How AC Works ? Different Types of Air Conditioners

How AC Works

Human comfort is one of the primary aspects seen by technology. And, yes the condition of the earth is indeed getting worse with each passing day. All thanks to climate change and global warming. Summers are getting hotter and unbearable for an average human.

This is where technology comes to the aid. One of its biggest gifts to mankind is Air Conditioner, popularly called AC. Gone are the days when it was considered a luxury item, and can now be found in nearly every single household.

Therefore, in our blog of the day, we would be discussing in detail the working mechanism behind the appliance and Types of ac unit.

How Does an Air Conditioner Works ?

A minor briefing

Every AC unit works on an ideal refrigeration cycle, where heat is absorbed and transferred to the external environment with the help of a running fluid, called a refrigerant. The refrigerant goes within a closed system of coils and passes through different stages of the refrigeration cycle.

The primary units within an AC include the following:

  • Evaporator
  • Compressor
  • Condenser

A deeper understanding

The following explains the detailed steps of working for an AC:

  • The warm air is absorbed by the vent and passed over the cool evaporator coils. Heat transfer takes place and the cool air is then blown inside of the house by the fan.
  • The refrigerant gets converted from liquid to gaseous state, and then travels to the compressor.
  • As defined by the name, the compressor decreases the volume of the gaseous refrigerant and increases the temperature and pressure. This leads to the condensation process.
  • After compression, the refrigerant gets converted to a superheated vapor and reaches the condenser placed outside the room. The heat is released to the external environment, converting back the superheated vapor to the cool liquid state.
  • The cool liquid then travels back to the evaporator and continues the cycle. The process is repeated until the ambient temperature is reached within the room.

Some of the smart ACs have timers within them to automatically shut the unit, and conserve energy.

Different Types of AC

Now, let us come to the Types of ac unit. There are 6 varieties of AC found in the market, and the following enlists the same:

Central AC

This system comes into place when a household wants to provide ambient conditions in multiple rooms of the same building. Using the split system, different ducts are installed within the home to offer to cool to the required rooms.

The outdoor unit consists of the compressor and condenser, and this single unit is connected to the multiple indoor units (which house the evaporator coils). Programmable thermostats can also be included to give a smart home experience to the central AC.

The pros of choosing this system include:

  • The convenient environment within the overall house.
  • Reduces the cost of purchase and installation of ACs within individual rooms.
  • Efficient choice clubbed with smart home technology

However, the maintenance of the ducts would turn out to be a headache.

Split AC

As defined by the name, Split ACs are divided into two separate units- outdoor unit (compressor and condenser), and indoor unit. The former is installed generally on the rooftop and aids in performing the intermediate and final stages of the refrigeration cycle. The latter is installed at a height within the room and provides cool air for the room.

Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Main Difference between Windows AC, Portable AC & Split AC

This is ideal, if you are interested in efficient cooling, only within a specified room of the house. Some of the advantages include the following:

  • Reduced load of installation, as compared to window ACs.
  • Highly efficient, and provides relief on the net utility bills.
  • Dual control, and timers that contribute towards smart technology.
  • Less noisy during operation, and thus provides a good night’s sleep.

However, the option might turn out to be expensive for some customers (the higher the number of features, the greater would be the buying price).

Window AC

Window ACs are the conventional models that were launched first in the market. These are ideal for cooling small rooms and are fitted near any window of the room.

It is a single unit that houses all of the components, starting from ejecting the hot air outside to circulating cool air within the room. It is provided with panels for easy installation and comes up with remote control to adjust the settings.

Such units are less expensive and easy to maintain. But the problems arise due to the high noise of operation, and skilled labor requirement in proper installation near any window. 

Portable AC

Portable ACs lie as an intermediate between air conditioners and air coolers. These can be compared to the window ACs (due to the housing of all components within the single body), and the difference arises only in the mobility from one location to another.

This is offered by the caster wheels at the base and thus helps out in swift movement within and outside of the house. The cooling capacity is highly dependent on the room space, and accordingly, the floor space is consumed.

The advantages lie in portability, and self-installation (only requires connecting the exhaust duct to any window for expelling the hot air). However, they are not efficient in cooling large rooms.

Hybrid / Dual AC

Hybrid or dual AC refers to the combination of a gas furnace with an electric heat pump to deliver the perfect cooling solutions. It works perfectly for both the summer and winter seasons.

In summers, the heat pump pulls out the hot air from the room and provides cool air (working as an AC). In winters, the reverse process is followed, and thus it works as a heater.

Such units are cost-effective, and aid in putting down the carbon footprint on the earth. But, the initial cost of setup would be high, and there would be high chances of a breakdown in the coming times.

Smart AC   

Smart ACs are split ACs that are equipped with IoT technology, to maximize human comfort and reduce the dependency on manual inputs or settings. Such ACs are connected to Wi-Fi and can easily be controlled from mobile devices.

The list of features offered by smart ACs includes comfort modes, temperature control, auto-cleaning, eco modes, and many others. The sole aim is to reduce energy consumption.

The initial cost of setup would be high, but high returns are guaranteed in the usage period.

The major groups

The following defines another list of classification, based on the structure and technology implemented:

  • Monoblock ACs- Such units have all of the components fitted within a single body. These include window ACs, portable ACs, and spot coolers.
  • Split ACs– Such units have the components divided into two separate parts.They include wall-mounted, ceiling mount, floor mounted, and duct mounted ACs.

Therefore, it is highly important to understand the types of ACs, before finding the right fit for your home. Write back to us in case of any queries, and they would be answered quickly.

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