How Does an AC Compressor Work?

Most of us prefer to not think about our air conditioners. It turns on and off when needed, runs quietly, and efficiently cools our home. However, if you stop and think about air conditioners for just a moment, you realize how amazing they are. Your AC unit cycles the air inside your home and releases the hot air outside which results in a cooler indoor temperature, and this process is possible due to the AC compressor.

Parts of an AC Unit

Every air conditioner consists of three major parts that work together to cool your home: the evaporator, condenser, and compressor. Although all three parts are important, the compressor plays a critical role in cooling your home by working between the evaporator on the inside of your home and the condenser on the outside. It is the compressor’s job to take the low-pressure, gaseous refrigerant that the evaporator supplies, and convert that into a high-pressure gas before sending it off to the condenser outside.

Understanding How an AC Compressor Works

The scientific process that an AC compressor uses to convert the low-pressure gas from the evaporator to a high-pressure gas before it leaves your home through the condenser outside is quite fascinating. For the refrigerant to absorb the heat inside your home and then release outside the compressor must work to convert it to a higher temperature than the outside air. The compressor connects to the evaporator through a suction line. Then inside the compressor, a piston moves back and forth pulling the refrigerant in where it begins to squeeze it. As is compresses the gas and packs he molecules together, the temperature and pressure rise. Once the refrigerant converts to a high-pressure, high-temperature gas, it is released from the compressor through the discharge line to the condenser. The condenser can then release the hot air outside, cool the refrigerant back down to a liquid, and send it back inside to repeat the process.

Now that you know how impressive an AC compressor is, you probably want to pay a little more attention when it is running. But, don’t overwhelm yourself with the intricacies. Contact us today for your routine AC maintenance, AC service, or any questions you have about your AC unit. We will make sure your AC unit runs quietly and efficiently and remains out of sight and out of mind.


October 20, 2017 3:56 pm