Have you ever experienced difficulty with your air conditioner in the midst of a Texas heat wave? Few things in this world are as frustrating as stepping into your home expecting an oasis from the searing heat and instead, are greeted with a humid blast of stale air. A general concept of how your air conditioning system works can come in handy when trying to diagnose problems, and we’re here to give you a crash course! The key to how your conditioner works lies in the Law of the Conservation of Energy, and the three main components of the system:
The Law of the Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only change form. This rings especially true for your air conditioner! Essentially, your air conditioner is forever cycling a coolant from a liquid state to a gas, and back again. The warm air in your home rises to the top of the room and is sucked in through a vent. This air is propelled through the system and passes through coils that are brimming with coolant which rapidly lowers the temperature of the air. This air is pumped back into your home, replacing the hot air that was initially removed.
The coils within your air conditioning system have coolant being constantly cycled through them. This coolant evaporates within the coils, resulting in the rapid drop in temperature. The coolant (now in gas form) is pumped to the compressor, normally located outside of the residence. The gas is compressed into a liquid, raising the temperature even more, and is propelled into the condenser. While passing through the condenser, the heat dissipates through the vents you see on the outside of the external unit, and the coolant drops in temperature. After being condensed, the coolant then passes through the evaporator. The liquid is forced through a very small opening into coils and is subjected to a drastic drop in pressure, allowing the liquid to return to its original gas form. Once the coolant has evaporated, it rapidly cools the coils housing it, and the cycle begins once again.
The cooling and removal of warmer air takes place through the three main components of the system. Understanding how these three elements work together, and how they impact the change in the state of the coolant is the first step towards grasping the inner workings of your air conditioner. If you have further questions about how your air conditioner works, or are experiencing trouble with your system, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re happy to help in any way we can!