The liquid refrigerant is returned to another heat exchanger where it is allowed to evaporate, hence the heat exchanger is often called an evaporating coil or evaporator. As the liquid refrigerant evaporates it absorbs energy (heat) from the inside air, returns to the compressor, and repeats the cycle. In the process, heat is absorbed from indoors and transferred outdoors, resulting in cooling of the building.
Absorption refrigerator Air barrier Air conditioning Antifreeze Automobile air conditioning Autonomous building Building insulation materials Central heating Central solar heating Chilled beam Chilled water Constant air volume (CAV) Coolant Dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) Deep water source cooling Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) Displacement ventilation District cooling District heating Electric heating Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) Firestop Forced-air Forced-air gas Free cooling Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) Hybrid heat Hydronics HVAC Ice storage air conditioning Kitchen ventilation Mixed-mode ventilation Microgeneration Natural ventilation Passive cooling Passive house Radiant heating and cooling system Radiant cooling Radiant heating Radon mitigation Refrigeration Renewable heat Room air distribution Solar air heat Solar combisystem Solar cooling Solar heating Thermal insulation Underfloor air distribution Underfloor heating Vapor barrier Vapor-compression refrigeration (VCRS) Variable air volume (VAV) Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) Ventilation
In modern buildings, the design, installation, and control systems of these functions are integrated into one or more HVAC systems. For very small buildings, contractors normally estimate the capacity and type of system needed and then design the system, selecting the appropriate refrigerant and various components needed. For larger buildings, building service designers, mechanical engineers, or building services engineers analyze, design, and specify the HVAC systems. Specialty mechanical contractors then fabricate and commission the systems. Building permits and code-compliance inspections of the installations are normally required for all sizes of building.
Air conditioning can also be provided by a process called free cooling which uses pumps to circulate a coolant (typically water or a glycol mix) from a cold source, which in turn acts as a heat sink for the energy that is removed from the cooled space. Common storage media are deep aquifers or a natural underground rock mass accessed via a cluster of small-diameter boreholes, equipped with heat exchanger. Some systems with small storage capacity are hybrid systems, using free cooling early in the cooling season, and later employing a heat pump to chill the circulation coming from the storage. The heat pump is added because the temperature of the storage gradually increases during the cooling season, thereby declining its effectiveness.
The basic concept behind air conditioning is said to have been applied in ancient Egypt, where reeds were hung in windows and were moistened with trickling water. The evaporation of water cooled the air blowing through the window. This process also made the air more humid, which can be beneficial in a dry desert climate. In ancient Rome, water from aqueducts was circulated through the walls of certain houses to cool them. Other techniques in medieval Persia involved the use of cisterns and wind towers to cool buildings during the hot season.
5) Check certifications. Many HVAC professionals belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) or the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA). Both sites provide listings of HVAC contractors by area. Look for contractors whose technicians are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) and partnered with ENERGY STAR.
The selection of the working fluids (refrigerants) has a significant impact not only on the performance of the air conditioners but on the environment as well. Most refrigerants used for air conditioning contribute to global warming, and many also deplete the ozone layer. CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs are potent greenhouse gases when leaked to the atmosphere.
If your air conditioning is blowing warm air—or not working at all—it's time to call in the experts. After all, we're not just talking about an uncomfortable afternoon on a hot day: we're talking about your happiness at home, and a problem that may cause extensive damage to your system if not addressed quickly. That's why it's smart to catch problems early before they become expensive to address.
1) Change your filter. The simplest and most effective way to keep your AC running smoothly is changing your filter once a month. By regularly changing your filter, you reduce a lot of the burden on your system. A dirty or clogged filter makes your air conditioner work much harder than does a clean filter. Changing your filters regularly is easy on your budget and easy on your system as well. It will lower your utility bill and extend the life of your AC.