How Air Conditioning Compressors Work

Posted on: April 3, 2017 by in Blog
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an air conditioning compressor

Most people think an air conditioner blows cool air into a room – this isn’t actually the case –  more accurately, a process occurs whereby the heat is removed from a room, subsequently creating an inert state of cool air.
A closed loop refrigerant system causes the processes of liquid turning into a gaseous state and absorbing heat; gas turning into a liquid and releasing heat. These reactions are facilitated by the forces of compression, condensation and evaporation. Air conditioners consist of four basic mechanical parts: a compressor, condenser, evaporator and an expansion valve.

 The Function of the Compressor:

The compressor is the electric pump, or heart of the system, and is located in the unit outside the house. It draws in cool, low-pressure refrigerant gas from the indoors, and raises the refrigerant’s temperature and pressure so that it exits the compressor as a hot, high-pressure gas.

The compressor pushes the hot gas to the condenser coil where fans blow cool outside air over the coil and through the fins, extracting the heat from the refrigerant and transferring it outside.

In turn, the refrigerant condenses into a warm liquid that passes under high pressure to an expansion valve. This converts the refrigerant into a cool, low-pressure liquid. The refrigerant then goes into the evaporator coil located in the unit indoors.

When the refrigerant enters the evaporator coil where the pressure is much lower, it is chemically compelled to evaporate into a gas. This process requires heat, which comes from the room’s warm air being blown over the evaporator coil by another fan. As room heat is transferred to the evaporating refrigerant, the room’s air grows cooler. The refrigerant, now back to a cool, low-pressure gas, is drawn back into the compressor to continue the cycle.

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