We all know that the most vital component of our air conditioner is the “compressor.” It’s referred to sometimes as the “heart” of the AC since, without it, your air conditioner is just an oversized fan. This is basically true, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why we advocate for homeowners to invest in AC repair in Los Angeles, CA when something seems wrong with the compressor. An air conditioner needs a functional compressor.
That being said, do you know how your compressor works? It’s alright if you answer “no” to that question. Not that many homeowners understand the technology in their AC units, and why should they? It’s not like we go through an “HVAC 101” class in high school or anything.
Well, consider today your first day of class in learning how compressors work. With this new information, you’ll hopefully be able to know your AC a bit better!
Compression Has to Do With Pressure
What does compression mean? Well, it’s basically a form of increasing and decreasing the “pressure” of a given substance. You compress your feet when you get up from sitting down because there’s pressure added to your foot from the rest of your body. It’s a pretty normal physical effect that we exert on the world.
So, how does compression relate to air conditioning? Well, your compressor adds pressure to the refrigerant in your home. The pressure increase causes it to evaporate from a liquid state to a gaseous state, changing the qualities of the material itself. Then, the compressor relieves the pressure in another area of your air conditioner and it turns this gaseous refrigerant back into a liquid.
Pressure Requires Electrical Energy
Have you ever looked at your summer energy bill and wondered why your AC sucks up so much electricity? It’s through compression! The addition of pressure to refrigerant takes a lot of energy and it’s the main reason why your air conditioner tries so hard to be efficient.
That’s why it’s important for your compressor to be in good shape. If it can effectively pressurize the refrigerant in the system, it’s not going to drain as much electrical energy from your home.
The Cycling of Refrigerant
When your compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and turns it from a liquid to a gas, it actually absorbs heat. This is what cools the air around your system, and allows it to cool the air inside your home. Then, when the refrigerant gets outside, the compressor relieves the pressure and turns it from a gas into a liquid. This second transformation releases the heat that is absorbed into the atmosphere, essentially dissipating the heat.
This is the complete cooling cycle, and it’s why your compressor plays such a valuable role in your comfort technology!
Other Forms of Refrigeration Technology
Air conditioners aren’t the only systems that do this kind of work! Your refrigerator and even your freezer do the same type of thing. They move heat from one place to another using a compressor and refrigerant. Isn’t that neat?