All You Should Know About Air Conditioning Units.
Before I settled on an AC, I had to figure out how it worked. I am sure am not the only one who worries that they may have a system they are unable to operate. Therefore, I took my time to find the best and most accurate information regarding air conditioning systems. In my search, I came across some important information that helped me settle on a particular air conditioning unit in my home. I dealt with a lot of professionals who helped reach that decision. However, in my research, I realized that there is so much to learn about ACs. It is not all about buying one and having a professional install it for you.
So what is a home AC System?
To fully grasp the concept of air conditioning in your home, you need to understand the various parts of the system. The AC operates on the basic principle that when matter changes state, it either absorbs or gives heat to the environment. Therefore, as gas changes to liquid, it loses heat to the atmosphere, hence waring the surrounding areas. The converse is also true when a liquid changes state to gaseous form, it absorbs energy from the environment, therefore cooling the ambient temperature. For the unit to achieve this, it exploits this physical law, by the use of a gas that can easily convert to liquid and back to gaseous form repeatedly. However, before I proceed with my narration of how an AC works and all there is about air conditioning, here are a few questions to jog your mind?
- What are the main parts of an AC unit?
- What gases are suitable for use in the heat exchange process of the system?
- How does an air conditioner work?
- What are the types of HVAC systems?
- What specifications are used to rate the perfect unit?
- Parts of an AC unit and how it works
Knowing an air conditioning unit
This unit works to make the living conditions in an enclosed space bearable. An air conditioner comprises of two major parts; the compressor and the evaporator. It also has an expansion valve and a condenser. The network is then connected to various rooms using ducts. The most prominent role of a standard air conditioner is to regulate the temperatures in a place. It achieves this by the use of a thermostat. Besides temperature control, the air conditioning units have filters that remove airborne particles such as dust and pollen grains from the air entering a room. Also, it should be used to clear out dust from a place through its ducts and filters. Lastly, the AC can double as a dehumidifier. This operates on the principle that moisture content in the air is relative to its temperature. Therefore, when you lower the temperature of the air flowing into a room, it drops some of its moisture.
This is on the cold side of the system. It contains a fan that blows air over the chilled copper tubes into the room. Here, the compressed liquid, that is lower temperature absorbs heat from the environment to become a gas. As it absorbs heat, the temperature on the coils drop, and the fan blows over them, sending cold air into the rooms for cooling.
The compressor work in the same way as a large electric pump. According to gas laws, an increase in pressure results in a drop in temperature. Therefore, the compressor pressurizes the gas from the evaporator, turning it back to a liquid state. It is important to note that the compressor works with gases only since they are more efficient and reliable when it comes to compression.
This is an opening that separates the compressor from the evaporator. On the evaporator side, the refrigerant experiences a pressure drop, hence the change in state and increase in temperature. Therefore, as the liquid comes from the compressor, it expands and changes rules.
This is a coil made of copper tubes, lined with a thin layer of aluminum or steel fins. It is used to convert gasses to liquids by losing heat to the surrounding environment. The copper tubes and fins are to increase the surface area for heat loss, hence more efficiency.
Types of Air conditioning units
Window and split-system AC units
This type has a hot coil on the outside and a cold coil inside. It is mainly used to implement complete air conditioning in small spaces. Usually, they are made small enough to fit the window frame. It also has a compressor, two fans, a control unit, and an expansion valve.
Chilled-water and cooling tower AC units
This type of comes to solve the energy deficit and heat produced by the standard units. For large spaces, you might want to diversify. That is when you find some systems using water as part of the cooling process. For the chilled water AC unit, the whole system is on the roof of the building, and then the chilled water, chilled to about 4.4 degrees is piped throughout the building.
When deciding the type of gas to use as the refrigerant, there are discussions on what is the best vapor. Mainly because of the harmful effects these gases have on the ozone layer. However, when you are going to buy an air conditioning unit, find a gas that is stable and environmentally friendly.