How does an air conditioner work?

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Guest post by Max

When you stood in front of your air conditioner and questioned how it works, wonder no more. The modern air conditioner comes in several forms, from the straightforward window unit to the large commercial units found in malls and office buildings, but all of them work on the same principal.

The three main parts of an air conditioner are the compressor, the condenser and the evaporator. The air conditioner uses Freon, which is a chemical compound that’s also utilised in chillers. The Freon enters the compressor as a cool gas, then the compressor, as the name asserts, compresses the molecules in the Freon together. This, in turn, causes increased pressure and temperature.

After that, the gas goes into the condenser, which then cools the gas, and turns it into a high-pressure liquid. The liquid then goes into the evaporator through either a tube or an expansion valve. The tube or valve controls the amount of liquid that gets put into the evaporator, and causes the pressure of the liquid to drop, and turn back into a gas. The gas then runs through a set a coils, which helps the gas absorb the heat in your house. This process is repeated and again until a thermostat shuts the air conditioner off.

Most houses, flats and apartments today have what’s called central air con. This system works on identical base principals as explained above. Nevertheless unlike a little window unit, the compressor and condenser are found outside the house, while the evaporator is found within the house. The air conditioner is also hooked up to the aircon system inside the house, so that the whole house gets cooled versus one area.

Nonetheless, if you have central aircon, you could have realised the temperatures in some rooms vary from others. Often, the difficulty will lie inside the air con unit itself. It is really important to have an HVAC expert come at least one time a year to be certain the unit it running correctly, sort of like an annual physical. You also have to ensure you change the filters in your air conditioner monthly. Not merely will changing the filters keep your air conditioner from overworking; nonetheless, it will also keep the air in your house clean.

You’ll also wonder what impact a consistently running air conditioner has on the environment. As mentioned above, if you keep the unit correctly maintained, the air conditioner will run more effectively, and you will not have to use it as much. Nonetheless, there are some other methods you can implement to keep your air conditioner from running consistently and help the environment.

If you have ceiling fans, turn them on, and ensure they’re on the forward setting so that the breeze blows downward. This keeps the air circulating, and will cool a room six to seven degrees. You may also keep your window blinds and curtains closed, which may trap heat between the window and the blind. Your best chance though is to keep the heat from getting in your home. Planting a tree or other giant plant in front of windows that get the maximum direct daylight will block plenty of the daylight from entering your home and is also good for the environment.
To reduce the bills of your air conditioner, the best way is to have a well-maintained air conditioner unit. Although tasks like washing can be easily done by you, for more complicated technical tasks, it is best to leave the hard work to an air conditioner professional to have you fulfil it.

An air conditioning unit is more complex than what you think it might be. Any changes or repairs should always be done by professionals. In a unit, there are refrigerant gases, compressors, fans, coils, electrical starters, thermostats, and so much more.

if you realise that the bills are going high for the past few months, it is time to ask for a servicing so as to make your unit more reliable and save energy. You can engage a professional service technician, and he should be able to clean the evaporator and condenser coils, check refrigerant pressures, and adjust and lubricate moving parts. Sometimes, there will not be enough refrigerant gas. In this case, the technician will also help you to top up the unit. A professional technician will be able to realise symptoms that can lead to energy wastage or inefficiencies, and rectify them.

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Oliver Gauss
Oliver has a degree in physics and mathematics and has completed all but his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Physics. He believes actual science should decide scientific disagreements, and that most people who use "science" to defend their emotion-based opinions have no idea what science actually is. Oliver is the editor of WeWantScience.com and has two new sites coming out soon. Stay tuned!