- WHAT IS AIRCON?
Air conditioning (AC) is a technology which lowers the air temperature by cooling it down and removing moisture from the air. In most cases, electricity is used as the main power source to achieve this effect, but new technologies make use of solar or external heat sources such as geothermal or bioenergy. Aircon can be sometimes referred to as a comfort conditioner in certain regions.
- HOW DOES AN AC WORK?
There are 2 types of ac systems:
• “Split” systems that have one outdoor unit and several indoor units
• “Packaged” systems that have one outdoor unit with a single indoor unit
In both types, refrigerant gas is pushed through a coil and condenser unit inside the outdoor unit. This coil and condenser is cooled by a fan that blows air across it. The refrigerant contracts in volume as its temperature lowers, causing pressure to build up in the system. The higher pressure pushes the refrigerant through a copper tube within a smaller diameter pipe which leads to an indoor unit or several indoor units. Another fan at this point compresses the gas further and removes moisture from it before pushing it through another coil where expansion occurs, cooling down this section of tubing even more. And so on throughout the entire system for maximum cooling effect.
- HOW MUCH ENERGY DOES AC USE?
Split systems will have one outdoor unit and many indoor units whereas packaged systems will have one outdoor unit with only one indoor unit.
• As an example, a packaged system with an EER of 12 typically uses 0.12 kWh/h at rated load of 12000 BTU/h
• A split system with 54000 BTU/h outdoor unit and EER of 9 will use the following:
o Outdoor Unit of 54000 BTUs uses 1.34 kW when on auxiliary mode, 0.98 kW on heating mode, 0.80 kW on cooling mode, using 4KWh on average per hour in winter months
o Indoor units can range from 18 to 25W depending on size for heating or cooling function only requiring 2KWh on average per hour in winter months for all auxiliary functions combined (heating+cooling).
- HOW DOES AC IMPROVE COMFORT?
Comfort can be described as a condition of mind, which is impacted by many factors including temperature, humidity, air movement and quality. Air conditioning helps to improve this condition in home or office environments by maintaining temperature close to the preferred level of around 22 with low humidity levels thus delivering on the 4Cs principle of comfort.
- WHAT ARE SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AC?
There are several myths regarding ac systems that have no basis in reality or science. They include:
• “Aircon increases humidity” – this has been proven false through studies conducted both indoors and outdoors where no significant increase was recorded after installation of an ac system
• “Using less energy means it’s cheaper to run” – ac systems use energy in order to maintain the desired conditions inside a building; therefore, using less energy will mean that indoor temperatures can drop below set point. This may result in discomfort and actually increase the cost of running the system
• “ACs are unhealthy” – there is no scientific evidence providing data supporting this myth.
- HOW MUCH DOES AN AIRCON SYSTEM COST?
The financial cost of installing an ac system depends on several factors including size/capacity/BTU rating, manufacturer, dealer or online store purchasing from, installation costs etc. While smaller systems can be bought in the range of $300 to $800 for split systems and $400 to $1000 for packaged ones, large ac systems with high BTU ratings may set you back by $4000 and above.
- SHOULD I BUY AN AC SYSTEM?
Whether to buy or not to buy an ac system depends on many factors such as cost, size of the building, average temperature outside etc. If you do not want to deal with fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels inside your home or workplace throughout the year then it is best to invest in a quality air conditioning system that is suited for your particular needs. It is advisable to consider professional installation from a dealer certified by major manufacturers such as Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic etc., for optimal performance and energy efficiency.