From the dawn of man, our discovery of fire has opened our eyes to how much of our comfort can be regulated. We make buildings to keep us cool under hot weather, and the fire keeps us warm during the cold. Our advances in science and engineering have improved our understanding of the operating principles that keep the world running.
We have developed a variety of ways to keep our living spaces as comfortable as possible through the scientific method. Now we can control the temperature, airflow, and humidity of our homes and workplaces through centralized heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
Before we got here, much of our comfort relied on the natural flow of hot and warm air around buildings, which was difficult to control. However, lately, we have peaked in the efficiency of air conditioning systems. Maybe we should explore how they work, especially if you need to maintain, repair, or replace parts of an air conditioning system.
The Refrigeration Cycle
Cooling the interiors of buildings requires a refrigeration cycle. Of all the parts of an air conditioner, this is one of the central A/C components. According to the air conditioning basics, it works by circulating refrigerant between the exterior and interior parts of an air conditioner unit. This also goes for getting fresh air in sunrooms especially if you decide to add another A/C unit.
Simply by using electricity as its power source, the refrigeration cycle relies on a pumping unit to circulate the coolant through pipes and refrigeration lines to the interior of the house. Internal temperature is regulated by directing the flow of conditioned air through ducts to each room and collecting the warm air to be released outside.
The process starts with warm air inside the house drawn by a motorized exhaust fan and fed to the ductwork. The coolant in the refrigerant lines is pumped from the exterior compressor coil; at this stage, it is cold and in a liquid state.
It is delivered to the interior evaporator coil, which is located near a heat source or directly flowing through the ducts absorbing heat from the warm air and cooling it down. The cooled air in the ducts is pushed through connecting ducts leading to individual rooms by motorized supply fans, and the house is cooled down evenly.
The coolant evaporates after absorbing the heat from the interior air and is pumped back to the compressor coil outside. The motorized exhaust fan then sucks the cooled air inside the house, and the cycle repeats continuously to keep the temperature cool as set by the thermostat. This is a good way of checking if your home thermostat is bad.
Parts Of A Central A/C System
To get a better picture of the mechanisms that run air conditioning, we should check out the different central air conditioning components. Typical parts of an air conditioning system are split in two, and these are the outdoor and indoor components.
Outdoor components contain the condenser, compressor, electrical components, and a coil. The compressor’s work is to cool the refrigerant below its vapor point so that it remains liquid. It is complemented by a series of condenser coils to expose the coolant to as much surface area as possible in a small space.
This slows down the flow of the fluid and cools it faster. Electrical components include the power supply and automatic control units that regulate the rate and volume of airflow, as well as the amount of coolant being circulated to achieve the desired cooling or heating effect that is needed.
The evaporator coil is usually installed on top of the gas furnace inside the house. It is pivotal to heating the interior air during cold seasons but also helps in regulating humidity. A series of pipes and ducts connect the interior to the exterior components, which circulate coolant and airflow between the important parts of an air conditioning system.
Air conditioning refrigerants hold the critical role of heat transfer, making them responsible for all the heating and cooling effects we want. Ducts and vents in the floors, walls, and ceiling act as air tunnels for ventilating the different rooms.
Finally, the automatic control unit powers the whole process. A thermostat on the user’s end is the primary input for the system. The temperature setting it is given affects the operation of fans, humidifiers, and pumps.
This is, in fact, where capacitors play a special role. You may be asking yourself, “what does a capacitor do in an air conditioner?” Well, they are responsible for providing a high voltage power source to give the motorized fans a high-speed start. Electrically driven pumps circulate the coolant between the evaporator and condenser coils through the compressor.
Thanks to this innovative order, air conditioning systems have benefited our lifestyles in a myriad of ways. For instance, central air conditioning keeps our homes warm during the cold, cool during intense heat, and as humid as comfortably possible during dry spells.
In addition to this, an advanced A/C system would have sophisticated filters that remove dust and other microscopic pollutants from the air flowing through our homes. Finally, with the compressor units being installed outside, the noise levels during operation are significantly reduced.
This provides quiet, pleasant operation. Air conditioning systems that use less power to produce a greater cooling effect should be preferred as they have a higher SEER rating. If you are needing to get a new HVAC system and can not afford the price upfront, you should look into financing for HVAC replacement before scheduling for a licensed HVAC professional to come out.