Air Conditioning Compressors

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Air Conditioning / AC Compressors

Air conditioning is based on using a chemical refrigerant, which easily converts from gas to liquid. Air conditioning traps the heat from the air in your home and transfers that heat outside . An air conditioner cycles the refrigerant through its system, extracting heat with each cycle, until your home has reached the desired temperature. These are the same scientific principles first used by Willis Carrier in 1902.

inner workings of an air conditioner

How compressors work. The air conditioning systems compressor’s function is to “compress” the refrigerant, which arrives at the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor packs the molecules of the fluid closer together. This increases its energy and temperature, so the refrigerant leaves the compressor as a hot, high-pressure gas.

This compressed, hot gas then passes to the condenser for the next step of the air conditioning process. The “condenser” is the part of your air conditioner outside the house, that has metal fins all around. The fins act like a radiator in a car to help the heat dissipate from the refrigerant. When the refrigerant leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure.

Then the refrigerant travels back inside to complete the cooling process in the evaporator coil.

Compressor care. In a central air conditioning system, the compressor (and the condenser) are located in the box outside your home. If your air conditioner runs but is not cooling your home, the problem is often the compressor.

It is important to keep your condenser coils clean. Clear away any leaves, grass clippings or debris from the housing and rinse it off with a hose. If you want to clean the aluminum fins inside, use a soft brush and be careful not to bend them.

Or call AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning for a complete air conditioning tune-up and Total Performance Diagnostic. AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning services, repairs, and installs heating and air conditioning systems in the San Marcos, Buda, Kyle and New Braunfels areas.