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What actually is Air Conditioning?

If you live in a area which is primarily warm, you probably have air conditioning. If you live in an area which is hot most of the time, air conditioning can be a necessity. Being that ac systems are costly, and need energy to operate, we would like all consumers to be knowledgeable about them. These points should allow the consumer to understand their ac system better, and allow them to make better decisions about them. A better understanding of how the system works, can protect the consumer when seeking honest feedback on the condition of their equipment.

The main concepts of air conditioning were mapped out in 1908, and have remains consistent even until today. These main concepts contain but are not limited to:
  1. Regulate the amount of humidity in the airspace.
  2. Remove humidity from the air at extraordinarily humid times of the year.
  3. Provide a suitable supply of ventilation throughout the space.
  4. Removing dirt, dust, microorganisms, pollen, soot and other particulates from the air.
  5. Lowers the temperature of the air in a space.
  6. Raise the temperature of the air in a space.
  7. Be an apparatus which can reasonably be acquired and maintained.

The main function of the air conditioner is to transfer the heat inside the airspace outside into the atmosphere, in turn cooling the airspace inside. Ac systems do not simply blow cold air, they also pull the heat from the inside air into the freon circulating throughout the system. Similar to your car's radiator, the air goes through a coil of thin metal slats. This evaporator coil is filled with a special chemical called Freon, which as it absorbs heat out of the air switches from a liquid to a gas. The freon circulates to the outside unit where it gives off the heat collected. Air is moved through the outside (Condenser) coil removing the collected heat. This outside coil is known as the condenser because the freon turns back into a liquid from dispersing the extra heat that was absorbed inside. The refrigerant is cycled through the system by the Compressor. The compressor is like the heart of the human body, the pump that keeps the system flowing. Much of the power consumed by the ac system is actually used by the compressor. It has an electric motor which runs the compressor.

This is the first installment of many dedicated to how the air conditioning system works generally. I hope it helps the consumer understand the overview of the way the industry works. Stay tuned...