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Central air conditioning, How does it work? 

 


 
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How Does an Air Conditioner Work?


picture of air conditioner

Air conditioners and refrigerators work the same way. Instead of cooling just the small, insulated space inside of a refrigerator, an air conditioner cools a room, a whole house, or an entire business.

Air conditioners use chemicals that easily convert from a gas to a liquid and back again. This chemical is used to transfer heat from the air inside of a home to the outside air.

That's the part that 

Acadian A/C HVAC Air conditioning repair of Baton Rouge created this page to help customers understand the basics of air conditioning, I'm sure you have asked yourself, how does and air conditioning system work?

eThe machine has three main parts. They are a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. The compressor and condenser are located on the outside of your home, at the condensor air portion of the air conditioner. The evaporator is located on the inside the house, sometimes as part of a furnace. That's the part that heats or cools conditions the air in your house.he working fluid arrives at

The working fluid arrives at the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor squeezes the fluid. This packs the molecules of the fluid closer together. The closer the molecules are together, the higher its energy and its temperature.

The working fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high pressure gas and flows into the condenser. If you looked at the air conditioner part outside a house, look for the part that has metal fins all around. The fins act just like a radiator in a car and helps dissipate the heat further assisted by fan.

When the working fluid leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure. The liquid goes into the evaporator through a very tiny, narrow hole called an orifice. On the other side, the liquid's pressure drops. When it does it begins to evaporate into a gas.

As the liquid changes to a gas and evaporates, it extracts heat from the air around it. The heat in the air is needed to separate the molecules of the fluid from a liquid to a gas.

The evaporator also has metal fins to help in exchange the thermal energy with the surrounding air.

By the time the working fluid leaves the evaporator, it is a cool, low pressure gas. It then returns to the compressor to begin its cyclying trip all over again to recondition the air hence the term (air conditioning}.

Connected to the evaporator is a fan that circulates the air inside the house to be blown  across the evaporator fins. Hot air is lighter than cold air, so the hot air in the room rises to the top of a room.

There is a vent there where air is sucked into the air conditioner and goes thru the ducts. The hot air is used to cool the gas in the evaporator. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled. It is then blown into the house through other ducts vents.

This continues over and over and over until the room reaches the temperature you want the room cooled to. The thermostat senses that the temperature has reached the setting and turns off the air conditioner. As the room warms up, the thermostat turns the air conditioner back on until the room reaches the temperature. This is called a call for cooling in Cool mode and call for heating in the heat mode. Air conditioning is interesting because the first thing technicians learn is air conditioners do not make cold air, the machine removes heat and humidity from within the home repeatedly through this cyclying process until the thermostat is satisfied or reaches it's mean set point.

Humdity has to be removed in order to feel comfortable, in fact the exact percentage of humidity is known to be no more than 60 percent or it will not feel cool even though the temperature shows it to be cool.

If you are experiencing these air conditioning symptoms or some area's of the home just dont feel cool enough the system may need air flow balancing.

Call Acadian A/C Air conditioning HVAC repair of Baton Rouge, la today and our experienced technicians will diagnose and bring comfort again in your home.

There are always new technological advancements being made in the field of air conditioning repair, this means with some of the newer tools we can get the air as cold as possible creating more efficiency for the unit means less  electricity spent for the customer. Have you ever wondered about how the ac and how it works ? Staying up to date in the latest advancements is a continuing education, it is essential to our business and your comfort to make a precise ac repair and diagnosis  Acadian heating and air ac repair is located here and partnered with local air conditioning supply for quick parts which makes for a quick repair in Baton Rouge, LA area for so contact us for refrigeration, walk in cooler repair a quick ac repair and heating repair. Call Acadian AC repair heating and air of Baton Rouge, LA today at 225 819-3757.

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Things About Air Conditioning

Do not set your thermostat to the “fan on” position. In this position the fan blows air all the time whether your cooling system is running or not and one key impact is that a lot of the moisture your system just took out of the air, will be blown back into the house before it can drain way.

Use exhaust fans during moisture-producing activities. Cooking, bathing, washing, and similar activities produce a lot of moisture inside the home. Exhaust that moisture directly outdoors using a fan. Similarly, avoid drying clothes indoors except with a clothes dryer that is exhausted directly outdoors.

Do not open windows or use ventilative cooling when it is too humid outside.

Top Ten Things Consumers Should Know About Air Conditioning

Most homes in warm climates have air conditioning. For some, air conditioning may be a luxury, but for many, it is a necessity. Given the expense of the equipment and the power to run it, ASHRAE wants consumers to be informed about their air conditioning systems. These ten points should make a consumer more aware of the air conditioning system and better able to care for it and use it well. Should it become necessary to replace that system, seek out a qualified HVAC professional.
1. HOW AN AIR CONDITIONER WORKS

2. WHAT A “TON” OF COOLING IS

3. WHAT GOES WRONG


4. WHAT THOSE FILTERS DO


5. MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM


6. DUCTS MATTER - A LOT


7. HOW TO INCREASE ENERGY EFFICIENCY


8. LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD


9. VENTILATE


10. IT’S NOT THE HEAT, IT’S THE HUMIDITY

What is Air Conditioning?

The first functional definition of air-conditioning was created in 1908 and is credited to G. B. Wilson. It is the definition that Willis Carrier, the “father of air conditioning” subscribed to:

  • Maintain suitable humidity in all parts of a building
  • Free the air from excessive humidity during certain seasons
  • Supply a constant and adequate supply of ventilation
  • Efficiently remove from the air micro-organisms, dust, soot, and other foreign bodies
  • Efficiently cool room air during certain seasons
  • Heat or help heat the rooms in winter
  • An apparatus that is not cost-prohibitive in purchase or maintenance
 

HOW AN AIR CONDITIONER WORKS

The job of your home air conditioner is move heat from inside your home to the outside, thereby cooling you and your home. Air conditioners blow cool air into your home by pulling the heat out of that air. The air is cooled by blowing it over a set of cold pipes called an evaporator coil. This works just like the cooling that happens when water evaporates from your skin. The evaporator coil is filled with a special liquid called a refrigerant, which changes from a liquid to a gas as it absorbs heat from the air. The refrigerant is pumped outside the house to another coil where it gives up its heat and changes back into a liquid. This outside coil is called the condenser because the refrigerant is condensing from a gas back to a fluid just like moisture on a cold window. A pump, called a compressor, is used to move the refrigerant between the two coils and to change the pressure of the refrigerant so that all the refrigerant evaporates or condenses in the appropriate coils.

The energy to do all of this is used by the motor that runs the compressor. The entire system will normally give about three times the cooling energy that the compressor uses. This odd fact happens because the changing of refrigerant from a liquid to a gas and back again lets the system move much more energy than the compressor uses.

 

WHAT A 'TON' OF COOLING IS

Before refrigeration air conditioning was invented, cooling was done by saving big blocks of ice. When cooling machines started to get used, they rated their capacity by the equivalent amount of ice melted in a day, which is where the term “ton” came from sizing air conditioning.

A ton of cooling is now defined as delivering 12,000 BTU/hour of cooling. BTU is short for British Thermal Unit (and is a unit that the British do not use) The BTU is a unit of heating - or in this case, cooling - energy. It’s more important, however, to keep in perspective that a window air conditioner is usually less than one ton. A small home central air conditioner would be about two tons and a large one about five tons.

 

WHAT GOES WRONG

Unlike most furnaces, air conditioners are complex mechanical systems that depend on a wide variety of conditions to work correctly. They are sized to meet a certain “load” on the house. They are designed to have certain amount of refrigerant, known as the “charge”. They are designed to have a certain amount of air flow across the coils. When any of these things changes, the system will have problems.

If you produce more heat indoors either from having more people or appliances or because of changes in the house, the air conditioning may not be able to keep up.

If the refrigerant charge on the system leaks out, it lowers the capacity of the system. You will simply get less cooling and system will not be able to keep up when the load gets high.

If airflow across the outdoor (condenser) coil is reduced, the ability to reject heat outdoors is reduced and the again the capacity of the system may go down, especially at higher outdoor temperatures.<

In dry climates such as the Southwest United States, the same issues happen with regard to the indoor (evaporator) coil: higher airflow helps, lower airflow hurts. In humid climates, the situation is more complex. At higher airflows, there will be less dehumidification, leading to high indoor humidities. If the airflow gets too low, however, the evaporator coil may freeze. This makes performance worse and can damage the compressor until it fails - leaving you with an expensive repair bill and no cooling!

 

WHAT THOSE FILTERS DO

Almost every air conditioning system has a filter upstream of the evaporator coil. This can be in the return grille or in special slots in the duct system and can be a fuzzy-looking or a folded paper filter. This filter removes particles from the air stream to both keep the air conditioning system clean and to remove particles from the air.

As the filter does its job, it gets loaded with more and more particles. This actually has the effect of making it more efficient, but it also increases resistance and reducing airflow. When this happens, it is time to change the filter. How long it will take to happen depends on how dirty the air is and how big the filter is.

If you don’t change the filter, the air flow will go down, and the system will not perform well. Not only that, but if the filter is too dirty, it starts to become a source or air pollution itself.

If you take the filter out completely, you would solve the low air flow problem, but this victory would be short lived. The particles that the filter would have taken out will now build up on your evaporator coil and eventually cause it to fail. A new filter is a lot cheaper.

When you do buy a new filter, ASHRAE recommends getting one with a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value of MERV 6 or higher.

 

MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM

Routine maintenance such as changing filters can be handled by most consumers, but others require professional service.

It’s a good idea to brush dirt and obstructions from the coils and the drains at the start of each cooling season. Depending on the system and the consumer, this may require a service call from a professional.

If the system is not producing as much cold air as is normal, it could also be an indication of a refrigerant charge or airflow problems. These problems may require servicing.

 

DUCTS MATTER - A LOT

Another reason systems may appear not to be producing enough cold air is because of duct leakage. Duct leakage can sap 20 to 40% of the energy out of even a well-operating air conditioner, if the ducts pass outside the cooled space (this includes attics, crawlspaces and garages). Ducts outside need to be well insulated. Various products exist specifically for insulating ducts that can be installed by a keen home owner or a professional contractor.

You might be able to get an extra half ton of air conditioner capacity for free, if you seal your leaky ducts. If the ducts are accessible, handy consumers can seal ducts with mastic—that white sticky stuff you can paint on the ducts. Otherwise you would need a professional to seal the ducts.

 

HOW TO INCREASE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Sealing leaky ducts may be the biggest single thing you can do to improve efficiency, but a lot of the issues mentioned about will help as well: replace dirty filters, keep the right charge and airflow, clean the coils.

Another thing to do is to make sure the outdoor (condenser) unit is not so hidden from sight that its air flow is blocked or that leaves or other matter are not clogging it.Keep it at least 2 feet from home or other structures.

If you are replacing the air conditioner, look to buy high efficiency equipment. The most generally known efficiency rating is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). SEER 13 is the minimum efficiency you should consider, but higher efficiencies are likely to be quite cost effective, although initial cost is more.

Depending on your climate, you may wish to consider other efficiency numbers as well. For example, in hot, dry climates you should look at the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) which means how well the system will work at peak conditions. If you live in a hot, humid climate, like Baton Rouge, La, you need to consider how well the air conditioning unit can dehumidify.If humidity is a problem you may need an air conditioning repair.

 

LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD

You can make your air conditioner work better by reducing the size of the job it has to do. You can do this by improving the building or reducing the internally generated loads that your air conditioner must deal with.

Improving the building “envelope” includes things such increasing insulation levels or shading windows or reducing air leakage. Such improvements will reduce energy spent on heating and cooling, but may require substantial time or investment. When putting in a new roof or new windows, it is usually cost effective to use high-efficiency products. “Cool” roofing, for example, can save half a ton of cooling and a lot of energy over the year.

Reducing internal loads can be simpler. Shut off unneeded electrical appliances, lights and equipment. Shift appliance use (such as washers and dryers) to cooler times of the day. Use local exhaust fans to remove heat and humidity from kitchens and baths. Buying Energy Star or similarly efficiency appliances helps lighten load on your air conditioning unit as well.

In some climates other techniques can be used to reduce the load on the air conditioner. In dry climates evaporative air conditions (the modern version of what used to be called “swamp coolers”) can provide substantial cooling. In climates with large temperature swings, such as the hot, dry climates, you can reduce the load by bringing in large amounts of cool outdoor air. Such systems can be called “night cooling” “ventilative cooling” or “residential economizers”.

 

VENTILATE

The previous points have focused on cooling, but the original definition of air conditioning contains more than that; an ideal air conditioner should heat, cool, clean, ventilate, humidify and dehumidify as needed to provide health and comfort. In fact the second most important objective of the original definition is to provide ventilation. Whether or not the piece of equipment we call an air conditioner provides it, ventilation is needed.

Without adequate ventilation, contaminants generated indoors will can lead to significant health and comfort problems. ASHRAE recommends that there be at least enough ventilation to exchange the air inside house once every four hours, depending on house design.
Older homes tend to have leakier walls and leakier ducts and mostly get sufficient ventilation through such leakage. Such leakage and infiltration may not be the most energy efficient approach to ventilation and is an opportunity for savings.

Most new homes and some existing homes are relatively tight and thus require mechanical ventilation to meet minimum ventilation requirements.

 

IT'S NOT THE HEAT, IT'S THE HUMIDITY

Humidity control was the problem that originally spurred the need for air conditioning. Lack of humidity control in hot, humid climates, in particular, can lead to mold growth and other moisture-related problems. High indoor humidities can lead to health and comfort problems.
Modern air conditioners dehumidify as they cool; you can see that by the water that drains away, but this dehumidification is incidental to their main job of controlling temperature. They cannot independently control both temperature and humidity.
Humidistat is a device Acadian Heating and Air Conditioning can install to control humidity by using your existing central air conditioning unit by setting the humidity thermostat tied in to system, it also tells the air conditioning to run until comfortable humidity level is reached at 60%. which is what most people find as a comfortable feeling.

In hot, humid climates the incidental dehumidification that occurs may not always be enough to keep the indoor humidity conditions acceptable. (ASHRAE recommends roughly a 60% relative humidity maximum at 78F.) The maximum dehumidification happens not at the hot times of the year—when the air conditioner is running a lot—but at mild times of the year when the air conditioner runs very little.

Although there are some leading edge air conditioning systems that promise to independently control humidity, conventional systems may not be able to sufficiently control the problem and can cause comfort or mold problems in certain situations. Some current high-end systems have enhanced dehumidification, but when the existing system cannot sufficiently dehumidify, it may be necessary to buy a stand-alone dehumidifier.
 

There are things that consumers can do to lessen the need for dehumidification:

10 Points to Help Consumers

These 10 points will help consumers more aware of their air-conditioning systems and better able to care for them and use them well. Should it become necessary to replace that system seek out a qualified HVAC professional, preferably, of course, a member of ASHRAE.

ASHRAE is the world’s foremost technical society in the fields of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. The Society helps keep indoor environments comfortable and productive, deliver healthy food to consumers and preserve the outdoor environment. ASHRAE’s technical foundation is built by some 50,100 volunteer members, including consulting engineers, contractors, manufacturers, manufacturing representatives/sales, and architects.

References:
Nagengast, B., 1999, 'Early Twentieth Century Air-Conditioning Engineering', ASHRAE Journal, March (p.55)
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings

 

 

 

 

cool, low-pressure gas. The compressor squeezes the fluid. This packs the molecule of the fluid closer together. The closer the molecules are together, the higher its energy and its temperature.

The wonorking fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high pressure gas and flows into the condenser. If you looked at the air conditioner part outside a house, look for the part that has metal fins all around. The fins act just like a radiator in a car and helps the heat go away, or dissipate, more quickly.

When the working fluid leaves the condenser, its temperature is much cooler and it has changed from a gas to a liquid under high pressure. The liquid goes into the evaporator through a very tiny, narrow hole. On the other side, the liquid's pressure drops. When it does it begins to evaporate into a gas.

As the liquid changes to gas and evaporates, it extracts heat from the air around it. The heat in the air is needed to separate the molecules of the fluid from a liquid to a gas.

The evaporator also has metal fins to help in exchange the thermal energy with the surrounding air.

By the time the working fluid leaves the evaporator, it is a cool, low pressure gas. It then returns to the compressor to begin its trip all over again.

Connected to the evaporator is a fan that circulates the air inside the house to blow across the evaporator fins. Hot air is lighter than cold air, so the hot air in the room rises to the top of a room.

There is a vent there where air is sucked into the air conditioner and goes down ducts. The hot air is used to cool the gas in the evaporator. As the heat is removed from the air, the air is cooled. It is then blown into the house through other ducts usually at the floor level.

This continues over and over and over until the room reaches the temperature you want the room cooled to. The thermostat senses that the temperature has reached the right setting and turns off the air conditioner. As the room warms up, the thermostat turns the air conditioner back on until the room reaches the temperature.


Heat Pump

Imagine that you took an air conditioner and flipped it around so that the hot coils were on the inside and the cold coils were on the outside. Then you would have a heater. It turns out that this heater works extremely well. Rather than burning a fuel, what it is doing is "moving heat."

A heat pump is an air conditioner that contains a valve that lets it switch between "air conditioner" and "heater." When the valve is switched one way, the heat pump acts like an air conditioner, and when it is switched the other way it reverses the flow of the liquid inside the heat pump and acts like a heater.

Heat pumps can be extremely efficient in their use of energy. But one problem with most heat pumps is that the coils in the outside air collect ice. The heat pump has to melt this ice periodically, so it switches itself back to air conditioner mode to heat up the coils. To avoid pumping cold air into the house in air conditioner mode, the heat pump also lights up burners or electric strip heaters to heat the cold air that the air conditioner is pumping out. Once the ice is melted, the heat pump switches back to heating mode and turns off the burners.