Air Conditioning Condensers and AC Compressors
The First Step in Cooling Air.
The 20th century brought us innovations few could ever have predicted. Airplanes, computers, medicines and television all changed the way we live. But if you ask a fellow from west Texas what the greatest achievement of them all might be, he’s likely to single out air conditioning.
But how does air conditioning actually work? It’s based on using a chemical refrigerant such as Freon®, which easily converts from gas to liquid, to transfer heat out of your home. An air conditioner cycles the refrigerant through its system, extracting heat with each cycle, until your home has reached the desired temperature.
How Air Conditioning Compressors Work. The AC compressor’s function is to squeeze the refrigerant, which arrives at the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor packs the molecules of the fluid closer together. This increases its energy and temperature, so the working fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high-pressure gas.
This compressed, hot gas then passes to the air conditioner condenser for the next step of the air conditioning process. This is the part of your air conditioner that has metal fins all around. The fins act like a radiator in a car to help the heat dissipate more quickly. When the working fluid leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure.
Then it heads inside to complete the cooling process in the evaporator coil. Read about the evaporator step here.
AC Compressor care. In a central air conditioning system, the compressor (and the condenser) are located in the box outside your home. If your air conditioner runs but is not cooling your home, the problem is often the AC compressor's system.
It is important to keep your compressor clean. Clear away any leaves, grass clippings or debris from the housing and rinse it off with a hose. If you want to clean the aluminum fins inside, use a paint brush and be careful not to bend them. Or make your life easier by calling ARS®/Rescue Rooter® for a complete air conditioning tune-up.
Contact your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® air conditioning specialist today if you have questions about your air conditioning condenser, AC compressor, or air conditioning system.