How Does Central Air Conditioning Work?

If you’re thinking about central AC, then you need a strong overview of the options that exist. Most AC units can last over 20 years, so taking the time to briefly learn the details about how AC works will help your decision making. Christian Brothers Air Conditioning Plumbing Electrical of Glendale, Arizona, is dedicated to the education of our clients. A key component that makes central AC unique is its connections of ducts that cycle cool air throughout your building.

The main duct of a central system can have an endless number of ducts branching from it. Air handlers, which shouldn’t be confused with air conditioners, are also a part of central systems and allow your cooling system to distribute cool air. Handlers cycle air throughout your building, pressurizing your ducts in order to move air from and back to the handler. With proper return registers, which are return vents, central systems receive back the cool air they’ve distributed.

Supply registers, which are another facet unique to central AC, are vents that put cool air into your building spaces. The return vents, however, are necessary because cool air will eventually heat up if outdoor temps remain high. Heated air is lighter than cold air, so heat tends to rise to the ceiling within an enclosed structure. For this reason, central AC relies on return vents to capture hot air from the ceiling. These vents send air back to the central intake for re-cooling.

Compression and Your AC’s Refrigeration

A compressor, which is a type of motor within your AC unit, is what enables your handler to receive cool air for distribution. Compressors use enclosed cavities and containers to pressurize fluids or gases and thus compress them. This motor is often the most active portion of your AC system and can even be the only appliance in operation at times. The complete phases of modern air conditioning rely on the residual pressure exerted by a compressor.

We need compression within our AC units because of:

  • Airflow: Pressure, be it negative or positive, enables mechanical ventilation to work.
  • Matter Conversions: Condensing and evaporating refrigerants calls for residual pressure.
  • Isolating Heat: The pushing force of a compressor forces heat out of your air.
  • Intaking Air: Drawing air in calls for a fan or compressor to suck in matter.

Refrigerants and Your AC’s Internal Space

Refrigerants are pivotal compounds that can be converted from a liquid to a gas with relative ease. In fact, the compressor, though being the most active component, is useless if it has nothing to pressurize or condense. A refrigerant is a material substance that compressors are designed to circulate and convert into gases or liquids. This conversion of gases to liquids is required because it results in cool condensation. Condensation, as it happens, is what ultimately cools your air. Here’s why we rely on refrigerants for all modern, central systems:

  • Convertible: They change from a liquid to a gas at the pace your AC works at.
  • Inexpensive: There’s no need to replace or upgrade refrigerants.
  • Replaceable: If replacement is necessary, the work is cheap and quick.
  • Low Maintenance: Refrigerants remain the same for as long as you use them.

Condensation and AC Cooling

As for the cooling your AC does, its first step is to turn heat, which is in a gaseous state, into cooler temperatures and thus condensation. Condensation is the result of gases or humidity becoming dense and thus compacting enough to form liquids. The slower molecules of a liquid versus a gas ensure that air temps are low and that heated particles get extracted. The condensation in your AC goes into the condenser coils. This container stores cool refrigerants in liquid form.

Here’s why condenser coils are so relevant:

  • Indefinite Cool Air: We can sustain cool air indefinitely if we indefinitely condensate it.
  • Protects Refrigerants: Condenser coils protect your refrigerants from outside elements.
  • Keep Heat Separated: Condenser coils only store cool liquids.
  • Keeps Temps Low: When working properly, these coils continue to produce cool air.

Evaporation and Heat Absorption

Just as important as condensation is, evaporation enables your AC system to reuse its refrigerant for more cooling cycles. Vapors are created when your refrigerants capture heat from your building’s air supply. The vapors result from rising temps that raise liquid particles, turning them into gas. Refrigerants that evaporate, being lighter than when a liquid, will rise to enter the evaporator coils this time. This process of evaporation is how heat is pulled from your air.

Here’s why heat absorption is so important within air conditioning:

  • Extraction: Isolating the heat in your air enables your AC to eliminate it.
  • Renewing Condensation: Continuing your cool-air cycle is only possible when there are new heat molecules to condense.
  • Keeping Temps Down: Separating heat in the way that vapor coils do keeps temps cool.
  • Converting Liquids: Creating liquids is only possible if gas is there to be converted.

The Continuous Cycle of Removing Heat

From compression to evaporation, modern AC systems rely on a continuous cycle to make the conversion of refrigerants effective at cooling. Since your AC unit operates within a vacuum, its contents can be recycled endlessly. As long your AC is currently on, then your condenser and evaporator coils will send refrigerants to one as one receives refrigerants from the other. Just keep in mind that AC doesn’t directly cool your air. By taking heat from it, your cool air is simply isolated to enjoy. Look at these factors making the cycles of air conditioning continuous:

  • Pressure: The flow to and from your coils is a byproduct of internal pressure.
  • Proper Seals: These ensure that no leaks or release valves are open.
  • Refrigerant Volume: The amount of refrigerant your AC calls for is exact.
  • Maintenance: Technicians look at your cooling cycles to prevent long-term malfunctions.

How Your AC Helps With Humidity

Since air conditioning works by creating condensation that conditions the air, humidity is also taken out of the air when your AC runs. You can look at humidity to gauge just how well your air conditioner is working. Humidity condensates with ease, but an effective AC unit can handle humidity and reduce it. Here are some things that your AC unit can prevent regarding humidity:

  • Condensation: This stops your windows from collecting moisture.
  • Mold: Cycling fresh, dry air reduces the build up of mold.
  • Allergies: Humidity can trigger allergic reactions.
  • Respirations: You might find it difficult to breathe with high humidity.

Thinking About the Ideal-AC System and Its Cost

Your ideal-Central AC system should have an ideal fit among other appliances you have. Christian Brothers Air Conditioning Plumbing Electrical of Glendale, Arizona, understands the climate you live in and the building construction you occupy. We know that cool air isn’t enough to keep you comfortable indefinitely. Your plumbing and electrical layout can also be improved by our technicians. Heating and cooling are only two options. From installing UV air sanitizers to ducts, you have a breadth of services to try. Get in touch now to make a positive impact within your building today.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.