What Is Air Conditioning?
When you imagine an air-conditioned room, you can immediately feel the coolness on your skin by simply picturing it. That’s because an air conditioner literally transforms the air inside space and makes it cooler and much more comfortable.
Everybody knows that heat rises, but what if all the air is hot? What if the temperature inside your home, office or building is just plain roasting? You could get a fan or a swamp cooler, both of which are designed to move air around and assist in its circulation. They definitely help and are better than nothing at all, but it is ideal to actually cool the existing air. That’s where an air conditioner steps in.
It can be an entire HVAC system throughout your house, or simply a window unit, but an air conditioner is essentially a system for controlling the temperature and humidity in a room or building. The machine – whatever size it is – draws the warm or hot air in, and its condenser removes the heat. Via its refrigeration cycle, the air conditioner then cycles the cool air back into space, quickly and efficiently chilling the room.
Types of AC Units
There are many different types and sizes of air conditioning units available in today’s marketplace. You don’t need to hire a whole fleet of HVAC specialists anymore unless, of course, you want to! Read on to learn how you could get AC in your space, from smallest to largest. Check Five Star Air Conditioning to get a free consultation.
Classic “Window Unit” AC
- You’ve seen them a hundred times, both from the inside and outside of a window frame. It’s a small metal box with grating on one side and knobs on the other, and it’s held in the space of an open window with accordion-like extendable wings. You simply set it up in a stable manner, plug it in, and voila! Cool air is pumping into your living room.
- Each unit comes with a recommended square footage allotment, meaning it will efficiently cool a room with those size parameters. Be sure to measure your space and have accurate square footage in mind before you purchase any machine. You also need to have the appropriate ventilation in the targeted room. The air conditioner can get quite warm and cannot be placed on the floor. Additionally, it needs to pump the unused, hotter air out into an open space, so a window is essential.
Mobile AC Unit
- Moving up size-wise, they also sell a variety of “mobile” air conditioning units. The mobile is in quotation marks here because this machine has a limited range of movement and still requires a window. While technically mobile, you can’t shuffle it from floor to floor or even from room to room without a little dismantling and re-setting up.
- Instead of placing the air conditioner in the window frame itself, only the ducting hose will go in the open window area, along with a plate that fits into the open window space and blocks bugs or critters from entering. The cooling unit is on wheels and is generally the size of a window unit, or perhaps a bit larger since it usually has greater cooling abilities. There is a cord that allows for 5-15 feet range of mobility for this air conditioner depending on the brand you buy.
- This is where the professionals come in. An HVAC system is basically a building-wide air conditioner that is built into the walls of your home by way of extensive ductwork and hosing systems. While it allows you to specify your desired temp with the push of a button and eliminates any bulky or unsightly window/mobile units, it also comes with a much steeper price tag, and upkeep will usually require a maintenance call.
So, What Type of AC is Right For You?
A basic first step is to assess and measure your space. What is the square footage of the room you are trying to cool? Are there any irregular aspects to the area, such as a doorway or a corner? Bear in mind that if the cool air has to go through a door or turn or corner, it’s going to take a little more effort.
Next, consider how long you are planning to stay in your space. Is this a rental office or house? In that case, you might want to invest in something removable so you can take it with you when you leave. Or do you own this building? In that case, think about your climate and overall needs, because maybe an entire HVAC system might be your smartest play.
Finally, ask yourself: What is my budget? Perhaps at this time, you don’t have the funds to lay out for an air conditioning system, and you could easily make do with a unit or two in the most popular rooms of your house. Remember, “budget” also includes your energy bill. Before you just crank your new AC for weeks on end and bask in the cool icy air, try a sample period and monitor your energy bill and overall usage. You might have saved some money on a small air conditioner, but if your utility bills triple, you will be sorry!
Whatever your choice, spend some time reading the online reviews before making a final purchase. People who have bought your exact machine have taken the time to review and rate it, and these can be super helpful when making an investment in an air conditioner. You can go in with your eyes open, confident that you’ve made the smartest move for your building.