How Do Air Conditioners Really Work?

April 10, 2020 5:59 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Everyone knows that air conditioners help you to keep your home cool and comfortable when the weather is warm. But not everyone knows how air conditioners accomplish this. There’s a common misconception that air conditioners cool the home primarily by blowing cold air into it, but really, the air conditioning process is defined just as much by the extraction of heat from the house to transfer it outside before replacing it with cooler air inside.

How does an AC work in Fair Oaks, CA? Here’s a quick overview of what you should know about air conditioner operation so you can get a better sense of how your system works.

The air conditioning process

Homes with central air conditioning have a split heating and cooling system. When cooling, the system focuses on sucking out the warm air from inside of the house, removing the heat and then passing cooled air through the ventilation system.

The compressor in the system condenses the refrigerant in the outdoor unit, which results in it changing from a gas to a liquid state. That liquid then gets forced through the evaporator coil in the indoor section of the unit. The fan in the indoor portion of the unit then circulates the air inside to run over the evaporator fins, which exchange the thermal energy with the air passing around it. This process changes the refrigerant from a liquid back into a vapor, which in return sucks the heat out of the air around it. Once the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled and gets blown by the fans through the ductwork and sent throughout the home.

At that point, the refrigerant vapor passes back to the outdoor unit and the condenser, where it once again turns back into a liquid from a solid so it can begin the heat removal process once more. This cycle occurs again and again until the air temperature in your home reaches your desired setting according to how you programmed the thermostat.

The thermostat doesn’t just send the instructions to your air conditioning unit—it also senses the air temperature in your home, and uses that information to track whether or not the system needs to continue running. As you know, the system runs more the lower you set the temperature, because the process has to keep cycling over and over again to get the temperature down to your desired level.

All of this is why it’s so important for you to keep your AC unit clean and well maintained. A unit that is in poor condition or not kept clean will run much less efficiently than a unit that is well taken care of. When you consider how many cooling cycles the unit goes through during the summer months, that gives you a sense of just how much wear and tear the system takes on during a given year.

For more information about how an air conditioner works and what the air conditioning process involves, contact a technician in Fair Oaks, CA at Cassel Air Conditioning and Heating Service.

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