Air Conditioning 101: How Air Conditioning Works

Air Conditioning 101 With H.T.R. Mechanical

Air conditioning systems are a crucial part of our daily lives, and have been for almost a century now. In 1902, the first modern air conditioning system was invented, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that it became a household item. Nowadays, we take air conditioning for granted, but it’s important to know how it works. Understanding the history of air conditioning systems allows us to appreciate how far they’ve come and how much they’ve impacted our lives. Moreover, it can help us better comprehend how to use them effectively and efficiently. Knowing how air conditioning units operate can save money on energy costs and lessen the need for repairs.

How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Dealing with the sweltering heat of summer can be unbearable, but thankfully we have air conditioners to keep us cool and comfortable. Have you ever wondered how an air conditioner works? It’s a fascinating process that involves several key components working together. 

First, there’s the compressor which compresses the refrigerant gas and turns it into a high-pressure, high-temperature gas. Next, the condenser helps to dissipate the heat from the gas, cooling it down so that it can become a liquid. This liquid travels through the expansion valve, where it becomes a low-pressure, low-temperature gas, before finally entering the evaporator. The evaporator absorbs heat from the surrounding air, cooling it down, and releasing it back into the room through a blower. And that’s how an air conditioner works! Next time you’re enjoying the cool air, you can appreciate the complex process that’s keeping you comfortable.

How AC Works

How Does My Home AC Work?

Home comfort is one of the top priorities of homeowners, and with the summer heat on the rise, air conditioning systems have become essential. There are two main types of home air conditioning systems, the central and the split AC. A central AC system is an all-in-one unit that cools the entire house, while a split AC system has separate indoor and outdoor units for each room or area that needs to be cooled. Central AC is more common in larger homes or buildings, while the split AC is more used in smaller homes, older homes, and even apartments. Central air conditioning systems are generally more efficient in cooling larger spaces, but split air conditioning systems offer more flexibility in cooling only the areas that are needed. Knowing the differences between these two systems can help homeowners make the best decision when it comes to their home air conditioning needs.

What is Central Air Conditioning?

Central air conditioning systems, or packaged air conditioners, hold all these parts in one cabinet. One unit, usually on the roof or outside on the pavement, houses the evaporator, coil, blower fan, compressor, and condensing coil. This system utilizes the ductwork in your home, just like your heating does. The how air is pulled out of a room through the return air ducts and into the evaporator. The air is cooled and returns to the room via the supply air ducts. The condenser coil takes that heat and releases it outside. 

Often regarded as more energy-efficient and great at filtering the air, the drawback is that ductwork will need regular maintenance.  

Different Types of Air Conditioning Systems

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Central or Package Air Conditioner

Mini Ductless Air Conditioner

Ductless Split System

What is a Split System?

Split air conditioning systems, or ductless air conditioners, have an indoor and outdoor cabinet. The indoor holds the condenser and compressor. The outdoor cabinet contains the evaporator and sometimes more depending on if your split system doubles as your heating. Rather than ducts, the split system uses pipes to connect the two parts. Refrigerants in the pipes cool the air as it cycles through. To switch to this system is more expensive, but this system is known for being very efficient in cooling large areas quickly. 

What is a Ductless Mini Split?

These systems are a game-changer for both residential and commercial spaces. Unlike central air conditioning, ductless mini splits offer individual zoning control, which means you can set different temperatures for each room or area. This precise control allows you to save money on energy bills. Plus, as their name suggests, they have no ductwork, which means no heat loss or air leaks. However, what really sets them apart is their simplicity. Installation is easy and typically only requires only a small hole to connect the indoor and outdoor units. This is why ductless mini splits are a perfect air conditioning option for older homes or buildings that lack ductwork. If you’re looking for an efficient, customizable, and easy-to-install air conditioning solution, ductless mini splits simply can’t be beat.

Knowing about your air conditioner and how it works is important for the smart homeowner whether that is towards maintenance or purchasing. During the hottest of summer days, nothing is nicer than entering your comfortably cooled home, and your air conditioner is to thank for that. Make sure your taking good care of it so you are never left without your home oasis during the summer. 

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H.T.R. Mechanical LLC, is your local licensed and insured heating and air conditioning experts. We offer emergency HVAC services alongside our regular maintenance and repair services. If your heating or air conditioning needs attention be sure to sure to contact us for prompt and professional service!

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