Air Conditioning

In ordinary conversation, when the term air conditioning is mentioned, people automatically take it to mean cooling room temperature. Technically speaking, though, air conditioning is the process of controlling room temperature through various means that involve ventilation, heating and cooling. In construction, it is referred to as HVAC.

In 1902, The New York Stock Exchange was the very first building to use air conditioning units that separately cooled and heated the air. Later that year, Willis Havilland Carrier installed the very first electrically-run air conditioning unit at a printing plant. The unit not only cooled the air but also controlled the humidity.

In those times, air conditioning was mostly used in manufacturing facilities to improve products by controlling the effects of humidity, thus, increasing employee productivity. It was several decades later, in the 1950s, that homes and automobiles started to be fitted with the air conditioning technology.

An air conditioning unit cools the air through a refrigerant, a substance that alters the temperature of the air. In the early stages of its development, air conditioning units used harmful gases such as ammonia and methyl chloride as refrigerants. They were soon replaced by another type of chemical, the patented substance called Freon.

Freon is safe for humans. However, it is harmful to the environment. When released into the atmosphere, this chlorofluorocarbon gas is believed to be a contributing factor to the thinning of the ozone layer. Most air conditioning units sold today still use this type of gas, particularly the HCFC R-22. It is said that environmentalists will have to wait until 2010 to see the total eradication of HCFC R-22 in air conditioning untis.

Air conditioning units have different types of refrigeration cycles. The first type uses a heat pump that drives out hot air from the room and blows in cooled air though a compressor. The second type pumps in a refrigerant. When the refrigerant evaporates, it takes with it the hot air and leaves cooled air.

Air Conditioner Reviews

Air Conditioner Reviews usually take BTU and EER numbers into account. BTU stands for British Thermal Units, and these numbers can range from 5,000 to 18,000. The higher the BTU of an air conditioner, the more powerful it is at cooling. But it also increases the cost of the air conditioner. Normally, the BTU of an air conditioner required for cooling a room is calculated by multiplying the square foot area of the room by 35.

EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. These numbers indicate the amount of energy they consume. An air conditioner with a higher EER will use less energy and hence will save money on electricity bills. EER numbers range from 8.2 to 10.5.

The brand leaders in the air conditioner market are Carrier, Kenmore, Whirlpool, Samsung, LG, Sharp, Panasonic and Friedrich. All are available in a wide range of BTU and EER ratings. Carrier air conditioners are by far the best. They are known for their extreme noiseless function, quick cooling and long lives of compressor and condenser. Carrier air conditioners are also the most expensive air conditioners in the market. Some of the newer Carrier models have replaced the environmentally harmful Freon-22 with Puron, a less polluting liquid.

Kenmore air conditioners also have excellent reviews in the air conditioner market. They are known for their high cooling capacities and extremely well advanced EERs, which cut electricity costs. Also their designs are quite sleek and contemporary, giving them the added edge over other air conditioners.

Whirlpool and LG also have good reputations, but they do better business in Asia. They are both reliable, trusted brands with good quality air conditioners at a comparatively lower price.

Due to the tremendous competition in the market of air conditioners, each brand spends millions of dollars in researching and perfecting new features every summer. Friedrich air conditioners have devised a money-saver feature, which saves electricity bills by making the fan move in synchronization with the cycle of the air conditioner itself. Most companies now use dehumidifiers and fragrances in their air conditioning ducts to lend them an added appeal.

Air Conditioner Repair

Most problems that people face with air conditioners can be solved by simple maintenance and cleaning. A regular cleaning of the air conditioner grille and filter helps to increase its longevity and make it more efficient at cooling. Sometimes particle aggregation inside the air filter chokes the ducts and makes the air conditioner ineffective. This can be solved by a simple cleaning of the air filter.

The common problems with air conditioners are faulty cooling, collection of water pools below the air conditioner, rattling sounds when the unit is shutting down, dysfunctional temperature control, etc. Some of these problems can be repaired by the owners themselves without calling for technical help. The air conditioner manual carries solutions to minor problems which can be easily implemented.

Before attempting Air Conditioner Repairs, it is most important to turn the power off. Removing the grille is an easy task, but care should be taken if the fan is attached to the grille as in some central cooling systems. Also, no wires should come loose while removing the grille and disconnecting the fan. If there are any wires connecting the fan to the main board, their sequence should be remembered so that they can be reconnected later.

Sometimes the air conditioner may not turn on at all due to a tripped or a broken fuse. The fuse is simple enough to be replaced by anyone. Instructions to replace fuses are mentioned in the manual. Hence, before calling a technician, it is advisable to check if there is a fuse problem.

Another common problem is the accumulation of water under the front portion of the air conditioner. This may be due to leakage of one of the ducts. Simple replacement solves the problem and instructions are mentioned in the manual.

Problems with thermostats are trickier to solve. Thermostat problems cause the air conditioner to cool the room unexpectedly. Even the heat pump may cause unexpected temperature swings if it is broken down. Thermostats and heat pumps should only be repaired by skilled technicians from the companies themselves.

Air Conditioner Repair is not a very difficult task, but people who are not confident with electrical appliances may contact the company to send their technicians. Technicians from the same company should be preferred over other repairmen.

Air Conditioner Rentals

People needing air conditioners for temporary purposes can approach Air Conditioner Rental companies. Rental companies provide air conditioners on rent for short term or long term periods and charge rent on a monthly basis.

Temporary businesses, business meetings, wedding receptions, and high school and college functions are events that can preferably take air conditioners on rent. Even homes that do not wish to spend huge sums on purchasing air conditioners can rent them for the summer months. Shops and establishments that are not willing to spend their money on outright purchases can reduce their infrastructure investments by renting air conditioners.

Several companies offer air conditioners on rent at attractive discounted prices, especially during the sultry summer months. However, it is sometimes necessary to book for an air conditioner in advance, because the demand shoots up during the summer. Businesses may require a large number of air conditioner units, which also must be booked in advance.

When a party approaches a rental company for cooling requirements, the rental company may send one of their experts to inspect the area of the room and other factors. Once this is done, they will suggest the tonnage and type of air conditioner that may be suited to the room. This kind of service is usually free and provided by the rental company. Then estimates are drawn and there may be negotiations on the rent. A formal contract is signed and the air conditioner is installed at the venue of the renting party.

Air Conditioner Rental companies deal in all kinds of air conditioners, such as window, split, central, portable, industrial, and more. Generally, the type of air conditioner is decided based on the venue requiring cooling. Prices vary according to the kind of air conditioner installed. Central air conditioning is the priciest and window is the cheapest.

Some companies charge a deposit before giving the air conditioner on hire. Any damage to the air conditioner during its usage is compensated for from the deposit money. If there are no deductions, then the entire deposit is refunded on return of the air conditioner.

The rent on an air conditioner unit depends on the length of time it is rented for and its make. It may be a few hundred dollars per month.

Air Conditioner Rental Rates

Air conditioners are essential in controlling the temperature by both cooling and heating. Most air conditioners are expensive, and it is a good idea to rent them — especially if they are to be used for a short period of time. When renting a new air conditioner, one has to consider the type, size and the running costs involved. Different brands suited for different capacities of air conditioning and electricity usage are available. Rentals decrease as the time period of rental increases.

Various air conditioners that can be rented are usually based on the electricity supply. A standard monobloc model uses 2.2 to 2.4 kilowatt of energy and is normally available on rent for about xa3 80 per week. If rented for four weeks or more, the rent reduces to xa3 45 per week. It goes further down to xa3 33 per week if rented for 8 weeks and xa3 29 per week if rented for 10 weeks or more. Similarly, a heavy monobloc model, which has a capacity of 3 to 3.8 KW, can be rented at xa3 120 for a week; xa3 55 per week for 4 weeks; xa3 42 per week for 8 weeks and xa3 38 per week for 10 weeks and more.

The split type units are much more expensive. They provide 4 to 4.7 KW, so their rental is high. For one week the rent is around xa3130 and for four weeks rental is about xa3 75 per week. For ten weeks or more, the rental fee is xa3 52 per week.

It is important to note that for most companies the delivery plus setup costs are not included with the rental. For every first air conditioner rented, the installation would be approximately xa3 40 and xa310 for every additional installation.

Computer rooms and server rooms require high precision air conditioning. The rental for these air conditioners is xa3150 to xa3200 for just one week and xa360 to xa365 per week for more than ten weeks.

It is advisable to hire from a reputed air conditioner rental company, after taking one’s needs and the available models into account. Although hiring from a little known company may be cheaper, it might be that the air conditioners are old, poorly maintained and consume more electricity.

Air Conditioner Parts

The three main parts of an air conditioner unit are the compressor, the condenser and the evaporator. The compressor and condenser are located on the outside of the air conditioner and the evaporator is located on the inside.

The basic functioning of the air conditioner is based on the principle of successive heating and cooling of a highly volatile liquid, such as a Freon. The liquid first enters the compressor, where it is compressed into a gas. This releases heat and makes the liquid cooler. The dissipated heat is radiated outwards with the help of a fan. The liquid then enters the condenser, where it absorbs heat from the surroundings to reconvert into a gas. Hence, the surroundings become cool. The entire process continues cyclically and this causes cooling of the room.

Besides the three fundamental Air Conditioner Parts, an air conditioner also has a hot coil on the outside to dissipate heat, a cool coil on the inside to absorb heat, two fans (one outside and one inside) and a control circuit to modify the temperature. This is done by changing the rotation speeds of the fans using a potentiometer.

The most important and expensive Air Conditioner Part is the compressor. Companies provide warranties on the compressor and a good quality compressor can function efficiently for several years. New compressors can be bought and installed into the air conditioner if the original one develops faults. It is ideal to have a compressor made by the same company as the rest of the air conditioner. However, it is also necessary to mention that only a few companies manufacture their own compressors; the rest just buy them and install in their units.

Condensers and evaporators can also be replaced. The same case is applicable for the cooling and heating coils. Problems in the coils lead to faulty dissipation of heat, thus causing unsatisfactory results. Fans are the easiest components of the air conditioner units to replace. They are simply fitted by screws on the outer part of the air conditioner and with wires to the air conditioner circuit board.

One more component of the air conditioner is its outer cover. The cover has no other function except to lend an aesthetic appeal to the air conditioner. It is generally made of molded plastic and is available in a wide range of colors and designs. The same can be said about buttons and knobs. A water-carrying duct is essential if the air conditioner faces the road on the outside.

Air Conditioner Covers

Covers are used to protect air conditioners from unfavorable weather conditions such as condensation, dew, cold drafts, extreme heat, etc. They also keep dust and small insects away from the body of the air conditioner and its different components.

Dust Covers are made of synthetic material such as vinyl, plastics, terylene or Dacron. They are washable and are fastened and unfastened on the air conditioner by plastic zippers or Velcro fasteners. These Covers can be used to cover the entire body of the air conditioner, except the region which contains the duct and the button controls. They are available in a large number of sizes and colors. Mostly they are made in standard air conditioner sizes and can be bought directly from the shops. Some companies also manufacture Custom Covers after taking specifications from the ordering company.

Weatherizing Covers are more detailed in their design. These Covers are made of special plastics, such as polyurethane, or metals, and they can be fitted on the air conditioner. Most of these Covers have direct attachments with the front and back faces of the air conditioners. Others can be attached on the air conditioner using duct tape, caulk or mess. These Covers pack not only the air conditioner, but even the tiny gaps around it so as to prevent any cold drafts from entering inside the room. Some better-quality Covers can also absorb the vibration of the air conditioner, and reduce the noise it creates.

Portable air conditioners use Covers that envelop them completely. Zippers running through their entire length on one of the edges can secure them over the air conditioner’s body. These are made of synthetic plastics and are available in most colors and sizes.

Some Covers are also available in aesthetic designs for use in living room air conditioners. There are lace Covers and Covers with various designs and patterns on them. More than protection, these Covers aim at rendering beauty to the room by disguising the air conditioner.

Simple Dust Covers are available at less than $20. But custom-designed Covers and Weatherizing Covers may cost much higher depending on the specifications required.

Air Compressors

Air compressors are mechanic devices that take in air and then compress and store it in a compressed form (meaning, it occupies less space than in its normal state). Air compressors are equipped with a tank that holds the compressed air inside. The tank is able to withstand all the pressure that the air applies inside it, but there are always signs that warn the user that damaging the tank can result in an accident.

One major difference between the various types of air compressors is that some of them are oil-lubricated while some others are not. Those that are not oil lubricated are also called oil-free compressors. Oil-free compressors boast the advantage that they donx92t need oil in order to operate, while oil-lubricated compressors do. Additionally, oil-lubricated compressors need to have their oil changed after certain periods of operation.

Another difference that can be seen among air compressors is that some of them are stationary (meaning they are static or unmovable), while some others are designed from scratch to be portable. Common air compressors are not used for industrial purposes, and they occupy the same volume as a medium-sized table. This type of compressor usually comes with built-in wheels in order to be more portable. However, air compressors aimed at industrial use can occupy areas larger than one, two, or even more rooms. These compressors are not intended to be moved more than a few times during their lifetime. Moving these compressors requires money as well as good planning.

Air compressors can be found in homes, small businesses, service stations, or in large industries. Their usage ranges from dust cleaning to heavy industry usage (inside machinery) and gas turbines. Air compressors play an essential role in the correct operation of many devices and procedures.

Air Cleaners

As the environment gets more polluted in the name of modernization, it has become more and more necessary to use air cleaners to give us much-needed clean air to breathe. Air cleaners are commonly used in industrial and commercial areas where the nature of business is more likely to be hazardous or harmful to the air, and also in the hospitality and healthcare industries where clean air is essential.

Air cleaners used in the automobile, farm equipment, aircraft and heavy machinery industries play a vital role in protecting the health of millions of workers who are exposed to machining fluids at their jobs. Machining fluids can cause respiratory problems, various types of cancer, skin problems and other health problems. Air cleaners have helped improve these workers’ quality of life, and decreased their occupational hazards.

It is also becoming increasingly common for air cleaners to be fitted into homes, especially those located near industrial areas, or where air quality is compromised by other factors. They have also become a source of relief for those who suffer from asthma or airborne allergies (like dust) as they effectively clear the air and improve the quality of life.

There are 2 types of air cleaners. One is the portable or table-top model, which is used to clean air in smaller areas. The second type is installed with an existing furnace or air-conditioner filter. These types are used in larger areas. The portable air cleaners normally use filters, electrical attraction or ozone filters to remove small particles from the air.

Air Cleaners FAQs

People are often very skeptical about investing in an air purifier. Thoughts like, ‘Is indoor air really unhealthy?’ are common questions. When in doubt, it is best to turn to the experts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] suggests that indoor air is one of the worst environmental health problems today. Close to 50% of all illnesses are either caused or aggravated by indoor air.

Why is indoor air proving to be such a hazard? The answer lies in the ventilation of your apartment. In order to conserve energy avoid exorbitant electricity bills, most indoor spaces are tightly insulated and have poor ventilation. This means that a large volume of air present in the room is stale and burgeoning with aerial bacteria that multiply over time.

This is when the next question pops up, ‘how to avoid this problem?’ The solution is the use of air purifiers that ensure that a variety of pollutants like smoke, dust, pollen, animal dander and odors are removed. Fixtures like filters and ozone emitters in the air purifiers are meant for this purpose.

Are they effective? Yes and no. That is, air purifiers are material specific, which makes them effective against some allergens and ineffective towards others. In order to get rid of odors, a unit that uses an activated carbon filter can be used. Air cleaners without these special features do not remove gaseous pollutants, and they do not reduce their harmful effects. Electronic air purifiers reduce cigarette smoke, but they do not eliminate the odor. To get rid of dust and pollen, a mechanical filtration system that traps large particles, like a HEPA filter, can be installed. These filters are effective only against airborne particles, so allergens that settle on surfaces remain neglected.

What things should one consider while choosing one unit over another? With the overwhelming variety of units available, the best advice would be to pick a hybrid unit that targets several pollutants at the same time. You must match the purifier to the size of the room. The Clean Air Delivery Rate ((CADR) shows how many cubic feet of air the unit can clean per minute. The replacement parts should not be very expensive and the noise level of the unit must also be taken into account.

One must remember that no gadget is foolproof and each has its own limitations and drawbacks. In this light, it’s equally important to control the source of pollution too.