Air conditioning goes back to ancient times, with the earliest forms operating by using evaporative cooling. In evaporative cooling, air is blown over ice, snow or cold water; the moisture evaporates, lowering the air’s temperature. While there are modern evaporative coolers that work based on this principle, what most people and AC repair Austin companies recognize as an air conditioner today generally does not use evaporative cooling. Instead, what an HVAC company Austin would consider a modern AC cycles a coolant called refrigerant through a condenser, an evaporator, an expansion valve and a compressor to remove hot air and moisture and release cool air back into a room (this is the refrigeration cycle). Air conditioners can be categorized further. Here are four kinds of air conditioner units commonly found in homes.
1. Central AC
In a central air conditioner, the four components mentioned earlier (compressor, evaporator, condenser and expansion valve) are all in the same unit. Its high efficiency makes it suited for larger buildings. Air travels through ducts. Besides efficiency, other benefits of central air conditioning are easy to control and less noise. Central air conditioning can also be combined with heating so the same unit can be used for both functions.
2. Window AC
Window units, as indicated by their name, are designed to fit into windows. They are meant to cool a single room rather than a whole building. They are easy to install, cheap, energy-efficient and good for small spaces. They can also be more easily transported and moved around than the non-portable central units.
3. Hybrid AC
Hybrid air conditioning systems switch back and forth between two forms of energy and usually operate as heaters as well. They utilize both electricity and fuel. A hybrid system has a heat pump that takes warm air out of a room and vents it outside (during hot weather) or absorbs warm air from outside and releases it inside (during cold weather). The installation cost is pricey, but the savings in utility bills over time usually makes up for the greater initial investment.
4. Portable AC
Portable air conditioning units are similar to window units. They are also made to cool a single room and are easy and affordable to install. Their main advantage is their easy portability.
There are other kinds of air conditioners, but these four are popular. One is not better than the other. The type of air conditioning best for you is dependent on your situation and factors like the size of your home, where you live and your budget.