Almost everyone in Lake Havasu City has an air conditioner. But, how exactly do air conditioners keep your home cool, even on the hottest days of summer? It’s not magic: it’s science, and in this blog, we’ll break down how AC systems work and keep your home cool.
How do air conditioners work?
Every air conditioner has four main components: a compressor, an evaporator, a condenser, and expansion controls. These four parts work in sequence to cool your home.
Your air conditioner uses refrigerants (read more about the R-22 phaseout) and some basic physics to operate. In the evaporator, that refrigerant is run through coils, with fans blowing your home’s air over them.
The refrigerant absorbs the heat of the air, going from a liquid to a hot vapor inside the coils. It then runs to the compressor, which “compresses” it under greater pressure, increasing the heat.
Finally, this gas enters the condenser, located outside your home. The heat from the gas is released into the outdoor air. As the gas cools, it state changes back into a liquid. The expansion controls regulate the movement and flow of this restored refrigerant back into the evaporator, starting the process over again.
Why do air conditioners dehumidify?
All air conditioners also remove humidity from the air as they cool it. When that evaporator coil absorbs heat, it also removes moisture from the air. Warm air is much better at holding moisture than cold air (which is partially why summers are more humid than winters).
Luckily, this is considered by many homeowners to be a feature, not a glitch. Humid air feels hotter on the skin, so an air conditioner simultaneously cooling and drying air is making you more comfortable in two different ways.
What makes refrigerant special?
R-22 and the newer R-410A are hydrochlorofluorocarbons. Basically, this subset of chemicals are able to very easily “phase transition” between being a liquid or a gas. This makes them incredibly useful for the purposes of air conditioning.
R-410A is becoming widely accepted as the industry standard in air conditioning refrigerant because it does not contribute to ozone layer depletion like R-22 does.
To learn more or to get a new air conditioner for your home, contact us!
Air Control is Lake Havasu City’s top name in cooling and heating. We’re proud to install new Trane and Daikin systems for our residential and commercial customers.
To get started on your free in-home estimate, contact us online or give us a call at (928) 680-0600.