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How Your A/C Unit Works

January 30, 2014 |

Have you ever wondered how that gray metal cube sitting on the side of your Austin home keeps the air cool inside? Well, with sub-40° days seeming like a regular thing here in Austin, you may not have thought about it much recently. But your unit——hopefully a Trane air conditioning unit, and serviced by All Year——is always at the ready when you need the cool air, and we’re here to tell you how it’s done.

Any AC unit’s main purpose is to remove heat from the air in your home. To do this, air conditioning units capitalize on a physical principal called phase conversion. First, warm indoor air is blown over a set of coils called evaporator coils, or “indoor coils,” which absorb heat from the indoor air as the refrigerant inside the coils converts from a liquid to a gas. This lower-temperature air is then blown back into the home, cooling your home. The gas still has to be converted back into a liquid within the air conditioning unit, though, and it begins when the A/C unit’s compressor applies extreme pressure to the gas refrigerant, preparing it to return to it’s liquid state. This compression creates loads of heat, and the A/C unit in your Austin home possesses a fantastic way of discarding it.

Your air conditioning unit utilizes a second set of coils, called condenser coils, and a second fan. In your typical split air conditioning system, this part of the A/C system is located outside, in an all-weather box. It’s here where the compressed gas cools and returns to its liquid state in preparation to enter the evaporator coils once more. The heat that is created in this phase of the process is then evacuated by the second fan into the open outdoor air, and the process is ready to begin again.

In addition to cooling the air inside of your home, the air conditioning unit is adept at doing even more than that: it dehumidifies the air, leaving your home climate that much more comfortable. This dehumidifying process is actually a bi-product of the process of cooling your indoor air, as cool air carries a lower capacity for moisture than warmer air. This moisture is emptied via a drain or collection pan connected to your air conditioner.

Yeah, when you put it like this, it might seem like a simple process. And truth be told, we’re thrilled that such a heat transfer process as phase conversion exists. It makes our job——and your comfortable home——possible.

Is your home air conditioning unit no longer running in peak condition? Call All Year, and put us to work performing your Austin AC repair today!

 

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