What are Air Conditioners?
The most basic information about air conditioners is that air conditioners are appliances or mechanisms which function to bring us comfort by keeping the space where we rest or do things cool and not too humid or too dry. So you find them in cars, bedrooms, living rooms, gyms, offices, shopping malls and the like. They are just everywhere nowadays.
What Air Conditioners do?
It is also useful to know what air conditioners actually do. What an air conditioner does is basically keep a given space at a lower temperature than the outside. Now that means taking heat from the space and moving it to the surroundings. At the same time, it dehumidifies or removes moisture from the air. This is because as air cools, some of the water vapour in it condenses. This is the reason why some water drips from your car or from your window-type air conditioner.
Air Conditioners – How do they do it?
All air conditioners have four main basic components. The part which extracts heat from the space to be cooled is the evaporator, the first component. Here, a refrigerant changes from liquid to vapour. In the process, it takes in heat. The vapour is then compressed by a compressor, the second part, where it is pressurized to make it condense back to liquid. This occurs in the third component which is the condenser. Here, it gives off heat, which is discarded to the environment outside the space to be called. The refrigerant is then passed on to an expansion valve, the fourth part, where pressure is reduced before the refrigerant is returned to the evaporator, completing the cycle. You may want to know that this cycle is also what refrigerators do and so more properly it is called a refrigeration cycle.
So what does this information about air conditioners have to do with buying one?
Well, first of all, it should be obvious that the bigger the space you want to cool, the more heat you will need to remove from it. This is called the cooling load and is often given in terms of horsepower or kilojoules, depending on whether your country uses the English or the metric system of units.
You also found that in this case heat is moved from a cool place to a hot place. That’s against the natural flow of heat and, therefore, requires work. In practice, you also need power to run a fan to circulate air and improve heat transfer. All this power costs money so this is another thing you need to know.
You know that we will be using air conditioners continuously and for a long time. So you should also be concerned about their efficiency and maintenance. You want an air conditioner that will allow you to save — something that is intelligent enough to minimize power consumption. Because air conditioners have many parts, they require maintenance. Usually, it is the compressor that needs repair. Often, it is a tube that leaks refrigerant. These could cost money in the long run. You may check cold air intake from this post.
So the above information should give you a good idea about air conditioning units and should help you choose the correct system. There are other details to consider but what you learned here are the basic and the most important.