Cool, refreshing air — if you’re like most people, that’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think about air conditioning. Ironically, the way that AC systems actually work is all about moving heat! Explore the science behind how air conditioning systems keep your indoor environment cool and comfortable.

The Cycle of Refrigeration

Much like a refrigerator, air conditioning systems absorb heat from one place and move it to another. They use chemicals called refrigerants to get the job done. Refrigerants are liquids that easily change to a gas and convert back again into a liquid. It’s that moment when the liquid turns to gas that the magic happens. As it evaporates, the refrigerant pulls in heat from the surrounding air. AC systems use fans, blowers and ductwork to circulate that cool air through your home or business.

While the process sounds relatively simple, multiple AC components are needed to keep the refrigeration cycle rolling along. The outdoor unit houses two of these critical parts. The third is located near the blower motor indoors. These three parts of your air conditioning systems are critical to the air conditioning process.

  • The Outdoor Compressor Liquid refrigerant arrives at the compressor as low-pressure gas. The compressor squeezes the liquid, packing the molecules closer together. Compressing the gas increases the refrigerant’s temperature, changing it into a hot, high-pressure gas.
  • The Outdoor Condenser Acting much the same as a radiator in a car, the metal fins around the condenser allow the heat to dissipate from the hot gas, changing it from a gas into a high-pressure liquid. The condensed refrigerant is then sent indoors to the AC system’s evaporator.
  • The Indoor Evaporator The liquid refrigerant travels indoors and gets forced into the evaporator through a tiny hole called the expansion valve. This process causes the pressure to drop, changing the liquid into a gas. As the liquid evaporates, it extracts heat from the surrounding air.

The Air Distribution System

How is the cooled air distributed throughout your structure? A fan connected to the evaporator starts the process. It blows air across the evaporator’s cooling coils and directs it into the AC system’s air ducts. The blower motor sends cool air into the ductwork until the thermostat senses the temperature has reached its set point. It then signals the AC system to cycle off.

All About Condensate

Your air conditioning system also helps dehumidify the air as it cools it. Since cool air can hold less water vapor than warm air, moisture gets collected during the evaporating procedure. The moisture condenses on the exterior of the cooling coils. The collected condensate gets directed into a pan that drains outdoors. This process lowers humidity levels in your home or business, leaving the air cooler and more comfortable. Dehumidification also conserves energy and lowers your cooling costs by allowing your AC to cycle on less frequently.

Air Conditioning Installations

Ensuring that every component in an AC system operates efficiently depends on the expertise of the technicians who install it. Knowing how AC systems work is only the first step of this process. Proper sizing is critical for optimal operation. In HVAC terminology, “size” refers to the amount of power needed for the AC system to operate at optimal efficiency. At Air Specialty, our professional installers conduct load calculations to determine the ideal size. It’s just one of the ways we help our valued customers reap the full benefits of their investment in cooling comfort.

Serving the communities of Semmes, Mobile, Saraland and the surrounding area, Air Specialty is the company to call for top-quality air conditioning services. We’re proud to help our customers and neighbors get the most from their AC systems. Ready to learn more? Contact us today!

Pin It on Pinterest

Compliance Settings
Increase Font Size
Simplified Font
Underline Links
Highlight Links