Air Conditioning

Residential Air Conditioning Is More Than Just Cooling The Air!

In non technical terms, here are the basics of how your air conditioner works. Have you ever wondered how an air conditioner cools down a home? You can explain the process by describing the refrigeration cycle, but in reality, it is best to start by providing an accurate definition of the terminology “air conditioning.” Contrary to popular belief, air conditioning does not simply mean the cooling of the air around us in the home.

In actuality, residential air conditioning involves controlling four elements of the internal home environment:

  • Air cleanliness and air quality
  • Air movement
  • Air temperature
  • Air humidity

The concept of air conditioning involves the de-humidification of the air, as well as cooling and heating. Air conditioning is also made up of functions that help to control the surrounding air outside one’s home.

Interestingly enough, air conditioning is not a matter of the air getting cooler. In the technical sense, there is a certain degree of heat present in the air no matter what the temperature is. In reality, air conditioning means that the air becomes less hot and dehumidified so it stays at a comfortable level. Human beings are typically the most comfortable when the inside temperature of the house is about 70°.

The purpose of an A/C unit is to take the temperature down in the home to that 70° level by removing a sufficient amount of hot air from every room. This is accomplished by transferring heat from the indoors to a cooler surface in order to lower the room temperature. Another heat transfer occurs as the hot air is transferred to the outside of the house. It is the combination of these different heat transfers that removes the heat from the inside air and creates that “cooling” effect that we like.

The evaporator of your A/C unit is the ‘cooler surface’ that helps to remove the hot air from the rooms in your home. It is located in a device known as the air handler. The other heat transfer takes place in the condenser of the A/C unit which is situated outside the house. Basically, the HVAC system is dumping the hot inside air into the air that is outside the home. A specific amount of air movement is required for these heat transfers to take place. Inside the air handler, there is a large blower that generates the necessary air movement.

This blower draws air into the air handler through the return side of the device and then discharges it out the opposite or supply side. An HVAC system that is properly engineered knows that cold air settles and hot air rises. So the proper placement of the grill is critical. Finally, every HVAC system is built to handle a specific amount of cooling (heat energy absorption) and air movement.

If you are interested in scheduling regular maintenance, learning more about energy efficient A/C units, or simply need a repair for your residential air conditioner, contact Bell Brothers at 916-444-1234.