Air conditioning system are very effective at keeping rooms at comfortable, stable temperatures especially during those hot afternoons when the sun is simply blazing. However, these unit are notoriously known for also driving energy bills up. This guide would recap the basic types of air conditioning units and also show you some useful usage tips.
Split Air Conditioners consist of an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units. The outdoor unit usually contains the condenser, the compressor and the expansion valve and the indoor unit directs cold or hot air to the room. The indoor unit can be installed in multiple configurations such as on a wall, on a ceiling or standing on the floor. The indoor and outdoor units are connected via a tube punched through the wall. These units require no duct taping, unlike Central Air Conditioning Systems. For domestic settings, split units are more popularly used.
Window Air Conditioners are installed in a window and some model models can be installed in a wall too. Unlike split systems, Window Air Conditioners are unitary, having both indoor and outdoor components combined in one unit. Hot and humid is pumped out of the back and the sides of the unit. Depending on the model, these units can be installed in a hanging, sliding or casement window. Installation of these units can be permanent or temporal. You must use support brackets to hold the air conditioner firmly in place.
Wall Air Conditioners are similar to window units. They are unitary systems installed permanently through a wall using a sleeve.These units are installed more airtight and consequently work more efficiently than windowed units. Unlike, windowed systems, hot air is only vented through the back of the unit. An advantage for using a wall air conditioner is you free up your window to allow in more natural air.
Portable Air Conditioners are mobile, unitary cooling systems. A flexible hose is attached to direct hot and humid air outside via a hole in the wall or through a window. Cool air is circulated in the room via the front vents.
Central Air Conditioning Systems circulate cool, dehumidified air from a single condensing unit throughout a building. These units are usually used in larger buildings or offices like banks. Cool air is vented throughout the building through ducts with the aid of air blowers. Central units are less energy efficient units. The air conditioner uses more power to cool all the rooms to the same temperature.
Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTACs) are commercial-grade unitary systems, usually installed through a wall, to heat and/or cool a room. They are usually 36, 40 or 42 inches wide. They are usually found in commercial or large room settings.
The needed capacity of an air conditioner depends on the amount of heat load the unit can remove. The heat load is the sum total of heat coming from walls, windows, roof, people the room, stove, etc. Heat load is usually measured in British thermal unit (Btu). The higher the Btu (heat load) of a room, the higher the needed capacity of the air conditioner unit. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner unit is normally measured in Btu or Horsepower, where 1 horsepower is about 9000 Btu/hr. There are several free online Btu calculators you can use to calculate the air conditioning horsepower you need.
The energy efficiency of an air conditioner is measured as the ratio of Btu/hour to the input wattage (energy efficiency ratio). Always check the Ghana Energy Guide label to assess the efficiency of a air conditioner. Regardless of which type of unit you use, your can reduce the energy your air conditioner uses as follows: - Regularly maintain and clean your unit - Use a timer or thermostat so the unit goes off automatically when not needed - Buy the right capacity. Oversized units don't dehumidify the room properly. Undersized units may overwork and excessively dry the air - Buy a unit that has a inverter - Make sure all ducts or openings are sealed when the unit is operational - Use the "Sleep Mode" function if available - As much as practical, reduce the amount of light and heat in the room when the unit is operational - Install the unit closer to the ceiling. The vents should be pointing straight forward or upward - Use a ceiling fan to help circulate the cool air - Use the "fan only" mode on the air conditioner - Shade your windows to reduce the amount of heat coming into your room - Install efficient lighting - Cool and shade the condenser unit - Don't block air flow around the condenser or indoor unit - Don't use a central unit if you don't need to cool the whole building at a time - Use an evaporative cooler. It uses less energy
- More fan speed ranges better. Higher speeds help cool the room faster and lower fan speeds are quieter. - Human presence sensor - Restart delay - Heating air conditioners. Unit equipped with a heat pump can be used for heating a room - Smart Air Conditioners: Use your Smartphone as a universal remote
Window and wall units fall in the lower price ranges. Window units are usually slightly cheaper than wall units. A portable air conditioners with the same horsepower of a window or wall unit may be slightly more expensive. Split air conditioners cost more than the other units. Prices for split units are going down and there is a wide variety of options and features to choose from. The cost of a central unit would depend on the size of the building and could be cheaper compared with the alternative of buying and maintaining several split units.