The hot days of summer send many homeowners on the hunt for a new or upgraded air conditioning or cooling system. When it comes to A/C designs, today’s split system A/C units offer an inexpensive and useful solution to homeowners. A split system A/C is convenient in tight spaces where traditional air conditioner units are cumbersome, and can provide the homeowner with improved indoor air quality.
Understanding how a split system air conditioner works can help homeowners make the best purchase for their homes and a thorough understanding of its mechanics can help in troubleshooting any mishaps. When problems are quickly remedied, equipment can work more effectively for an extended life span.
In contrast to popular thought, air conditioners do not add cold air to a living space, but rather they remove heat energy from a space, leaving only the cooler air to be enjoyed. This process occurs between two places in the split system A/C — the outside unit in which the condenser and compressor are contained, and the inside unit in which the evaporator and the heating unit, the furnace or heat pump, are contained. These two units are connected with tubing and electrical wires.
When it detects warmer air, an indoor thermostat will activate the compressor unit outside. The compressor sucks refrigerant in its gaseous form through a large copper pipe, also known as the “suction” line, and into the condenser. While refrigerant enters the compressor as a cool, low-pressure gas, the unit essentially squeezes the molecules, packing them together to increase its energy and change the refrigerant into a fluid.
While refrigerant is the most common product used in air conditioning systems, there are other working fluids available.
As a fluid, the refrigerant flows to the indoor evaporator unit through another copper pipe, also known as the “liquid” line. Inside this unit, an evaporator fan collects warm air from the household and passes it across the now-chilled liquid refrigerant at the evaporator coil. The refrigerant absorbs the heat, cooling the surface of the evaporator coil, and allowing the cool air that’s left to be blown through the indoor air environment.
With a split system air conditioner unit, a household may choose to utilize zone technology, in which multiple air handlers allow different areas or rooms of a home to maintain different temperatures. This increases whole-house comfort levels while also saving money by inhibiting the waste of energy committed when infrequently used rooms are kept constantly cool.
Why Choose a Split System A/C
Centralized air conditioning systems expend large amounts of wasted energy, leading to high utility bills, because of the lost heat exchange occurring within the duct system. In contrast, the split system A/C gives little opportunity for heat and other energy to escape due to its compactness and its two localized component sections. They are also preferable to window and wall air cooling units because of their efficient ability to cool large spaces and multiple rooms. Because the nosiest components of an air conditioner system, the compressor fan and condenser motor, are located outside, a split system A/C is especially quiet and effective at reducing noise pollution within your home.
While they are easy to operate and to maintain, it is advisable to hire a professional HVAC contractor to install one in your household. This is to ensure that electrical wiring and other specialized, manufacturer instructors are adhered to. Additionally, because refrigerant is a hazardous and potentially lethal compound, professionals are trained and licensed to follow safety guidelines when installing and maintaining a split system A/C.
For more information on how a split system A/C works, or to learn about other high efficiency cooling and heating products and services, contact your local professionals at Griffith Energy Services, Inc. We have been providing quality products and experienced technician service to the Mid-Atlantic area for more than 100 years. Call today to schedule an appointment.
Written by Kevin Spain