Nobody expects a homeowner to be familiar with the minute details of his or her air conditioning system. However, there is a benefit to knowing some of the basic HVAC terms and principles related to your home’s A/C. This knowledge will help you when you need to describe to an HVAC technician any problem you’re having with your A/C.
Following are some HVAC terms related to home cooling:
Air conditioners cool the air by pumping refrigerant, a chemical formula, through a continuous loop. In a common, split-system A/C, the loop runs between an inside unit and an outside unit.
Refrigerant, in its natural state, is a gas, since its boiling point is very cold, around 50 degrees F. below zero. However, it converts from a gas into a liquid and back to a gas again relatively easily, and it’s the related heat-exchange capability that’s at the heart of home cooling.
The compressor, located in the outside unit, pumps refrigerant through the overall system. It also compresses refrigerant, helping to convert it from a gas into a liquid. A fan blows air across the condensing coil, through which the refrigerant flows, and blows the released heat energy into the surrounding atmosphere.
Inside the house, in the air-handler/evaporator unit, now-liquid refrigerant that’s been pumped inside from the outside condenser/compressor runs through an expansion valve, which allows the refrigerant to expand and turn back into a gas. As the refrigerant turns into a gas, it extracts heat and moisture from the indoor air. The absence of those two things cools and dries the air, in other words creates air conditioning. The moisture drains into a condensate pan and pipe.
A fan connected to the evaporator blows air across the coil and then circulates the cool air through the house via supply ducts and registers. Spent air returns to the A/C via return registers and ductwork.
The refrigerant, now as a gas, is pumped outside where the process starts over again.
For more help understanding the air conditioning process in your Calgary home, please contact us at Arpi’s Industries.
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