“What does AC compressor do?” Well, it’s not just a box sitting outside your house. In this article, we’ll discuss what this important component does.
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What Does AC Compressor Do in Air Conditioning Systems?
An air conditioning system is designed to cool your home or office by transferring heat from inside the building to the outside. The component that makes this heat transfer possible is a chemical compound known as refrigerant. The crucial part of the AC system that handles the movement and regulation of this refrigerant is the AC compressor.
The Role of the AC Compressor
The compressor’s primary job is to circulate the refrigerant through the air conditioning system under varying degrees of pressure. It acts somewhat like a pump or a heart, continuously moving the refrigerant through the system to ensure that it can absorb and release heat effectively.
When the refrigerant enters the compressor, it is in a low-pressure, gaseous state after absorbing heat from the indoor air. The compressor then does what its name suggests—it compresses this low-pressure gas. This compression process increases both the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant.
Why the Compressor is Pivotal
The importance of the compressor can’t be overstated. Without it, the refrigerant would not be pressurized, and thus it would not be able to circulate through the system. This inability to circulate would lead to the stagnation of the refrigerant and the disruption of the refrigeration cycle, preventing heat from being absorbed from your indoor environment and dispelled outside.
In other words, without a functioning compressor, your air conditioning system would simply blow warm air into your home or office. This result is not what anyone wants on a hot day! Therefore, the compressor’s role in maintaining the proper flow and pressure of the refrigerant is crucial in ensuring that your air conditioner can cool your space effectively.
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The Working Mechanism of an AC Compressor
Now that you’re acquainted with the compressor, let’s unravel how it performs its magic, shall we?
The refrigerant begins its journey in a gaseous state within the evaporator coil (located indoors). Here, it absorbs heat from the indoor air. This heat transforms the refrigerant from a low-pressure gas into a high-pressure gas, which then travels to the compressor.
Once the refrigerant reaches the compressor, the compressor performs its primary function: compressing the refrigerant gas. The process is somewhat analogous to what happens when you use a bicycle pump. As you push down on the pump, you’re compressing the air inside, causing it to heat up.
Similarly, the compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, which causes the molecules to move faster and the gas to heat up. The refrigerant is now a hot, high-pressure gas ready to move on to the next stage.
Heat Transfer and Cooling Cycle
The hot, high-pressure refrigerant gas then proceeds to the condenser coil, typically located outside the house. Here, the gas releases its heat into the outside air with the help of a fan that blows air over the coils. As the refrigerant loses heat, it cools down and transforms back into a liquid.
Expansion and Evaporation
The high-pressure liquid refrigerant then travels toward an expansion valve. This valve releases the liquid refrigerant into the evaporator coil at a controlled rate, reducing its pressure and causing it to partially evaporate into a low-pressure gas.
Absorption of Heat
The low-pressure refrigerant gas in the evaporator coil then absorbs heat from the indoor air again, repeating the cooling cycle.
Remember, the AC compressor is crucial in maintaining this refrigeration cycle, which is the fundamental process by which your air conditioner cools your home or vehicle. If the compressor fails, the whole system won’t be able to function effectively. It’s like the heart of the system, circulating the ‘lifeblood’ – the refrigerant – that enables cooling.