Knowing how your A/C works can be useful information, not only to dazzle your friends and family with your awesome technical expertise but also to keep your system running as efficiently and economically as possible. Taking proper care and providing regular maintenance will also ensure that your A/C leads a long and productive life. Knowing just how your A/C works will help in understanding what has to be done and why.
Air conditioning systems in South Florida get a good workout. In addition to warm temperatures, high humidity adds to uncomfortable indoor effects if not effectively reduced. Fortunately, a properly sized A/C can handle both temperature and humidity reduction at once.
Air conditioners employ a process called heat transfer. Heat is naturally attracted to colder surfaces or areas, which is the primary principle allowing an A/C to function. Most air conditioning units are called split-systems, with some components located inside the house and some outside:
- Outside – blower fan, compressor and refrigerant-filled coils (condenser)
- Inside – blower fan, expansion valve and refrigerant-filled coils (evaporator)
As warm inside air is blown across the evaporator coils, heat is absorbed by the liquid refrigerant, causing it to vaporize. Simultaneously, moisture contained in the humid air condenses on the cold coils, drips into a collector and is drained away, thereby dehumidifying your home.
The vaporized refrigerant is piped outside and enters the compressor, where it’s heated to about 160°F. It’s then fed into the condenser coils which act as a heat exchanger with the blower fan causing the heat to be released to the outside air. The refrigerant is then piped back inside, through an expansion valve that cools it further, then into the coils for another cycle of heat absorption.
To maintain A/C efficiency, coils should be kept clean, refrigerant charged to the recommended level and filters changed regularly. A professional annual tune-up for your cooling equipment is also recommended.
Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Inc. has been providing exceptional HVAC services to our South Florida clients since 1991. Please contact us for information or expert advice regarding any indoor air comfort or air quality concerns or needs.