Air conditioner equipment power in the U.S. is often described in terms of "tons of refrigeration", with each approximately equal to the cooling power of one short ton (2000 pounds or 907 kilograms) of ice melting in a 24-hour period. The value is defined as 12,000 BTU per hour, or 3517 watts. Residential central air systems are usually from 1 to 5 tons (3.5 to 18 kW) in capacity.
In variable climates, the system may include a reversing valve that switches from heating in winter to cooling in summer. By reversing the flow of refrigerant, the heat pump refrigeration cycle is changed from cooling to heating or vice versa. This allows a facility to be heated and cooled by a single piece of equipment by the same means, and with the same hardware.
Air conditioners contain the condenser and are traditionally set outside the home. One of the most common confusions with air conditioners is that they cool the existing air in your home. Air conditioners actually pull out heat from inside your home through a host of pieces in your system and expel it outside. The removal of heat is what makes the air feel cool, not the addition of cold air.
A specialized air conditioner that is used only for dehumidifying is called a dehumidifier. It also uses a refrigeration cycle, but differs from a standard air conditioner in that both the evaporator and the condenser are placed in the same air path. A standard air conditioner transfers heat energy out of the room because its condenser coil releases heat outside. However, since all components of the dehumidifier are in the same room, no heat energy is removed. Instead, the electric power consumed by the dehumidifier remains in the room as heat, so the room is actually heated, just as by an electric heater that draws the same amount of power.
A more efficient method of controlling humidity is to use the waste heat from the refrigeration cycle itself. Instead of rejecting the waste heat outdoors, the heat is directed inside when humidity control is required. One form of heat reclaim is called hot-gas reheat or “refrigerant desuperheating” where refrigerant is passed through a heat exchanger located downstream of the cooling coil. The hot high pressure vapor leaving the compressor passes through this heat exchanger prior to entering the condenser coil. This in turn heats the indoor air and again causes the AC system to run longer to meet the thermostat set point. Although more energy is used, this is much more efficient than turning on an electric heater. Another form of heat reclaim is called sub-cool reheat. This strategy takes the warm liquid refrigerant from the condenser and passes it through a heat exchanger located downstream of the cooling coil. Less heat is available using this method because the majority of the heat has already been rejected at the condenser. Since more energy is used to pump liquid (as opposed to a gas) through the heat exchanger it would appear that this method is less efficient than the hot-gas method, however, the liquid in the heat exchanger is sub-cooled in the cold supply air stream which increases the capacity of the air conditioner. Since more capacity is available, the AC units is able to meet the thermostat more quickly.
In the United States, HVAC engineers generally are members of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), EPA Universal CFC certified (for installation and service of CFC HVAC devices), or locally engineer certified such as a Special to Chief Boilers License issued by the state or, in some jurisdictions, the city. ASHRAE is an international technical society for all individuals and organizations interested in HVAC. The Society, organized into regions, chapters, and student branches, allows exchange of HVAC knowledge and experiences for the benefit of the field's practitioners and the public. ASHRAE provides many opportunities to participate in the development of new knowledge via, for example, research and its many technical committees. These committees typically meet twice per year at the ASHRAE Annual and Winter Meetings. A popular product show, the AHR Expo, is held in conjunction with each winter meeting. The Society has approximately 50,000 members and has headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ventilating or ventilation (the V in HVAC) is the process of exchanging or replacing air in any space to provide high indoor air quality which involves temperature control, oxygen replenishment, and removal of moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, carbon dioxide, and other gases. Ventilation removes unpleasant smells and excessive moisture, introduces outside air, keeps interior building air circulating, and prevents stagnation of the interior air.
As the first Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer in the area, Nerthling's Heating and Air Conditioning is recognized for exemplary business practices, customer loyalty, and industry knowledge. Our service team continues factory training, staying updated with ever-evolving techniques and technology. We remain current with product development, qualifying us to identify equipment that accurately suits your needs and allows for maximum efficiency. We install proven reliable systems with a track record of durability, in a variety of configurations, guaranteeing an ideal match to your expectations. We specialize in the installation, service, and repair of air conditioning, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, geothermal options, generators, air quality solutions, and ductless HVAC.
Some systems include an "economizer mode", which is sometimes called a "free-cooling mode". When economizing, the control system will open (fully or partially) the outside air damper and close (fully or partially) the return air damper. This will cause fresh, outside air to be supplied to the system. When the outside air is cooler than the demanded cool air, this will allow the demand to be met without using the mechanical supply of cooling (typically chilled water or a direct expansion "DX" unit), thus saving energy. The control system can compare the temperature of the outside air vs. return air, or it can compare the enthalpy of the air, as is frequently done in climates where humidity is more of an issue. In both cases, the outside air must be less energetic than the return air for the system to enter the economizer mode.
While there's nothing you can do to guarantee your air conditioner or furnace will never need repairs, there are ways to take better care of your system. Changing out the air filters every 3-6 months, making sure nothing is obstructing or interfering with the outside unit, and keeping all vents unblocked in well-used rooms will help keep your air conditioning and heating system operating efficiently.
Air-source heat pumps are more popular in milder winter climates where the temperature is frequently in the range of 4–13 °C (40–55 °F), because heat pumps become inefficient in more extreme cold. This is because ice forms on the outdoor unit's heat exchanger coil, which blocks air flow over the coil. To compensate for this, the heat pump system must temporarily switch back into the regular air conditioning mode to switch the outdoor evaporator coil back to being the condenser coil, so that it can heat up and defrost. A heat pump system will therefore have a form of electric resistance heating in the indoor air path that is activated only in this mode in order to compensate for the temporary indoor air cooling, which would otherwise be uncomfortable in the winter.
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