Chill out with central air conditioning
The air conditioning process cools and removes moisture from indoor air to create a cooler, more comfortable environment during hot weather. Air conditioning (or "AC") units are available in numerous styles and use various methods to create cool air. Thus, while central air conditioning systems are common, they are not your only option. Other systems may be more efficient and cost-effective, depending on the size of the space you want to keep cool.
Common Types of Air Conditioners
Central air conditioning is an integral part of a complete HVAC setup, along with heating and ventilation systems. These systems are usually powered by a condensing unit, which is often placed in the backyard or, in the case of an apartment building, on the roof or in the courtyard. Multiple condensers are needed to cool buildings with a large number of residential units.
Window air conditioners provide an economical alternative for smaller spaces. As their name implies, these units are mounted in windows and pump cooler air into the room. They are inexpensive, easy to install and cool small rooms much more effectively than fans.
The Various Parts of an Air Conditioner
Unless you're putting in a window unit, you're probably not going to tackle your air conditioning installation on your own. However, it's still important that you understand how AC systems work. First, there are three main air conditioning parts to know about: the compressor, the condenser and the evaporator.
The role of the compressor is to "squeeze" the working fluid, which is pumped into the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas and pumped out as a hot, high-pressure gas. This hot, high-pressure gas then enters the condenser, where it undergoes high-pressure processes and condenses from a gas to a liquid. Finally, the cooled liquid is forced into the evaporator, where the thermal exchange process takes place. In the evaporator, the working fluid is changed into a gas yet again, but this time it extracts heat from the surrounding air. This cooled air that results is then forced into the house using fans and vents.
An air conditioning filter is used to trap dust, dirt and other particles in the cooled air, preventing them from entering your home. However, over time, these filters become clogged. Regularly changing your air conditioning filter is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your system continues to run smoothly and reliably.