How would we ever survive the heat without an air conditioner? It’s hard to imagine life without air conditioning. It’s just plain hard to even think in the heat. We don’t think twice before we flip on the AC in the car or house. Except when the electric bill arrives putting everything back on the boil. But we need cool air to function in hot summer months. We rely on air conditioners to suck hot air out of our homes and blow cool air on our faces. AC units cool down our homes and workplace and our cars and trucks. So, how can we not be thankful for the invention of the air conditioner?
The basic idea behind air conditioning is evaporation. When a liquid such as water or alcohol evaporates off the skin it feels cool, especially if accompanied by a breeze across the skin. An air conditioner works similarly. It evaporates a liquid inside a set of metal coils kept cold by the liquid’s chemical components such as Freon. A fan blows air across the cold coils. The blown air “conditions” and cools down your house and you too. When it evaporates it turns liquid into a gas. An air compressor then kicks in to squeeze that gas right back into a liquid for reuse.
But, there’s more. The coils in the back yard (if you have central air) get hot with all of this recycling of liquid to gas. So the air conditioner fan outside in the back yard blows the heat off the liquid causing the liquid to go back inside the house to evaporate and cool you down again. This cycle is continuous while the thermostat controls are set to cool.
Once a luxury item for the rich, air conditioner technology has increased efficiency and made them extremely affordable. Now they come in all shapes, sizes and price tags. There are air conditioners window units. These AC units fit easily into a double sash window or casement. There are air conditioner wall units. Air conditioners that are free standing are portable. Then of course there’s the Grand Daddy of them all central air.
Installing a room air conditioner in a window or a wall can provide maximum flexibility and control for that room. But, cooling multiple rooms with multiple units is generally more expensive than installing a central air conditioner.
Air conditioning units these days have precise electronic controls with digital temperature readouts that have replaced old style settings. Many air conditioner units have a higher Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) than the federal government requires. If you’re in the market for an air conditioner, look for an Energy Star rated model. It will cost a lot less to run.
Regularly clean and maintain your air conditioner free of dust, dirt and debris and you will not only extend the life of your appliance but remain well-cooled with a lower electric bill. An air conditioner that has to work twice as hard to blow air through dirty coils and grates is expensive. You will relish the hot summer months with your air conditioner blowing cool refreshing air – whatever make or model you choose.