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What Are the Types of Air Conditioning Systems?

A quality air conditioning system can significantly improve your quality of life on a hot Southern California day. There are several types of air conditioning systems, and some will suit a particular building better than others. Each system works by sending the warm air that’s inside to the outside instead.

The main components of any air conditioner will be:

  • Refrigerants
  • Compressors
  • Condensers
  • Expansion valves
  • Evaporator coils

While the systems will share these features, the size, price, efficacy, and energy usage of air conditioners vary greatly from one system to the next. So what system will be right for you? It depends on what you want to accomplish!

Portable Air Conditioning Units

A portable air conditioner may be the perfect option when you need to cool one room temporarily. These are known as self-contained or “unitary” systems. Essentially, the entire machine and all of its components fit into one compact unit. While you do not place them in a window or a doorway, they will need to expel heat through a hose vent that leads through a wall or window to the home’s exterior.

Portable air conditioners use evaporator fans that run as you use them because they have nowhere to expel condensed water from the air. These systems are only effective in rooms that are smaller than 500 square feet, and they tend to be some of the noisiest models on the market.

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioner units are like portable air conditioner units in that they are unitary. You place these systems in a window or a hole that leads to the exterior of the building.

The placement of such systems means that they can dispel moisture by allowing it to drip outside. While smaller systems may only work to cool one room, large units can cool a whole house if it is smaller in size and only one story in height.

Split Air Conditioners

As the name suggests, split air conditioners have two units. One of the components — the condensing unit — sits on the exterior of the building. The other part of the system — the evaporative unit — remains inside. The two parts of the air conditioner connect through refrigerant tubing that runs through the walls.

The outside unit holds the compressor, condenser, and fan. The other parts of the system — including the expansion valve, evaporator coil, and circulation fan — remain inside. The inside half consists of a rectangular box that you mount on a wall, typically high in a room.

Split air conditioners are a practical option to cool buildings that do not have HVAC systems. Many of these systems can provide heating, as well. The fact that one-half of the system is outside can also cut down on noise.

Central Air Conditioning

The best way to cool off an entire home or building is through a central air conditioning system. These systems are a type of split air conditioner, but they take advantage of forced-air HVAC technologies to move the cool air throughout a home.

Central air conditioning systems need to be sized correctly for your space. It is also essential to keep your system in good working condition. Heating and air specialists like the professionals at Rowland Air can perform routine maintenance and necessary repairs or install a new more energy efficient air conditioning system, making sure that your home is at a comfortable temperature, no matter how hot it may be outside.

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