Chances are that you don’t really give the actual operation of your air conditioning system all that much thought. You set your thermostat go about your business, and enjoy the cool, comfortable temperatures that your air conditioner allows for. While you certainly don’t need to be an expert on AC systems, and you should definitely never attempt to service yours on your own, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how your system actually cools your home. If nothing else, it can help you to spot signs of trouble and to schedule repairs in a timely fashion. Today, we’ll look at the compressor.
What Does the Compressor Do?
Your central air conditioning system does not create cool air out of nothing. Instead, it actually removes heat from the air in your home, and then disperses that heat outside. It accomplishes this feat via the evaporation of refrigerant in the system. Refrigerant is the heat transfer fluid that air conditioners use in order to facilitate the heat transfer process.
When the refrigerant arrives at the compressor, it is it is a low-pressure, cool gas. The compressor compresses the fluid–hence the name–and boosts its heat and energy by packing the molecules of the refrigerant closer together. When the fluid leaves the compressor, it is a hot, high-pressure gas.
So why is this important? Well, that hot gas goes into the condenser, which disperses the heat of the refrigerant. The refrigerant then goes into the evaporator as a high-pressure liquid, and its pressure drops, extracting heat from the air passing over it as it evaporates. The warm refrigerant needs to be of a higher temperature than the air outside in order to release that heat outdoors, which is why the role of the compressor is so important.
If you suspect that you have a problem with your AC in Everett, WA, contact a member of the G & S Heating Cooling & Electric team to schedule service.