How Air Conditioning Works:
But first a little bit about the history of the air conditioner. The first modern electrical air conditioning unit was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier in Buffalo, New York. He invented it while trying to improve the printing process for a publishing company he worked for. Upon his invention he immediately saw the far-reaching applications of the new technology and as they say the rest was history. If you’re wondering if that last name sounds familiar, you're right, the Carrier name is one and the same as the famous Carrier A/C units you can purchase today.
Before we move on into the inner workings of how most standard A/C units actually work keep this in mind. The air conditioning system essentially removes heat from the air inside and moves that heat outside. It does this with the use of a refrigerant and three main parts: a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator.
Because it is a closed system and constantly repeats over and over again there isn't really a good place to start so we'll begin with the refrigerant which after all is the real star here and is where all the magic happens. Under the right conditions, a refrigerant, i.e. a gas like Freon, can absorb or release heat in a process called phase change. So, for example, when Freon is converted from a liquid to a vapor it absorbs heat from the air and when the Freon changes from a vapor into a liquid it release heat into the air. You'll see in a moment how this phase change along with the compressor, condenser and evaporator work together to provide the right conditions to make all this wonderfulness happen.
The evaporator is located on the inside and is commonly found on the air delivery unit. It consists of a fan and coils. Before the refrigerant arrives in the evaporator it is in a liquid form and as it is passed through the evaporator coils it changes from a liquid to a gas which as mentioned before absorbs heat from the air, cooling that air. The fan then blows this cooled air into the ventilation system to be distributed throughout, bringing down the temperature and humidity inside.
Now the heated refrigerant in gas form is then transported to the metal contraption outside. That's the large finned metal box near your house with the noisy fan and contains the compressor and condenser. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant. Mainly to make it more hot so that the condenser can convert the refrigerant back into a liquid. Once in a liquid it releases the heat it absorbed inside then returns the refrigerant back to the evaporator to start the whole cycle over again.
All this magnificent technology and science is wonderful and amazing to think about but it does come at a cost. Your A/C unit is the biggest power draw on your electric bill. But there're some simple things you can do to reduce the demand. The easiest and cheapest thing to do is the replacement of your air filter on a regularly basis. That could be once a month or more depending on your filters manufacturing specifications. You can also place solar window screens on the outside of your windows or blinds or tint on the inside of your windows to restrict the amount of sunlight that passes through.
So whether you're a residential home owner, apartment renter or a commercial business, find Austin air conditioning and heating installation, repair or services for a/c units or heaters in Austin, TX and in the surround Austin Metro Area.