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How the Compressor Works in Your AC System

Atlanta Heating & Air Solutions Mabelton

Your air conditioning system relies on many different parts to cool your home’s living spaces. In addition to coils and ducts, it has a compressor. The compressor, in fact, is one of the most important parts of your air conditioning system. Without it, you and your family would face some uncomfortably hot summers. To learn more about the compressor and how it works, keep reading.

What Is the Compressor?

The compressor is a motorized unit that’s found next to the condenser coil. All central air conditioning systems – as well as heat pumps that use refrigerant – have a compressor. This motorized unit is responsible for compressing refrigerant so that heat can be released from it.

How the Compressor Works

When running your air conditioning system, refrigerant will flow through several parts. It will travel through the evaporator coil, for instance, where the refrigerant picks up heat from your home’s indoor air. From there, it will travel to the compressor. The compressor works by compressing the refrigerant, thus raising its temperature. Why does the temperature of the refrigerant need to be raised exactly?

Your air conditioning system will cool your home by releasing heat from the refrigerant. At the evaporator coil, refrigerant consists of a low-pressure, low-temperature gas. The temperature of the refrigerant will affect how much heat it can release. The higher the temperature, the more heat the refrigerant will release. Therefore, the compressor will pressurize the refrigerant so that it becomes warmer and, thus, is able to release more heat.

Why the Compressor Is Important

Your air conditioning system can’t perform its intended cooling process without a functional compressor. When the compressor fails, the refrigerant will have a low temperature as it travels from the evaporator coil to the condenser coil. Low-temperature refrigerant, of course, won’t release as much heat as high-temperature refrigerant. It may release some heat, but it won’t be enough to sufficiently cool your home’s living spaces.

Compressor failure can also lead to frozen coils. With warm air, the evaporator coil or the condenser coil may develop ice. With that said, countless other problems can lead to frozen coils, only one of which is compressor failure.

If your compressor has failed, don’t hesitate to contact a heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) technician. Depending on the type of failure, an HVAC technician may be able to repair it. Alternatively, you can have your compressor replaced.



Atlanta Heating & Air Solutions Mabelton