The science behind air conditioners is fascinating, yet most consumers don’t actually know how it works. The internal mechanics of the air conditioning unit dictate not only how it functions, but also gives you insight on how to maximize your equipment for the best experience possible. Want to keep your air conditioner in top shape? First aim to understand how the air conditioner manipulates the atmosphere within your home.
Do Air Conditioners Bring in Fresh Air from Outside?
The way an air conditioner cools the air in your home is not achieved by moving cool air into the house, as most people think. Instead, air conditioners work by moving unwanted heat outside of the vicinity. This is done by the compressor in the unit which literally pumps the hot air away. The process of moving heat is referred to as thermo dynamics. The compressor is aided by the air conditioner refrigerant system which simultaneously cools the house and preserves the desired temperature.
What’s the Role of the Air Conditioner’s Refrigerant?
While the compressor pumps out heat, the refrigerant performs a more complicated process of thermodynamics – called the refrigerant cycle – that revolves around pressure and temperature change. The refrigerant itself is a fluid substance that is circulated by the compressor to cool hot air in a way that the heat doesn’t rise in the home. Essentially, the refrigerant captures and holds the hot air, then cools the house by converting the hot air into vapor or liquid. This liquid is then forced into the evaporator coil, or cooling compartment. After that, the liquid is then expelled outside of the unit as a low-pressure gas. The process repeats as needed to combat increasing temperatures and humidity. Let’s look at a breakdown of this cycle:
- The heat is circulated into the air conditioner unit by the compressor and is then passed to the refrigerant.
- The refrigerant absorbs the hot air, making its own temperature increase.
- Hot air is moved outside and remains there as the compressor and refrigerant work to evaporate the heat.
- The refrigerant then cools as the warm air dissipates and is expelled as vapor.
- The other air conditioner components distribute this cooling affect throughout the house and the space is cooled.
If we think about a sweating athlete, it’s a similar concept. The heat built up by exercise and internal body mechanics but is then cooled by sweat outside of the body. Of course, the liquid and residual condensation generated by this process is all contained in the air conditioner unit. If there is leaking in the home, then the conditioner needs repair.
Benefits of Air Conditioner Maintenance
This technology is pretty efficient, but it isn’t impervious to the general wear and tear of everyday life. The general lifespan and maintenance requirements can vary depending on your air conditioner’s model, but you should always be mindful of its performance. Even something as simple as a rattling sound could indicate a loose coil or damaged compressor that needs to be repaired. Leaking can indicate that the refrigerant fluid needs to be replaced as well. And there are several other signs of air conditioner may need repairs or replacement.
To keep your house cool and avoid more costly repair fees, get your air conditioner looked at sooner rather than later. Allowing damages to continue, could force you to pay up to $12K or more to replace the unit entirely. Save yourself the time, headache, and discomfort of this by working with HVAC specialists to get the help you need.
At Exxel Mechanical Services, we’re committed to the safety, quality, performance of your air conditioner to give you the most value from your unit as possible. Please contact us today to hear about our flexible maintenance plans providing regular, cost-effective services or call us today for a consultation at (443) 821-1040.