You can think of a central air conditioner as a giant house refrigerator that keeps your home or working environment more comfortable and relaxed. Essentially, air conditioners employ materials, components, and systems similar to those of a refrigerator.
For instance, a central air conditioner has a set of fans, tubes, and refrigerant that changes into a gas or liquid as it goes through the air conditioning system. The following is a detailed explanation of the internal workings of a central air conditioning unit.
How Central Air Conditioning Works
Air conditioning involves the movement of either hot or cold air from one region to another. This creates a balancing effect on your home. To better understand how this works, we will look at the air conditioner’s internal operations and what brings it into balance.
An air conditioner consists of:
- Compressor coils
- Condenser coils
- Expansion valve
- Evaporator coils
Essentially, these coils make up the two major components of a central air conditioning system: indoors and outdoors. Typically, each component contains either the condenser or the evaporator coils.
For instance, the indoor portion holds the evaporator coils while the outdoor component holds the condenser parts. The following is a closer look at the workings of each component of a central air conditioning system.
The compressor works by increasing the pressure for the refrigerant. Typically, this raises the temperature of the refrigerant and consequently makes it change into a gas. To achieve this effect, the compressor squeezes the refrigerant very tightly. Essentially, heating the refrigerant helps to raise its temperatures beyond the outdoor temperatures.
Due to the natural balancing effect of nature, the heat then moves to areas where the temperatures are lower. As this heat leaves the compressor coils to move toward the condenser coils, it creates a cooling effect inside the house.
This coil is inside the outdoor central air conditioning unit. Once the refrigerant gets compressed and heated, the heat passes over to this coil. You can think of this element as the opposite of the compressor coils. Just like the compressing coils, this unit also contains refrigerant.
However, instead of cold refrigerant, condenser coils contain hot refrigerant. The main duty of the condenser coils is dispensing heat to the outdoor environment. Primarily, it performs this through a condenser fan that blows the hot air out and cools down the coils. When the coils are cooled, the hot refrigerant turns from gas to liquid and passes the cold air to the compressor’s indoor component.
Usually, an expansion valve in a central air conditioning system is a thermostatic regulatory device that prevents the refrigerant from going from the condenser coils to the compressor coils at high temperatures. Basically, after dispensing heat to the outdoor environment, the refrigerant in the condenser still contains a substantial amount of heat that should not be allowed to pass into the compressor coils. Therefore, the expansion valve cools the refrigerant before allowing it back. Essentially, it achieves cooling through a process of depressurizing the liquid by expansion.
Evaporator coils are the components responsible for picking up the heat from your home or working environment. These coils are copper tubes that hold the refrigerant under low pressure. Therefore, the air inside your house blows against them. The refrigerant absorbs the heat, and then the heat gets passed over to the condenser coils. The evaporator coils rely on the indoor air handling fan, known as the blower, to make this possible. The blower drives the hot air toward the coils, and then the heat gets absorbed and transferred to the condenser coils.
The Basics in a Nutshell
Through various vents located in your house, the central air conditioning sucks in the heat and passes it to the cold refrigerant. Then, it heats the refrigerant and passes it to the evaporator coils, which are cold during that particular moment. After absorbing the heat from your indoor atmosphere, the air conditioner then passes the heat to the compressor and then to the condenser. Finally, the refrigerant gets cooled and returned to the compressor. The cycle repeats over and over to maintain the great atmosphere continuously.
Top-Rated, Skilled Technicians Available to You
Thinking about the workings of a central air conditioning system can be mind-boggling. At IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co., our experts will answer any questions and concerns that you have while at the same time ensuring that you understand how everything fits together. Additionally, we offer services such as heating system and AC unit repair, installation, replacement, and maintenance to Arlington Heights residents. We can also assist with indoor air quality assessments and trusted solutions. Additionally, we also offer humidifiers, boilers, and water heaters. Need to learn more? Contact IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. for more information.