Air Conditioning: Complete Guide

Air conditioning is a system that allows you to change the temperature of a room or a cabin in addition to dehumidifying it. This is a cooling system that is generally used to cool the environment at times of the year when these temperatures are very high and hot.

This device is installed in houses, stores and premises and in most closed spaces with the intention of generating fresh and renewed air. This system offers a great comfort in the daily life, since the people who acquire it will not have to pass heat.

Many times, people call heating systems air conditioning. This is a mistake, since air conditioning and heating are antagonistic mechanisms, despite the fact that many air conditioning devices bring the option of cooling and heating the place where it is placed.

Air conditioning operation

The operation of an air conditioning unit is complex, because several physical and chemical changes occur before the unit can expel cold air. In order to correctly explain the operation of an air conditioner, one must first explain what happens in its outdoor unit, since it is in this unit that the cooling process begins.

In the exterior unit of an air conditioner there is the compression engine, which is responsible for compressing the gas, the first step in the operation of an air conditioner. When this gas is compressed by the engine, it becomes liquid and its temperature increases considerably.

After this, the gas is propelled towards the condenser, which is the radiator in the outside machine. It is in this part of the process that the task of sub-cooling begins, which consists of stealing all the heat from this liquid gas that has just arrived. This is the reason why the exterior units of the air conditioners expel hot air.

When we take the heat away from the liquid gas, it begins to go partially to a gaseous state, but not completely. In this way, what reaches the expansion valve is a mixture of gas in a liquid and gaseous state. Once in this valve, the operation is the same as that of a deodorant spray: there is a liquid inside the can and, when we press, the liquid becomes a gas and comes out at a cold temperature.

Thus, the expansion valve produces a pressure drop in the refrigerant, which causes the pressure to decrease and, therefore, the liquid gas becomes a gas and its temperature decreases even more.

After passing through the expansion valve, this air, which already has lower pressure and temperature, passes to the evaporator that is located in the interior unit of our air conditioning. In this indoor unit, the air goes out into the room, cooling down and at the same time taking heat away from the refrigerant gas, which is in that indoor unit.

Thus, the heat that we remove from the air in the room with the gas is absorbed by the compressor, so that it can serve to cool the gas that returns to the outside unit. The repetition of this process is what makes the air conditioner able to lower the temperature of the room or the place where it is located, until it reaches the temperature that has been marked on the control that controls the appliance.

Types of cooling systems

Within the air conditioners there are various systems to adapt to the needs of each space or consumer. Therefore, first of all, a distinction must be made between centralized air conditioning systems and autonomous air conditioning systems.

Centralized air conditioning

This cooling system also consists of an exterior and an interior unit. However, its main difference with the autonomous systems is that with only one device can be cooled a whole house, office floors or even a whole building.

The centralized air conditioning system has its outdoor unit outside the house and its indoor unit is usually placed in the bathroom. This place is chosen because it is where it can be least disturbed, since it does not aesthetically affect any other room.

In order to install this type of air, a false ceiling is required, since the indoor unit will be connected to a series of ducts that will run through the entire house through this false ceiling. Through these ducts, the fresh air will move and cool all the rooms.

Autonomous air conditioning

The stand-alone air conditioning system is the most common and is usually found in homes and small offices. This type of system has an outdoor unit, placed outside the place where the cooling process starts and which is connected to an indoor unit. This type of indoor unit is usually a device placed in the room to be cooled and this same device expels the fresh air and collects the hot air from the room where it is located.

In the case of this system, only the room in which the indoor unit is located can be cooled. Thus, to cool an entire house, as many units as there are rooms in the house will be needed.

This would imply a greater expense in equipment installations and in the electricity bill, since in the same house or office there would be several cooling appliances working at the same time, which produces a high consumption. However, this type of system has advantages, such as the possibility of regulating the temperature of each room independently or the non-refrigeration of those rooms that are not being used.

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