Air Conditioner

Mini-split Air Conditioner indoor unit
Mini split AC evaporator


Air Conditioner is the machine for lowering room temperature. The room can be in a building or car. Air conditioner and refrigerator have one working principle in common. It is the refrigerant cycle.

An air conditioner is also called AC, A/C, or ac.

Although air conditioner inventor’s original purpose was to lower the temperature of a given area, design-work incorporated in it a mechanism that does the reverse – heats the room.

A technology in a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system is an example that does the reverse of the refrigerant cycle. When a special valve activates, the AC  absorbs heat from the outside environment and transfers it to the room.

Another technology in AC has electric heater or element inside the AC that generates heat, which a fan blows to the conditioned room. But in instances where the element doesn’t produce sufficient heating, you can install a separate furnace.

A furnace is a dedicated machine for generating heat. It’s either a separate stand-alone installation or it’s part of the main AC unit. If it’s included in the main AC system, the AC’s air handler fan pushes the heat it produces to the room via the same AC duct line.

Since the invention of AC by Willis H. Carrier in 1902, AC design has evolved to suit different applications: House Air Conditioning, and Vehicle Air Conditioning.

House air conditioning designs are divided into Central air conditioners, Packaged air conditioners, Split type air conditioners, and Window type air conditioners. Specific applications determine what designers come up with. Meaning a mini-split AC would be a practical installation for a 150 square feet room instead of a central air conditioner with a duct line.

Automobile air conditioning application work in small cars, commercial trucks, and refrigerated containers.

Refrigeration industry measure Air Conditioner’s size, or capacity to cool in Ton, or British Thermal Unit (BTU).

In the early years of refrigeration, before the invention of household refrigerators, towns had central ice stores where residents bought ice to use at home. Vendors measured cooling capacity by how much cooling a ton of ice did.

Refrigeration industry later borrowed the term “ton.” And the British standardized “one ton” to 12,000 British Thermal Unit (BTU). You can see your AC’s capacity displayed in ton or BTU on the condensing unit or evaporator unit.

Global climate is fast changing to the extreme; high temperatures during hot seasons are getting more intense, and winter temperatures are causing much discomfort. This is fast making air conditioner a necessity. And if you don’t own a home or office AC yet, chances are you would in the near future.

You need to have basic information about the process of buying your home or office AC. This can enable you to make informed decision prior to a purchase. But if you already have one at home or at the office, you should learn basic maintenance tips and DIY to escape avoidable service disruption. You can also save on tangible bucks unnecessarily payable to a call technician, and empower yourself to defeat repair scams.

Air conditioning equipment is like any other machine that needs simple regular DIY maintenance to prolong its life and avoid a major breakdown. You need to know which parts require regular dusting, tightening of loose nuts, and general cleaning. Such maintenance is also good for car air conditioners to avoid inefficiency and respiratory side effects.