Next the refrigerant flows through the condenser, where it condenses from vapor form to liquid form, giving off heat in the process. 1. Remember we looked earlier at the low boiling point of refrigerants, so room temperature air is enough to boil it into a vapour. The compressor is the piece that keeps the refrigerant moving, as the low pressure is contin… ASK US HOW! In the sentence “And that, is the basics of hot refrigerants work in HVAC refrigeration systems.”, I think the word “hot” should be “how”. As the refrigerant gives up its heat it will condense into a liquid so by the time the refrigerant leaves the condenser it will be a completely saturated liquid, still at high pressure, but slightly cooler although it will have decreased in both enthalpy and entropy. A major issue with older air conditioners is that they use a refrigerant called R-22. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. A lot of information about Refrigerants and refrigerants work in all details. Air conditioners use refrigeration to chill indoor air, taking advantage of a remarkable physical law: When a liquid converts to a gas ... On the next page, we'll look at how the different parts of an air conditioner work to make all that possible. That means that the components are in two different locations. The refrigerant then makes its way to the expansion valve. Howard Air – How Does an Air Conditioner Work? Most air conditioning repair that requires electrical components focus in on this metering device When the hot refrigerant is pumped through the device, electrical information updates your air conditioning unit on how much work it has left to do. How Does Refrigerant Work in an Air Conditioner? Let us break it down for you. At the same time, all the energy that is put in by the compressor is converted into internal energy within the refrigerant. © 2021 Valley College. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The refrigerant enters as a superheated vapour at high pressure and temperature, it then passes along the tubes of the condenser. In this video we will be learning how refrigerants work in HVAC systems such as refrigerators, air and water cooled chillers as well as split a/c units. Thanks for giving this info!”, “Thanks, By submitting this form, you are giving your express written consent for Valley College to contact you regarding our programs and services using email, telephone or text - including our use of automated technology for calls and periodic texts to any wireless number you provide. As the refrigerant changes form (as well as temperature and pressure) it is capable of both absorbing heat and releasing it. The refrigerant is used to absorb the heat from inside your home, carry that heat to your air-conditioner, and then r… Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The expansion valve meters the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator. And our modern-day culture can credit this ancient beginning to active warming, as it lays the basis for modern refrigerators. Once the refrigerant has been pressurized, the hot gas gets pumped into the condenser. Ductless air conditioning essentially works the same as central air conditioning, minus the ducts. Now in liquid form at high pressure, the refrigerant cools down as it flows into the coils inside the freezer and the fridge. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Cool the Green Way. The condenser is where all the unwanted heat is rejected out into the atmosphere. An Endless Cycle. This chemical continues to react, changing from a high pressure gas to a high pressure liquid to a low pressure liquid to a low pressure gas and over again. The job of the refrigerant is to travel through the system to the different parts of the air conditioner, changing from a low-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid. As the name suggests, it “compresses” the refrigerant so that it turns from a gaseous state into a liquid state. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. The compressor pushes the gas molecules together, heating them up as the pressure raises. This will include all the heat from the building as well as the heat from the compressor. It’s the circle of air conditioning, and at the end of it all, the metering device reads that the temperature in the home is now exactly what you asked for. Thanks for sharing this information!”, “Thanks, The yellow hose is going to the refrigerant bottle and the red hose going to the unit. In a central air conditioner, ducts carry air to a building’s central location and then use additional ducts to … It shuts off the system, allowing the refrigerant to settle back down and fall still. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. As So you tell the air conditioner to change that, and cool your home. This is the part of the unit that faces outside of your home. Thanks for sharing this information!”. These fins work like the radiator on a vehicle, and they help dissipate heat more quickly. These common refrigerants all have extremely low boiling points compared to water. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The refrigerant then reaches the expansion valve, where there is a drastic decrease in pressure which causes the refrigerant to expand and evaporate. Get your certification in air conditioning repair, and ensure that every home has efficient air conditioning that keeps the cool air in and the warm air out! If you’re interested in air conditioning units and the like, why not consider a career in HVAC service? The evaporator receives the refrigerant and another fan blows the warm air of the room across the evaporator coil. Essentially they all work the same way by passing a refrigerant between the main components of the compressor, condenser, expansion device and the evaporator to remove unwanted heat from … While the fans are cooling the gas, the pressure pulls the molecules tighter together, and the refrigerant condenses again into a liquid. Your site provides refrigerants in principle very useful information. A typical refrigeration system is composed of four basic components: compressor, condenser, expansion device and evaporator. Next, the hot Freon gas moves through a series of coils, which has the effect of lowering its heat and converting it to liquid. Not All Heroes Wear Capes. In an air-cooled AC system, refrigerant is central to the process. As it passes through it will expand to try and fill the void. Endothermic means that while it boils and evaporates into a gas again, the chemical absorbs the surrounding energy and heat, causing the temperature around it to drop. The temperature of the room air is higher than the temperature of the cool refrigerant this allows it to absorb more energy and boil the refrigerant completely into a vapour. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think there is a typo – one that could be misleading. In this example, refrigerant is being added to an A/C system. Today, Home Air Services explains how a refrigerant works. The gas now holds that heat from your home, and is ready to take it outside, leaving you with a cooler house. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. An air conditioner (AC) in a room or a car works by collecting hot air from a given space, processing it within itself with the help of a refrigerant and a bunch of coils and then releasing cool air into the same space where the hot air had originally been collected. First, thanks for a great explanation of refrigerants. Refrigerants are chemicals that have an interesting and useful property: the can be converted from a gas to a liquid (and back again) relatively easily. Sign up for your free Danfoss Learning account - . This is very useful to know the working principle of refrigerant in the Air Conditioning Application. The boiling is essential as the refrigerant will absorb the heat from the ambient air and carry this away to the compressor. To release the heat the refrigerant has absorbed, the refrigerant needs to be in a higher temperature, higher pressure form. An air conditioning system works hard to cool your home, and utilizes chemicals like carbon tetrachloride to help you manage every hot summer out there! This means that it changes from a liquid to a vapor at low temperatures. After the condenser, the refrigerant goes through the expansion valve, where it … How does a refrigerant move around a chiller or air conditioning unit to remove thermal energy from a room or refrigerator. With a gas furnace you have the heat from the flame blowing into your home. The Freon liquid then flows … For further information on this subject I would recommend visiting the Danfoss website. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. How does ductless air conditioning work? One of the… It changes state from gas vapor to liquid as it collects heat from your house and ejects that heat to the outdoors. The refrigerant now moves to the condenser. Condenser. You could salt foods, and in winter, you could bury food in a snow drift and hope the critters didn't find it. “Hi, As it does so, it absorbs heat and then releases it along its … The greater the temperature difference, the easier the heat transfer will be. How does refrigerant work in air conditioners and why does it create problems when it leaks? The refrigerant will enter as a saturated vapour and is a low temperature and low pressure. The refrigerant leaves the evaporator as a low temperature, low pressure vapour. It’s a common misconception that air conditioner consume refrigerant when they run, like a car consumes gas or oil. However, if we went higher up into the atmosphere, say to the top of mount Everest, then we would find that water boils at only 70°c (158°F) and that’s because we’re higher up so there is less atmosphere above us to push down on the water, making it easier to boil. This working fluid exits the compressor as a high-pressure, hot gas, and it moves to the condenser. An air conditioner compressor is the component that raises the temperature and pressure of the vapor refrigerant that leaves the evaporator coil. The first thing that happens in a refrigerant system is the compression of the refrigerant. Compressor (in the outdoor unit of a split air conditioner): It compresses the hot refrigerant gas into a hot liquid refrigerant which is ready to exchange heat from outside (the room). This consent is not required to purchase goods/services and you may always call us directly at 888-979-9579. This is also known as hidden heat. The liquid has most of the heat from your home burned off, and begins to move along to the next part of the unit. Much like blowing a hot spoon of soup to cool it down. But, do you know how an air conditioning unit works? This compressor uses helical screw rotors to compress larger volumes of refrigerant. The compressor connects to the crankshaft via a drive belt. And that, is the basics of hot refrigerants work in HVAC refrigeration systems. The refrigerant is the "blood" pumping through cooling tubes in the air conditioner's system. Now if you scroll to the bottom of this article you can simply watch a video tutorial on the subject. The red valve will control how much goes into the unit and turned off when the correct amount as been added. How does air con refrigerant work in an air conditioning system? In this example we’re using a thermal expansion valve which holds back refrigerant, creating a high and low pressure side. [vc_video link=”″]. This physical law states that heat absorption happens when a liquid turns to gas, which is exactly what a refrigerant does. The refrigerant, a chemical compound that changes easily from liquid to a gas. The refrigerant (aka coolant) absorbs heat from inside of your home and then pumps it outside. The heat is absorbed by the refrigerant and in turn, the air inside the room becomes cool. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. If you want to learn more on how refrigerants work, you can read or watch our tutorial here. With a lower pressure, the refrigerant liquid is now ready to cool the home. When we say “refrigerant” we mean a fluid that can easily boil from a liquid into a vapour and also be condensed from a vapour back into a liquid. This results in the refrigerant increasing in internal energy, enthalpy, temperature and pressure. The motor rotates the male rotor through the crankshaft. The male rotor moves the female rotor as the rotors inter-mesh against each other. The heat given off is what makes the condenser "hot to the touch." In order to keep the refrigerant moving at a constant pace, and in order to gauge whether the air conditioning is continuing to cool the home, and whether the machine needs to continue the cooling process or simply maintain the current temperature. The outside unit of an air conditioning system has metal fins all around the housing. When the hot gas in the coils meets the cooler air temperature of the kitchen, it becomes a liquid. First-lesson on how the basic refrigeration cycle works The refrigeration cycle explains to us what is happening to the ac freon in each of the four components within the air conditioner units. Finally, the now lower pressure liquid encounters the evaporator. Without refrigerant, there would be no air conditioning, refrigeration or freezing technology.Air conditioners contain refrigerant inside copper coils. A small amount of oil is combined with the Freon gas to lubricate the compressor. Refrigerant is at the heart of an air conditioning system. Air conditioners use refrigeration to cool the air indoors through a physical law: when a liquid converts to a gas, it absorbs heat. An air conditioner works using a thermodynamic cycle called the refrigeration cycle. Read on to learn more about the basics of how your AC system works, why refrigerant is so important, and the R-22 phaseout. The one main importance of learning how your commercial fridge works is so that you understand how to clean and maintain equipment effectively. Traditional air conditioning units consist of a compressor and condenser that cycles the cooled refrigerant through a box called an "air handler" in the building's ventilation system, using the fan in the furnace to force cooled air through the duct work to existing vents. Although I wouldn’t recommend this and it can cause injury. When the Freon gas is compressed, its pressure rises, making it very hot. The compressed refrigerant leaves via the discharge port at a higher pressure. But how does it manage that? This process is known as phase conversion. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. All home heating companies will tell you that an air conditioner cools the air with the aid of phase conversion. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The fans continue blowing, causing the now chilled air to be pushed into the house. There are plenty of amazing HVAC schools, like Valley College, that are able to teach you the twists and turns of the fascinating machines that regulate the temperature in your home. 25801. All Rights Reserved. Thanks for sharing the informative post. As more refrigerant is pumped into the evaporator, more warm air from the home is chilled through the endothermic reaction. Some of the more common refrigerants on the market ate R22, R134A and R410A, although the laws and regulations on refrigerants are tightening and many of these will be phased out in the long run. The compression involves the motor and the male and female rotors. Refrigerant is added when your system is installed, and cycles continuously (in various forms) through the components of your AC … These cookies do not store any personal information. As the cool refrigerant gas flows through the chiller cabinet, it absorbs the heat from the food items inside the fridge. Part 4. Air conditioner refrigerant is the crucial part of the air cooling process and is situated inside the system’s copper coils. They have a deep understanding of all the new regulations and their effects, and they’re ready to share their knowledge and solutions with you. Fans in the evaporator blow over the pipes holding the liquid, causing the pressure to change yet again. A lot of information about Refrigerants and refrigerants work in all details Your site provides very useful information. It doesn’t matter what type of refrigeration system you use, from the refrigerator in your home, a small split a/c unit all the way up to an industrial chiller. Starting in 2020, R-22 will become illegal in the United States. an office) to another (e.g. This will also pave the way for providing you with the answer to the question, how does a car AC work? An air conditioner has a refrigerant in it that cools the air as it cycles back into your home, allowing you to live more comfortably inside. outside air). Much like heating a pan of water, the heat will cause the water to evaporate into steam vapour and the vapour will carry the heat away, if you were to place your hand over the rising steam you will find it’s very hot. Absorbing and Expelling Heat. Today, we take refrigeration for granted, but once upon a time, fortunes were made shipping large blocks of ice around the world in insulated holds to sell to the rich. How does a refrigerant move thermal energy around a chiller or air conditioning system. When looking into how propane fridge functions, we return to 1820, where English scientist Michael Faraday used liquefied ammonia to induce heating. This is able to evaporate and condense and is easy and safe to use. When refrigerant leaves an air conditioner’s evaporator, it takes the form of low-pressure gas. The compressor pushes the gas molecules together, heating them up as the pressure raises. As the air blows across the tubes, it removes heat from the refrigerant. Back again, the refrigerant, now a warm low pressure gas, is pumped into the compressor, where it repeats the process over and over again. Every AC uses a refrigerant, a cooling substance responsible for chilling indoor air. Scott Zimmerman – Interview for Nuclear Energy Insider, Valley College Announces 5-Year Grant of Accreditation with ACCSC, Upcoming Events for Alumni to Attend and/or Participate In. This is so that the relatively cool air flowing across the condenser will absorb heat from the refrigerant… You can access them now by visiting The refrigerant leaves the expansion valve at low pressure and temperature then heads straight into the evaporator. Message and data rates may apply. Essentially they all work the same way by passing a refrigerant between the main components of the compressor, condenser, expansion device and the evaporator to remove unwanted heat from one location (e.g. The valve will then adjust to allow some refrigerant to flow and this will be part liquid and part vapour. Instead of that air-conditioners are all about transferring heat and changing states of the refrigerant. Most HVAC technicians come to your home to check on your refrigerant and the efficiency of your unit, so why not learn a bit about it? Heat is known to add to refrigerant but does not register in a thermometer, it just changed the refrigerant state (gas to liquid, or vice versa). How thermostatic expansion valves work - The Engineering Mindset. The reason water isn’t typically used as a refrigerant in common air conditioning units is because there are specially made refrigerants designed specifically for this task, and these are able to perform much more efficiently. Refrigerant . 3. The only difference is that a split system is just that, it is split. When it’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside, you might want it to be about 30 degrees cooler inside. AC refrigerant is an integral part of keeping your Hampstead, North Carolina, home cool during the hot summer months. Valley College Graduates, Thank YOU! The chemical reacts by boiling through an endothermic reaction. The refrigerant, which is now in a liquid state, passes through the expansion valve and turns into a cool gas due to the sudden drop in pressure. Due to the current conditions with COVID-19, Valley College has the capability of completing your enrollment VIRTUALLY without you ever having to step foot into a campus! Ground programs are currently running effectively through remote learning. The refrigerant travels back to the evaporator where the process begins again. This allows it to evaporate into a vapour with very little thermal energy applied which means the refrigerant can extract heat more rapidly. A lot of information about Refrigerants and refrigerants work in all details Your site provides very useful information. Danfoss Learning is a free online training and certification hub. Lets look at how refrigerant moves around the system. They’ve also made helpful tools like their refrigerant retrofit guide, Low-GWP Tool, and Coolselector 2 app available for free on their website. The Role of the Compressor. Thanks again! Just remember that refrigerants have a much lower boiling point than water. For example, we’re used to water boiling at around 100°c (212°F) that’s because most of us live near sea level so the air around us is compressed by all the weight of the atmosphere above us. This is how it works: First, a compressor in your air conditioner compresses cold Freon gas. Take The Free Quiz. How a refrigeration system works. The temperature will only change once the fluid is no longer undergoing a phase change. 120 New River Town Center, Suite C The molecules are all constantly bouncing around and compressing them into a smaller space causes them to collide more often, as they collide they convert their kinetic energy into heat. Read on to see how it works in just a few simple steps! Spring is here, and among the other duties and tasks you need to perform for your home (such as spring cleaning and changing the batteries in the smoke alarms) comes the need to give your air conditioner a close look. Read on for the answers. You may not be using it often now, but in just a few weeks, it will likely see daily use and more. The temperature drops to a more manageable level, causing the piping to shift from burning hot to very warm. This is key to making an air-conditioning system … You’ll know this if you’ve ever used a bike pump, the pump becomes very hot as the pressure increases. As it expands the refrigerant reduces in pressure and temperature, just like if you hold a deodorant spray can and hold the trigger down. The compressor is the piece that keeps the refrigerant moving, as the low pressure is continuously pulled into the compressor to try and create some sort of equilibrium.