Hvac Compressor

A compressor in an HVAC system is its heart. The air conditioner component of an HVAC system is essentially a type of refrigerator that cools and dehumidifies the air in the building thus ensuring its thermal comfort. Most of the compressors in an HVAC unit looks like a black box with lines running to and from it. The main function of an air conditioner is to transfer heat from an enclosed area to the outside air. The motor driven compressor in an air conditioning system powers the entire heat transfer cycle. However, air conditioners always rely on two principles of nature. One of them is that heat flows from a high temperature area to a low temperature area and gases always flow from high pressure area to low pressure area.

Residential HVAC systems generally have two types of compressors. They are the piston and the scroll. The piston type uses piston attached to a motor driven crankshaft to draw in and compress the refrigerant. On the other hand, the scroll compressors use an orbiting scroll on an eccentric motor-driven crankshaft to suck in the vaporized refrigerant and push it into a stationery scroll whose volume gradually decreases to compress the refrigerant.

One should keep in mind that an air conditioner does not add coolness to a room. Rather it removes heat from an enclosed space leaving coolness which is an inert state that is left inside after removing the heat energy that is transferred outside. Now let us have a look as in how a compressor helps in making an enclosed space more comfortable. The refrigerant evaporating into a frigid vapor in the air conditioner’s indoor evaporator coil extracts heat energy from warm air inside the house. The warm air is conveyed to the compressor through an insulated pipe. Refrigerant entering the compressor is at a temperature of almost 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This vapor is pressurized by the piston, compacting the molecules of heat energy contained in the refrigerant and raises its temperature to approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot refrigerant leaves the compressors in a pressurized state and it then rapidly condenses into a liquid as it passes through the condenser coil.

Thus, it is very well understood that the compressor is the heart of an HVAC system and it needs to be properly maintained and requires periodic inspection and testing. However, the worst part is that most of the times the compressor is ignored and is given importance only when it starts malfunctioning. Hence, it is a good idea to get in touch with an expert HVAC professional who can perform the necessary tests on your compressor. For instance, the technician who visits your home should measure the suction and discharge pressure of the compressor to find out whether it is functioning properly or not. Secondly, pressure and temperature tests are important to find out what is happening inside the compressor. The other routine tests of the compressor include the compressor valve performance test and the compressor electrical motor faults test.

Last but not the least, irrespective of the kind of compressor test performed one should make it a point to get the compressor tested at regular intervals.



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