Your home Air Conditioner system: The ABC’s of your Cooling system

Your home Air Conditioner system: The ABC's of your Cooling systemAir conditioner cooling is the norm in the Kansas City area, with area homeowners taking advantage of the convenient comfort it provides during our hot summers. If you’re curious about how it all works, following is a simple primer covering air conditioner operation.

Air conditioner cooling utilizes the principle of heat transference, which involves moving heat from one place to another. In this case, heat energy is removed from the hot, humid air in your home and removed to the outdoors, leaving cool air to be distributed via your duct system. Heat’s natural tendency is to continually seek transfer to a cooler environment, known as the second Law of Thermodynamics, and air conditioner design utilizes this natural law of physics to provide you with cool comfort. While this description focuses on central air conditioning, portable air conditioners placed in your window or wall employ the same principles, just in a smaller package.

Central air systems consist of components both inside and outside your home:

  • Inside – refrigerant-filled copper evaporator coils, blower fan and expansion valve
  • Outside – refrigerant-filled copper condensing coils, blower fan and compressor

The process starts with the indoor fan blowing your home’s hot air across the coils, which absorb the heat. This turns the liquid refrigerant into a vapor and simultaneously condenses the moisture in the air, which is collected and drained away, providing dehumidification.

The now-warmed refrigerant is piped to the outside compressor where it’s further heated (well above outside air temperature) and compressed. It then travels to the outside coils that absorb the heat and then release it to the outside air with the aid of a fan. Now cooled and condensed back to liquid form, the refrigerant is piped back inside, through an expansion valve cooling it even more, and then into the evaporator coils for another cycle of heat-transfer. 

Overland Park Heating & Cooling has been providing expert HVAC services to Kansas City area clients for more than three decades. If you have questions or concerns regarding any indoor air comfort/quality topics, please contact us today. 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock