How Does Air Conditioning Work, Anyway?

How Does Air Conditioning Work, Anyway?

Summer is finally here! It is a relief from the cool, damp spring that we had, and the especially cold winter that South Holland faced this year, according to the Illinois Science Council. Now that summer is finally here, it is really here. This summer across the U.S. is predicted to be hotter than normal, and air conditioning units will be humming along at full blast in many parts of the country, with South Holland and its humid lake air no exception.

How a Central Air Conditioning Unit Works: Three Main Parts

There are three parts to a central air conditioner – the compressor, the condenser, and the evaporator. In a package system, all three are located in the same box. With a central air conditioner, they are separated.

The Condenser and Compressor

The most visually apparent part of a central air conditioner is the condenser, which sits outside at the back of your house. Also within the condenser unit is the compressor, which pumps hot refrigerant gas at high pressure into the condenser. Remember, this part is all taking place outside, where metal fins that surround the condenser radiate the heat away. As the gas turns to liquid, it drops in temperature when it leaves the condenser, which has increased the pressure of the refrigerant chemical. Now, this cold liquid travels up into your house to the evaporator, typically in an upper level of your home.

The Evaporator

Once at the evaporator, the liquid is pushed through a small hole, dropping the pressure back down again and therefore causing the liquid to become gas. This gas is cold, essentially sucking in heat from the surrounding atmosphere, as do the metal fins on the evaporator due to conduction. A high powered fan blows air through the metal fins, circulating warm air and and cold air out. Finally, as the refrigerant travels back out of the evaporator as a cool gas, it is pumped back down into the compressor where the process starts again.

Need a Fix? Call Van Drunen Heating & Air Conditioning

Van Drunen Heating & Air Conditioning has been satisfying customers for over 50 years with our quality, professional, and courteous service. If your air conditioning unit is having issues, give us a call at 708-339-6444 today to set up a time for us to come take a look at it.

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