Understanding AC Systems: How Your Air Conditioning Cools Your Home

Your air conditioning is something you most likely use all summer long, but do you know how it actually works? You may have a vague idea that there’s the main unit that pumps out cold air, and you may have ducts around your home that transfer the air around, but do you know how this happens? When we think of air conditioning, we generally think about the generation of cold air, but to make your house colder, there’s actually a transfer of heat. Warm air is actually removed from the rooms in your house or a building, and then the cold air that remains is what acts to lower the temperature. Air conditioning units have two core components – the indoor and outdoor units which work together to make this happen.

The Indoor Unit

The Indoor Unit

The indoor part of the air conditioning system is generally stored somewhere out of sight, such as in a basement or a cupboard. This will be near the main filters and is made up of several parts. The first is the evaporator, which lives inside of the coil box. The evaporator is where the cooling fluid is located, which is responsible for cooling the air in your home that’s then redistributed into the rooms. This fluid is called the refrigerant and absorbs heat in the air by evaporating. When the heat is absorbed, there’s only cool air left, which makes its way back through the vents in your house, and then leaves into your rooms through the registers. A good way to think about this is through how we boil water. As you apply heat to water, it absorbs the heat and begins to boil. At the correct temperature, it becomes a gas, but energy must be transferred from the heat source at all times to maintain this. In the same way, the cooling fluid absorbs the heat in the air to become a vapor, just at a much lower temperature.

The Outdoor Unit

The Outdoor Unit
The second part of the air conditioning system is known as the outdoor unit and is generally found at the back of the house. This is where the heat that has been absorbed is released from your house. The outdoor unit is made up of a compressor, a condenser coil, and the fan, which can all be found at Aclube.com. As the warm air passes through the indoor unit, it’s transferred to the outdoor unit. The primary function of the outdoor unit is to move the cooling fluid around the whole system. The same fluid is used over and over to continually cool warm air as it’s being passed through the system. The fluid moved through the outdoor unit, which uses a fan to cool it back down to a liquid form, is ready to be passed back into the indoor unit to absorb more heat. The process begins again as more warm air is pulled into the system and cooled. If you need help with air conditioner repair, consider contacting a local HVAC contractor for help

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