How Does Air Conditioning Work?

The first air conditioning system to run on modern principles was built in 1902 by an imaginative electrical engineer named Willis Carrier. His design solved a critical humidity issue that severely limited other designs of the time.

The basic idea of cooling air is simple. It’s about transferring heat energy from the air and into another medium. If you are sweating, even imperceptibly, you benefit from this basic principle by turning on an electric fan. As the air moves over your skin, the heat you feel is transferred into the moving air and carried away from you. Of course, the electric motor contributes to the heat in the room, but as long as you sit within the moving air, you’ll feel cooler.

How Air Conditioners Work

Today’s advanced air conditioning machines take this process and enhance it with a four-step process; evaporation, compression, condensation, and expansion.

Evaporation & Compression

Air is first moved over the evaporator. On the surface of the evaporator, a refrigerant contained inside the cooling coil is used to absorb the heat of the air. Because the refrigerant has a very low boiling point, it goes from being a cold liquid to a very warm vapor. The refrigerant has a pronounced ability to take the heat out of the air, effectively cooling it.
Then the air conditioning unit uses fans and ducts to direct the cooled air to wherever you want it to be. That’s where the value of the AC unit is appreciated most. But your air conditioner still has work to do.
Now, the vaporized refrigerant needs to be cooled again so that it can be reused to cool more air. You might have noticed that you aren’t constantly replacing your used refrigerant. Here’s why. The vaporized refrigerant is then moved into a compressor. This happens in the outdoor unit next to your home.

Condensation & Expansion

Then pressurized gas flows over a condenser. There, vaporized refrigerant is turned back into a liquid so that it can do its job again, and cool more air.
A relatively recent innovation is the moisture trap. This was Carrier’s contribution- which has been heavily modified over the years. Today’s AC machines also pull moisture out of the air- since dry air feels much cooler than humid air. All of that moisture has to go somewhere, and you may notice it around the registers, especially on more humid days. That excess water may seem like an unwanted side effect- but it means much cooler air for you.

Here at KW Lang, we’ve been bringing advanced AC solutions Solon Ohio since 1927! Our customer’s satisfaction is the number one priority every single day. All of our technicians are trained in the latest HVAC technology. We treat your home or business as if it were our own. Our service department is available to serve your needs 24/7. If you’re in the market for new heating and cooling equipment, we will come out to your home or business and provide you with a free estimate on an energy saving system. To learn more about our ultra-modern Carrier Air Conditioners, contact us today!

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