Your Air Conditioner Does a Big Job — Here’s How

Your air conditioner keeps you cool and comfy all summer long. You probably take it for granted. But have you ever wondered how it gets the job done? Actually, an air conditioning system is an engineering marvel. Here’s a look at your air conditioner and its inner workings.

An air conditioner has three parts: a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. Most air conditioners are split systems, with the condenser and compressor in a single unit outside the home and the evaporator in the air handler inside the home. A refrigerant cycles through the coils from the inside unit to the outside unit and back again, picking up and releasing heat as it transforms from liquid to gas and then to liquid again. This is how the cycle works:

  • The refrigerant absorbs heat from the house. The A/C pulls air from the house and sends it over the coil containing cold refrigerant. The heat moves out of the air and into the coil. The refrigerant picks up the heat. It becomes very hot and then changes to a vapor.
  • The refrigerant heats up. The vaporized refrigerant moves into the compressor of the outdoor unit. It is then subjected to high pressure, which causes the temperature to rise even more.
  • Heat from the house is transferred outside, via the refrigerant. The very hot vaporized refrigerant leaves the outdoor unit through the top. The refrigerant then becomes a liquid again.
  • The refrigerant gets cold and is now ready to absorb more heat from the house. The liquid refrigerant expands and becomes capable of pickling up more heat from the home.

Simple, isn’t it? Have any questions about your air conditioner or any other home-comfort system? Contact Beyer Boys. We can answer all your questions and then help you find the right solution for any cooling or heating problems. We serve homeowners in San Antonio and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).