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Beating The Heat: A Guide To Air Conditioning

If you own a home or business, then you have probably had to deal with the world of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). If you haven't, then it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with how each system works and what your options are. Here is a brief overview of air conditioning to help you get started:  

What is air conditioning really?

Air conditioning is a lot more complicated than you might expect. Air conditioners don't actually create cold air. What really happens is that an air conditioner uses a special substance called a refrigerant. Through a process that is several steps long, the refrigerant is changed from a gas to a liquid repeatedly. This process ultimately leeches the heat from one portion of air and adds it to a separate unit of air. The colder unit of air is then blown into the building that you want to cool  while the hot unit of air is vented outside the building. This is the main reason that your air conditioner has an external component (likely on the roof or near the back of your house/building). It wouldn't make much sense to dump that hot air back into the building, especially since it would actually result in the temperature of the building increasing.   

So what are the different air conditioning options?

There are three main air conditioners that you are likely to encounter.

  • The first is central air conditioning, which is often the most efficient option. A central air conditioner works by at a single location and then distributes the cold air throughout the building via ventilation. If you want to get air conditioning for a large building or a building with a lot of rooms, then a central system is a good choice.
  • The second is portable air conditioning. As you might expect, portable air conditioners are quite versatile and can be moved around depending on your needs. Portable AC's aren't quite as efficient as other units and will cost you more energy in the long run.
  • Finally, you might want to think about window-based air conditioners, which are great if you have a window that you don't mind converting. A window-based air conditioner simply sits on a windowsill and dumps the hot air outside while blowing cool air inside. If you only need to keep a single room air-conditioned, then a window-based unit might be your best bet.

Contact a local contractor, such as one from Century Heating & Air Conditioning Services, for further assistance.