Air conditioning is key to many people’s comfort and health during hot San Diego summer months. Yet for all its popularity, do you know how your air conditioner works? Let’s take a look inside the ubiquitous machine.
A chemical that easily converts from a liquid to a gas and back again
The part of the air conditioning system located inside the house, often as part of the furnace. Where heat is extracted from indoor air and introduced to the air conditioning system, making the refrigerant into a gas
Usually located outside the house. Pressurizes the refrigerant in order to allow for more efficient transfer of heat
Usually located outside the house. Dissipates heat from the refrigerant to the outside environment, returning the refrigerant to a liquid
The Cooling Process
Air conditioning cools indoor air by taking advantage of the way in which liquid absorbs heat as it converts into gas. By forcing a refrigerant to evaporate into a gas and condense back into a liquid repeatedly in a closed system, the air conditioner regulates the temperature of your home. The process works like this:
- Hot air flows in
Fans direct hot indoor air over evaporator coils filled with cool, liquid refrigerant. The liquid inside absorbs heat from the air and is converted into a gas.
- Refrigerant flows into the compressor
Having absorbed some heat from the air, the refrigerant is now a fairly cool, low-pressure gas. This gas is directed into the compressor, where it is squeezed to raise the gas’s energy and temperature.
- Refrigerant enters the condenser
Now a hot, high-pressure gas, the refrigerant enters the condenser. Metal fins on the condenser dissipate the heat contained in the refrigerant into the environment outside the house. The refrigerant is returned to a cool liquid state and enters the evaporator to begin the process again until your desired indoor temperature is reached.
If your air conditioning system isn’t functioning properly, you could have an issue in any one of these areas. Give Precision Temperature a call at 619.588.5321 for quick and reliable diagnosis of any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) problems today, or take advantage of our Maintenance Agreement to catch any potential problems before they start!