No one understands the importance of air conditioning better than a Floridian. In the Jacksonville area alone, mean maximum temperatures go well above 90 for much of the summer, and have been known to top 100. In this environment, you need climate control to stay comfortable and healthy, which explains why most Floridians think of their air conditioner in the same way they regard their shower, their stove, or their refrigerator: as an essential part of modern living.
As much as Floridians rely on AC systems, many haven’t actually stopped to think about how they work. The better you understand air conditioner technology, the easier it is to make sure that you have the unit you need and that it’s working well. Thus if you want to stay cool in Florida this season and in all future summers, you should familiarize yourself with the way your air conditioner works:
Air Conditioning Basics
At its most basic, your air conditioner works by pumping heat out of your house. To do this, it relies on three main components:
- The Compressor– Located outside your house, the compressor squeezes together the molecules in the gas used to cool your home. The more tightly those gas molecules are forced together, the higher their pressure, allowing them to move into your house for cooling.
- The Condenser– This part of your air conditioner works by moving the cooling liquid through heat transfer fins, which remove heat from it until the liquid is cold. It is connected directly to the compressor, and is stationed outside along with it.
- The Evaporator– After the cooling liquid has moved through the compressor and the condenser, it goes into the evaporator, which is located inside your house. There is more room inside the evaporator, allowing the pressure of the coolant to drop to the point that it turns from liquid to gas. In this process, further heat is removed, bringing the coolant down to a very low temperature.
Working together, the compressor, the condenser, and the air conditioner produce highly cool air, which is then circulated through your house with the help of a fan. This gradually lowers the overall air temperature in your house. Most air conditioners also allow you to set an ideal temperature that you want the air to reach, and come with a thermostat to determine when the air has hit that temperature. When the thermostat detects this, it shuts the AC off; it then turns it back on once the temperature rises above the level you’ve set.
Factors that Affect Air Conditioning Effectiveness
In addition to understanding how your air conditioning system itself works, you should consider additional factors that influence how cool it can make your home. Chief among these is interior ventilation. For your AC to chill your home quickly and effectively, it must be able to move air swiftly through each room of your house. The better your interior ventilation is, the more efficient and effective the air conditioning system will be.
Besides ventilation, insulation plays a powerful role in air conditioning effectiveness. By insulating your walls, windows, and attic, you prevent hot air from moving into your house from the outside. This reduces the amount of energy your air conditioning system needs to lower the temperature, and allows your home to maintain those low temperatures for longer.
Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning is committed to helping homeowners throughout the Jacksonville area obtain effective, efficient air conditioning. We offer comprehensive installation and maintenance services, along with information on how air conditioners work and other key details. For more information or to schedule our services, contact us today.