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Air conditioners are among the most common household HVAC devices. Most people are familiar with them, but the way they function can still be a mystery to some. Here is a brief description of home air conditioning basics:

In essence, air conditioners work like a large refrigerator, cooling large spaces such as individual rooms or entire houses. Large air conditioning systems usually have an indoor and outdoor unit. The outdoor unit contains important components such as the condenser and compressor, while the indoor unit contains the air handling system that moves cooled air through the ductwork system and into your home.

A refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system and is responsible for capturing and releasing heat. The refrigerant enters the compressor as a low-pressure gas. The gaseous refrigerant contains heat that was removed from your home. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, then the refrigerant exits the compressor as a hot gas under high pressure. It travels to the condenser, where the heat from inside your home is released and dispersed.

The refrigerant is now cooler and has changed from a gas to liquid. The pressurized liquid travels into the evaporator, where its pressure decreases and the refrigerant evaporates into gas again. As the refrigerant changes state from liquid to gas, it pulls heat from the air. The evaporator coil gets cold. The gaseous refrigerant then travels to the compressor in the outdoor unit, where the cycle begins again.

Cool air for your home is generated when the air handler blows air across the cold evaporator coil. This cooled air is sent into the supply ductwork, where it makes its way to points throughout your home. Expended air is brought back to the system through your home’s return ducts. It is filtered, cooled again, and redistributed through the ductwork.

NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating has almost 40 years of experience as a leading air conditioning and heating contractor in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Contact us today for more information on home air conditioning basics, to get a quote, or to schedule an installation.