Air Conditioning - How it works

Air conditioning is designed to pull the humidity out of the atmosphere in a building and to cool and purify the air. How it works, interestingly, is on much the same principle as a refrigerator. An air conditioning unit sucks the hot air out of your home, draws it outside and replaces it with cool air.

Air conditioning basics

  • Unlike a refrigerator, which has a fan on the inside to cool the food, the simplest air conditioner has a fan on both sides because it enables the unit to circulate air more quickly.
  • Most air conditioning units can also heat the air in a room when the weather is cold, and these are often referred to as heating and ventilation air conditioning units or HVACS.
  • There are more sophisticated air conditioning units and these use long ducts to that pipe either cool or warm air round a building. This type of unit is generally used in large buildings like apartment and office blocks.

Air Conditioning - how it works to clean the air too

Air conditioning systems are meant not only to cool the air down into a building but also to improve the cleanliness and humidity of the air as it circulates. Air conditioning systems are designed in such a way as to pull out most of the common allergens and polluting agents that are in the air. In public buildings the air conditioning systems are often so powerful that the circulated air is sterilised and so provides a much healthier and comfortable environment for people to work in.

Air Conditioning - how it works in different climates

Another form of air conditioning that is becoming more popular in warmer areas is the heat pump. How it works is that the heat pump takes heat from inside a building and pumps it outside when the weather is hot. In cooler weather a heat pump works in reverse and heat is provided by the pumped air and by the extra heat that the pump itself generates. This system works best where the lowest outside temperature is 10% centigrade or more. In the UK, where temperatures can go below zero, a heat pump on its own is not sufficient, so central heating is still recommended.

The heating and ventilation air conditioning units work to suck warm air from a room through a grill, which is usually near the bottom of the machine. The air is then taken over a set of chiller pipes that have a cooling fluid circulating round them similar to that in a domestic fridge.

Air conditioning comes in all shapes and sizes

air conditioning - how it worksYou can get large air conditioning systems, such as those used in public buildings which cool, dry and purify the air over a large area, and you can get systems that fix onto the wall and cool the air in a single room.

Some apartment buildings have single ac units that make the air more comfortable in certain areas.

It isn't really necessary for you to understand the technicalities of air conditioning. How it works on a basic level will help you decide what sort of system you're looking for, but we are always happy to advise.

Find out what air conditioning services we offer.