It goes without saying that summers in Phoenix are hot. Really, really hot. And that means that you spend most of the summer relying heavily on your air conditioner to keep things cool. Do you know how it actually manages that, though?
Your air conditioning unit can’t produce cold air in the same way that furnace would provide heat. It’s a bit more complicated than that. A refrigerant is used to absorb heat from the air which is then carried outside and released. This refrigerant is continuously circulated to remove heat from the home until the air inside the home reaches your desired temperature. There are two main sides to this cooling cycle: the evaporator coil and the condenser coil.
- What is it?
This is the portion of the system where the refrigerant absorbs heat from the air.It’s located either inside or near the air handler where the blower fan is located.Evaporator coils are typically made of copper, steel, or aluminum because of their ability to conduct heat easily and are usually bent into U-shapes that are then set into panels.The shape and arrangement of the panels is created to most effectively bring air closer to the cools and maximize the effect of the refrigerant.
- Expansion Valve
Prior to entering the evaporating coil, the refrigerant must pass through an expansion valve.This valve is created to relieve pressure from the refrigerant, which quickly cools it.The cooled refrigerant is pulled into the evaporator coil where it is then able to absorb the heat from the air.The expansion valve also plays an integral role in the energy efficiency of the system because it controls how much refrigerant flows to the evaporator.
- Removing Humidity
The evaporator coil also reduces the humidity in your house.As the refrigerant enters the evaporator coil, the blower fan draws the hot air from the room over the evaporator coil which causes the refrigerant to warm up and evaporate.The water vapor from the air in your home condenses into liquid form and is drained away from the condensate pan.
- What Is It?
The condenser unit is what most people think of when they think of an air conditioning unit.This is the large, square unit that sits outside of your property, but it houses many components that are important to the proper functioning of your air conditioning.
Once the refrigerant has absorbed the heat from the air in your home it travels to the condenser unit and enters the compressor.The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, turning it from a liquid to a hot, high pressure gas which allows it to leave the compressor and move onto the condenser coils.
- Condenser Coils
The condenser has many coils that allow the refrigerant to release the heat that it absorbed from the home.The large fan in the outdoor unit blows air over the coils causing the refrigerant to lose heat.When it cools, the refrigerant once again changes states, this time from a gas to a liquid.Back in a liquid state, it is able to flow back into the home and into the expansion valve to start the cycle over again.