioning systems, which have major components including the evaporator, condenser, expansion valve, and compressor. All of these components perform certain functions. For instance, the evaporator receives the refrigerant in its liquid form, while the condenser assists the transfer of heat and the expansion valve works to regulate the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator. The refrigerant is pressurized by the compressor.

The cold side of the air conditioning unit includes the evaporator and fan, and is responsible for delivering cooled air throughout your home or office. The hot side includes the compressor, condenser, and a second fan which sends hot air from the compressed refrigerant to the outdoors. The expansion valve is a component that sits between two sets of coils; this valve regulates how much liquid refrigerant is moved into the evaporator. Once liquid refrigerant goes into the evaporator, it transforms back into gas form because of a drop in pressure.

While it may still sound a bit complicated, now you have an idea of how your central air conditioning system works.

Is your air conditioner functioning properly? Warmer months are coming up, contact Ortiz Heating & A/C, your local San Mateo cooling professionals, for all of your cooling needs whether you need repair, or a new system installed.