Air conditioning in its simplest form is the cooling of indoor air for thermal comfort. Most people think that air conditioners lower the temperature in their homes by pumping cool air in. What’s really happening is the warm air from your house is being removed and cycled back in as cooler air. This cycle continues until your thermostat reaches the desired temperature.
In recent years the air conditioning industry has made huge advances in the technology it employs and the industry would argue that their products are now highly efficient in their use of energy.
A typical domestic air conditioning system comprises of wall mounted units in each room with a small compressor unit mounted externally. The two components are then linked with a pair of thin copper pipes which provide for the flow and return of refrigerant gas. A 240v electric supply then drives the fan unit in the room and the external compressor. Typically a remote control (like a TV remote) is then used to control the system for on/off, temperature and fan speeds.
Efficiency is further improved by VRF (variable refrigerant flow) techniques. The gases used within air conditioning systems are some of the most harmful to the environment hence the opportunity to reduce the volume of those gases is to be welcomed.
Whilst most people holidaying on the continent have heard air conditioning units constantly battering noisily away this is no longer the case with modern units. Current units are so quiet that in a residential neighbourhood it is unlikely that noise would be an issue whatsoever, providing the unit manufacturer and siting were given careful consideration.
As summer temperatures continue to increase during the next decade it seems likely that many households will seek to install some form of air conditioning. There is good logic in equipping perhaps a main living room or master bedroom in the first instance.
Along with the associated benefits of air conditioning, there are also several disadvantages; one disadvantage is the environmental cost. The costs to the environment is due to the amount of electricity required to run an air conditioning unit when some people argue that the same cooling effect can be seen by simply opening up a window.
However measures are in place to oversee the development of greener air conditioners, where a difference of up to 200% can be seen when compared to traditional units.