Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Air Conditioning Systems Work

A good part of knowing how to troubleshoot an air conditioning in need of repair is having exact knowledge of how they work. Air conditioners have been around for over 100 years, and have come a long way since the first one was installed in a home.

The basic concept behind how an air conditioning system works is the use refrigeration to chill the indoor air. There is actually some science behind this. When liquid converts to gas, called phase conversion, it absorbs heat. Air conditioners use this phase conversion by forcing special compounds to evaporate over a system of coils. The result is then cooled air.

The compounds in this process have properties that enable them to change at a relatively low temperature. Most air conditioners also have fans that move warm air over these cold coils. In fact, nearly all central air conditioning units have an entire system of ducts that funnel air to and from these coils to cool your entire home.

How exactly does it cool my home?

The general idea behind all AC units, whether they be central or window, is to take a gas, change it to a liquid, and then back into a gas. This is done by extracting warm air from the outside, removing the heat, and then sending it back into your home cool.

In a split system, the compressor condenses and circulates the refrigerant through the outdoor until, changing it from a gas to liquid. The liquid is then forced through the evaporator coil/cooling compartment. The indoor fan then circulates the inside air across the evaporator fins. The evaporator fins then exchange the thermal energy with the air around it. After that, the refrigerant turns from liquid back into vapor, removing any heat from the area surrounding it. As the heat is removed from the air it is then pushed back into your home and nice, refreshing, cool air.

Air conditioning systems are probably a bit more complex than you may have though. This being said, you should always contact a professional if you think that your AC unit may be in need of repair. There are many small things that the common home owner may miss that is wrong with their AC unit that a professional would pick up on immediately.

If you have any questions, or feel that your AC may need repair or maintenance, feel free to give us a call. We are here to help you!