How Air Conditioners Produce Cold Air – The Steps

July 31, 2020

Close up of a metal grid with a black backdrop. Frozen water droplets hand on the edge of each metal rung.

With the help of liquid refrigerant chemicals in its compressor, the air conditioner cools the warm air moving through it. The conversion of gas to liquid chemical reaction absorbs heat and creates cold air that is distributed throughout the home via ducts, depending on the system installed. If you’re in the London area, Plumbhouse Plumbing Heating and Electrical are your cooling specialists.


Why don’t air conditioners use Freon anymore?

Freon contributed to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer, making the world warmer.
As of 2020, the production of Freon (also known as HCFC-22 and R-22) is discontinued in favour of an environmentally-friendly refrigerant called R410-A or Puron.

Freon was the most common type of coolant compound found in air conditioning systems. The R410-A works the same way that Freon did. It is a liquid in evaporator coils that absorbs heat by becoming a gas, leaving only cool air behind. Afterward, a compressor is used to return the gaseous R410-A back into a liquid. 

Please read more about choosing an eco-friendly air-conditioner. 

 

Can you still use your existing Freon-type air-conditioner?

A few of the Freon-based AC units are still maintained using old stock of Freon (or HCFC-22) Since 2020, it will be necessary for you to consider more an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioner unit.

Types of air conditioning systems:
Central air has two different ways of distributing cold air, each used for a specific purpose. Please contact Plumbhouse for help with your air conditioner choice.



Split Air Conditioner System:

A split A/C works the same way that a normal integrated central A/C system would work. The difference comes with the separated structure, which is divided into an indoor and outdoor structure. The outdoor structure contains the compressor, condenser coil, and expansion coils, while the interior structure features a fan and air filter to blow the cool air into the unit. In summary, the split A/C still uses the same chemical displacement reaction, but it distributes the cool air differently. 


Packaged Air Conditioner

The packaged A/C system is the more recognizable of the two. This features duct distribution (central air) while housing all of the A/C components within one box-like structure located outside of the house. This is the typical black-boxed fan device you see sitting on a concrete slab. 

Like the previous system, the box fan pulls in hot exterior air, which passes over coolant-filled evaporator coils, producing cold air. The cold air is then funnelled into a duct system, which distributes cool air all over the house. Indeed, air distribution is related to cooling capacity, which is measured to determine what size of A/C unit is suitable for your home. This varies depending on house size. 


Which is Better?

Both systems have their benefits and disadvantages, however, this is highly dependent on circumstance. 

Package System: Pros vs Cons

Pros

  1. A packaged system contains all necessary technologies within one cabinet, often outside. This means it takes up less space and is less noisy. 
  2. Ease of access. Since everything is in one place, any repairs can be done easily. 
  3. Can be put on a roof if conditions are right, saving even more space. 

Cons

  1. The distribution of cool air through ducts means it is less energy efficient. Large winding pathways mean there is more opportunity for cool air to escape, or not circulate properly. 
  2. Outdoor A/C cabinets can be damaged by external forces. For example, hailstorms can bend and warp metal structures with their impact. 

Split-A/C Systems

Pros

  1. Split systems have a majority of their components located indoors. This means that there is more precision with this system. 
  2. Due to being mostly indoor, there is less chance of the system being damaged by external factors. 

Cons

  1. Split A/C systems are complicated to install, requiring professional help. 

It is important to work together to see the improvements we want to see for our world. Please contact our friendly staff at Plumbhouse Plumbing Heating and Electrical to ask more about your air conditioner options.


 

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