How Does an Air Conditioner Work?07/18/2016 The temperatures are reaching record numbers around the country and many homes are running some variety of air conditioner to battle the seasonal heat. While we are all appreciative that your air conditioner runs, the team at Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc in Wisconsin Rapids would like to teach you how it works. The Basics There’s a lot of science involved in keeping your living space cool. Your air conditioner operates in a parallel way to your refrigerator, but your AC has a larger task to tackle. Both your fridge and AC cool with a constant loop of refrigerant, in your air conditioner this refrigerant loops from inside to outside your home. This refrigerant easily alters 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 your indoor air and expands back into vapor. This vapor then transfers back to your outdoor unit where the heat is freed and is then condensed back into a sub-cooled liquid. Four Components There are 4 central sections to your air conditioner unit: 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 established inside your home, in your garage or possibly in your attic. Warm air moves through the cold evaporator coil and the heat is taken from the air. This cooled air is then transferred throughout your home. Your compressor is located in your outdoor condensing unit. The super-heated vapor from your evaporator coil goes into the compressor which surges the pressure of the vapor until it is converted into hot, high pressure vapor. The hot vapor then goes back into the condenser coil where less hot outdoor air flows across the coil, heat is released outdoors and the refrigerant is converted back into a sub-cooled liquid. This sub-cooled liquid is then returned to the indoor evaporator coil and through an expansion valve or metering device. The process is then repeated. That completes your physics lesson of the day…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 discuss staying cool and comfortable in Wisconsin Rapids give us a call at 715-421-5555 or set up an appointment using our online scheduler. With the help of our team and science we’re going to make it through this sweltering summer.