Air Conditioning How does it work?

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Have you ever wondered how your air conditioning unit works?  How is it thay a box can produce cold air in the summer and warm air in the winter?  Also who can I trust to install and air conditioning unit for me, should I use an electrician or an air conditioning technician.  Which brand should I chose? Lots of unanswered questions, well I can help you.  Being in the industry in the UK and also in Australia, I have wide spread knowledge of how it works to who you should use to install your air conditioning.

Firstly, How does air conditioning work?
An Air Conditiioner is designed to regulate both the temperatre in a room and humidity taking care of summers worst issues. The reason for the split is that, like other models (especially window units) it keeps the hot outside and the cool inside.
The compressor and the condensing coils are on kept on the outside of the house and the evaporator coils and blower are on the inside of the house.
This blog post will explain exactly how this type of unit works and how it can work well. There will be a discussion of how the unit can be kept working effectively, how it differs from other types of air conditioners and a list of parts and their uses will be given. 
How a Split Air Conditioner Works

Gas, a refrigerant, is fed into the compressor where it is pressurized. This also causes the heat in the gas to rise.
The pressurized gas then goes through a succession of tubes that are meant to condense it into a liquid.
The liquid is still pressurized and travels through the condenser tubes until they come to an expansion joint.
The pressurized liquid passes through this point in the process and becomes a gas again as the pressure is rapidly reduced.
During the reduction of pressure the gas also releases a great deal of heat and becomes much cooler (thus, refrigerant).
The gas then passes back to the compressor to repeat that process.
Air from the room is drawn into the unit and passes over the evaporator coils.
This action cools the air significantly which is then forced back into the room via the blower.
The air continues to circulate through the air conditioner until a set temperature (set by the thermostat) is reached.
At this point the apparatus shuts off automatically.
The operation of a split air conditioner, as is shown through the points above, is very much like that of any other air conditioner.

The difference is that one portion of the unit is completely contained on the outside of the home, while another portion is on the inside.

The compressor, vent fan and condenser coils are on the outside of the building in a self-contained unit, and the evaporator coils and blower are on the inside. The two are connected via pipes or other tubing.

Central air conditioners are a type of split air conditioner, but the unit most people see as a split unit has a smaller compressor/condenser coil box on the outside and individual room units on the inside.

These are made to cool a room without the need for ducting. In some ways it is a simpler system and allows better zone control.

What Makes it Effective?

A split-style air conditioner is effective because:

It can have a larger compressor than a window unit thus cooling a much larger area.
One compressor can be attached to several different ductless units or ducting (as in a central air system).
The individual units are easy to maintain (they have a very simple design) and the compressor is stowed either on the roof of the house or on a pad.
Efficiency is another concern. People are worried about electrical usage and it is easier to control when a zone cooling system is used.

If the individual ductless units are not turned on in a room, then they are not in operation. However, the compressor is always ready and there is less costly starting up and shutting down with this system.

How Does this Type of Unit Differ?

As mentioned before, a central air conditioner is technically a split system in a way, so there is no difference between these two, except split ac’s don’t require ductwork.
But the main difference between a split unit and either a portable or a window air conditioner is size and square footage that can be effectively cooled.
A split air conditioner will generally have a larger compressor and a greater overall capacity than either a portable or window unit.
It also differs, of course, in the fact that the unit is split into two distinct parts. Unlike the smaller units which are encompassed within one box.
What Parts Does it Contain?

The parts list for the split air conditioner is much the same as other units. It has a compressor, condenser coil, expansion joint and vent fan all contained in the outer box. The evaporator coils, filter, blower and individual unit boxes are on the inside. Likely, there is also a thermostat of some type to control the entire unit, so you can enjoy even more comfort with your split ac.

Should I use an electrician to install my air conditioning unit?

I simple fact is if you use an electrician to install your air conditioning unit, then just remember they are only able to install the smaller units, plus they do not have an ARC license, which is a license which enables you to work with the gas which is in the air conditioning unit.  Plus they are not fully qualified technicians, so if there is an issue with your unit they cannot help you, you would have to call a qualfied technicians like ourselves, so I am not sure I would be happy to use a company which cannot help me in tyhe future, unless they are working for an air conditioning company, but this is your personal choice, but just remember if you have a gas leak they cannot help you, if you unit breaks down they cannot repair your air conditioning.  

How energy efficent are air conditioning units?
 

Air conditioners provide a space conditioning (cooling only or heating and cooling) service to improve the thermal comfort of an indoor space (such as a room, entire home or larger complex).

Air conditioners are also used in commercial and industrial buildings such as offices, shopping centres and manufacturing premises. 

Residential air conditioners (also referred to as heat pumps particularly in New Zealand), were first required to carry an energy label in 1987 and have been subject to Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) since 2004.

Larger three phase air conditioners (that are normally used in non-residential situations) have been regulated for MEPS since 2001 and have a voluntary labelling scheme.

Air conditioners provide a space conditioning (cooling only or heating and cooling) service to improve the thermal comfort of an indoor space (such as a room, entire home or larger complex).

Air conditioners are also used in commercial and industrial buildings such as offices, shopping centres and manufacturing premises. 

Residential air conditioners (also referred to as heat pumps particularly in New Zealand), were first required to carry an energy label in 1987 and have been subject to Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) since 2004.

Larger three phase air conditioners (that are normally used in non-residential situations) have been regulated for MEPS since 2001 and have a voluntary labelling scheme.

 

Types Of Air Conditioners

There are two main types of air conditioning products on the market:

  1. refrigerative products (using the vapour compression cycle)
  2. evaporative products.

Refrigerative products have been the main focus of the E3 Program (and are the focus of this page), however some research has been undertaken on evaporative products and they may be considered in the future.
Refrigerative air conditioners can supply a cooling only service, and reverse cycle products are capable of heating as well as cooling. The main types of products are as follows:

  • Split system (non-ducted): The most common type of household air conditioners. These products have an outdoor unit that houses the compressor and condenser, and an indoor unit that is commonly mounted on a wall. They can range in size to suit a small bedroom, to much larger products that could suit large open plan living areas.

  • Window/wall units: These products contain all parts in a single unit (rather than having a separate outdoor and indoor unit). They are installed either through windows or can be mounted into walls (where the back of the unit will be outdoors). They are typically less efficient, but cheaper to purchase and install than split systems and are suitable for cooling or heating single rooms.

  • Ducted systems: Ducted products can provide heating and cooling for an entire home or premises, delivering warm/cool air via ducts positioned in various rooms. These systems can be zoned so that only certain areas are being conditioned (for instance only living areas during the day). Two types of systems are: 

    • domestic ducted units are split systems that consist of a single outdoor unit connected to an indoor unit installed in the roof cavity or under the floor

    • commercial ducted units tend to consist of a single unit on the roof or next to a wall and are connected to the building through ductwork only. They are available in single phase and three phase power and energy labelling is voluntary for these products.

  • Multi-split systems: Multi-splits consist of multiple indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit. These can allow for different temperatures in different rooms.

  • Double/triple split system: An increasingly uncommon configuration that consists of a single outdoor unit and two or three indoor units that cannot be controlled individually.

  • Portable products: Like window/wall units, portable air conditioners are unitary systems. However, they are contained entirely within the space to be conditioned (i.e. a room) and air is drawn from indoors, cooled and then expelled outside via a single duct. These products are not currently regulated – for more information see Portable air conditioners.

     

    Regulatory Requirements For Air Conditioners

    Single phase non-ducted air conditioners for household use are regulated for energy labelling in Australia and New Zealand. All three phase and single phase ducted air conditioners up to 65kW cooling capacity are regulated for Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). Manufacturers can choose to label three phase and ducted air conditioners, but this is not mandatory. MEPS details are shown on the air conditioner MEPS page.

    What are we working on?

    Existing air conditioner regulations and labelling requirements are being considered in the recently published combined air conditioner and chillers consultation RIS