During our hot Indiana summers, it’s important to know that your home’s air conditioner is in good working order. But it’s useful to also understand what “good working order” actually means. Knowing the bare essentials of air conditioner design and operation can prove helpful when you’re making decisions regarding repairs, tune-ups or replacements.
An air conditioner is a system composed of many parts, some inside and some outside the home.
The indoor components include:
- Air ducts
- Air filter
- Evaporator coil
- Expansion valve
The evaporator coil, expansion valve, and blower are often packaged together as a single “air handler.”
The outdoor components include:
- Condenser coil
And there are a few components that extend both indoors and outdoors:
- Two refrigerant tubes
- Condensation drain
Here is how they all work together:
- When the thermostat registers that the home is getting too warm, it flips an internal switch to turn the air conditioner on.
- The refrigerant, in liquid form and under high pressure, flows into the house through a refrigerant tube.
- The high-pressure liquid enters the expansion valve, which removes the pressure. Under low pressure, the refrigerant has a very low (sub-zero) boiling point.
- The refrigerant then enters the evaporator coil, where it evaporates (boils into a gas). In the process, it absorbs heat from the air passing through the coil.
- The blower pushes this cold air through the air ducts and throughout the house.
- If the air is humid, water will condense on the cold metal coil, and will drip down to the condensation drain.
- Meanwhile, the low-pressure, gaseous refrigerant flows through the other refrigerant tube to the compressor outside.
- The compressor re-pressurizes the refrigerant, which is now a heated gas.
- The refrigerant enters the condenser coil, where it can release its heat to the outdoor air.
- The outdoor fan blows air through the condenser coil, dissipating the heat and allowing the refrigerant to condense back into a liquid. The cycle can then repeat itself.
If you would like to learn more details or have any questions, contact the Indianapolis area A/C experts at Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Mowery services the Brownsburg, Indiana and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!