Modern air conditioners put a stop to extreme temperatures and enable us to switch and operate in well tempered rooms. As users, we benefit from the enormous advances that technology has made in the last 10 to 15 years and that have made air conditioning affordable for the home as well.

But before you go to the next electrical retailer, you should inform yourself well about your possibilities.

How does an air conditioner work?

Air conditioners transform warm air into cold air and cool the room with it. Gases, including air, can absorb energy in the form of heat. How much heat a gas can absorb depends, among other things, on its density. Relaxed gases can absorb a relatively large amount of heat, but with increasing density less heat can be stored. If a gas is compressed, it must give off heat. If the compressed gas is expanded again, it can absorb heat again. To check some more interesting things read more here for futher details.

This simple principle is followed by every air conditioner, refrigerator and freezer:

A compressor compresses the refrigerant gas so that heat is extracted from it.
The compressed refrigerant gas produced in this way is conveyed to an evaporator, where it relaxes.
A fan directs the warm room air into the evaporator. There the heat is extracted from the air and transferred to the gas.

Air conditioners: Overview

Air conditioning systems are available in various technical versions. Below you will find an overview of the most important models:

Mobile air conditioners: work with ice, water or refrigerant gas
Permanently installed split air-conditioning systems: work with or without heat pump
Central air conditioning systems: have a similar functional principle to heating systems

Mobile refrigerators

Mobile refrigerators that work with ice are only recommended as a short-term solution. Here there are ice cubes/blocks of ice in a housing, while a fan blows the air cooled by the ice into the room. The integrated fan requires little power, but you need to produce or buy the ice. We therefore recommend this type of refrigerator only for temporary use.

Advantage: low costs
Disadvantage: temporary solution

The modern mobile air conditioning system is operated according to the above principle using refrigerant gas. The small compressor is powered by electricity, so that the mobile air conditioner can be used wherever there is an electricity connection. The heat generated during the compression process is conducted outside via a hose.

Advantages: mobile and easy to put into operation
Disadvantage: Since the hose must lead to the outside via an open window/door, cold air escapes again in this way.

Split air conditioning system without heat pump

A split air conditioner is installed permanently in the room. It consists of an indoor and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit is the compressor. The compressed gas is conveyed to the indoor unit via the air conditioning pipe and passed through the evaporator. The fan conveys the warm air through the evaporator. Here the condensation water is collected and led to the outside via a hose. The air inlet in front of the blower is equipped with fine filters so that no dirt can get into the evaporator.

Advantage: Strong performance virtually at the push of a button

Disadvantage: High maintenance effort, since both the filter and the drain hose for the condensation water must be checked regularly. In addition, an expert must carefully check the gas pressure, as the unit only works perfectly at optimum pressure or gas volume. In addition, the outdoor and indoor units are visibly mounted. The split air conditioning system is therefore not a discreet solution.

Central house air conditioner

In a central air conditioning unit, as the name suggests, the air is cooled or heated centrally. A ventilation system then directs the cool air into the individual rooms. There is a temperature controller in each room. In the case of energy houses, controlled ventilation must be provided anyway, as the building envelope is completely enclosed.

Installation during the shell construction phase is therefore not only relatively simple, but also quite cost-effective. Ideally, you should discuss the possibilities with your trusted installer and possibly an external energy consultant before laying the foundation stone.

Advantages: strong, quasi-automated performance; relatively low operating costs
Disadvantage: The subsequent installation is extremely complex and causes correspondingly high assembly costs.


Inverter air conditioners

The conventional air conditioning system is set to a certain temperature. To reach this temperature, the compressor runs at full load until the temperature sensor measures the temperature. From this moment on, the compressor switches off and only the fan continues to run. If the temperature sensor climbs below the preset limit again, the compressor switches on again – and runs again at full capacity. Since this process is not economical, newer models use inverter technology. The difference primarily concerns the speed control.

In the inverter air-conditioning system, the temperature is measured via an electronic controller and set in relation to the preset temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the speed required for cooling and vice versa. Accordingly, the speed of an inverter device is adapted to these key figures.

The inverter technology reduces material wear and thus helps you to save significantly on energy costs. Compared to conventional technology, the savings are up to 60 percent for the same cooling capacity.

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