Everything You Wanted To Know About Air Conditioning
HVAC is a common phrase in the heating and cooling industry. Short for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, these three functions are combined into one system in today’s homes and buildings. Warm, cool or dehumidified air flows through tubes, called ducts, and is distributed to all rooms of your house. A HVAC system is a quiet and convenient way to cool your whole house.
Like so many other appliances, air conditioning systems have improved in energy efficiency in the last few years. This resluted in saving money, and increasing your comfort by maintaining and upgrading your HVAC equipment from your heating contractor.
Central Air Conditioning
Air conditioning units are normally matched with gas or an oil furnace which provides heat through the same ducts.
There are also HVAC’s called heat pumps, which combine both heating and cooling functions. Should you heat your home using electricity, a heat pump system is the best unit to use in moderate climates. It provides up to three times the heating than the same amount of electrical energy it uses. A heat pump can cut the amount of electricity used for heating up to 30% or 40%.
Though air conditioning and heat pumps require the use of different components, they both operate on the same simple principles.
How Do They Work?
Heat pumps and some air conditioners are known as split systems, this is because there is an outdoor unit, and an indoor unit. The heat pumps’ job, or air conditioning, is to send heat from one of the units to the other. In summer, for instance, the system takes heat from indoor air, and takes it outside. Thus leaving cool indoor air to be circulated through ducts by a fan.
A refrigerant takes the heat from one area to another.
A compressor in your exterior unit will change the refrigerant into a gas. As that gas goes through the exterior coil, it loses heat. This process makes the refrigerant condense to a liquid that goes through copper tubing.
The refrigerant expands, turning into a low temperature, low pressured gas. The gas absorbs the heat from the air circulating in your home, leaving it full of cool air to be sent throughout your house.
While your air conditioning, or heat pump cools down the air, it also dehumidifies. This is because warm air passing through the interior evaporator coil will not hold so much moisture, as it took at a higher temperature before cooling. The excess moisture condenses on the exterior of the coils, and is taken away via a drain.
This process works in reverse with a heat pump in the winter. Heat pumps extract heat out of the exterior air, where it is sent from the evaporator coil to the air circulating throughout your house.
Heat pumps are sometimes installed with a furnace to handle all heating requirements, should more heat be needed than the heat pump can extract from the air.