What is central air conditioning system? A central air conditioning system is the most common cooling system among different types of cooling systems. Its components are placed at a centralized place, typically on the roof or sometimes in the basement. Usually, we use centralized AC for large-sized houses or commercial purposes.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current AC unit or planning to install one for the first time, it’s essential to understand things about central AC systems.
What is Central Air Conditioning?
Central air conditioning is a system in which equipment and machinery components are located at a central place. While ducts and vents distribute the conditioned air to different rooms, these systems can provide comfort throughout your entire house for cooling and heating purposes.
In addition to cooling the room, this kind of AC system also filters out dirt from the air entering your home. It is an additional feature that you can find in some AC systems.
A central air conditioning’s primary components are:
- Refrigerant lines: This runs through your house’s heating/cooling vents to transport the refrigerant.
- Condenser coils: As the refrigerant flows through the coils, it absorbs heat from your home. It changes refrigerant gas into a liquid form.
- Evaporator coils: You can find these inside your central air conditioning system. The evaporator coils absorb heat from the room and emit cold air by turning liquid gas into vapour through compression.
- Compressor: This runs by electricity or gas to supply the right amount of refrigerant needed for the system.
- Receiver: The receiver may look like a small metallic box, and it typically rests on top of the condensing unit, which means its most common location would be on your roof. It’s a storage tank for the water and Freon.
- Ducts: This part of the AC system captures cooled air inside the house and distributes it to different vents.
- Thermostat: This is a device that controls the temperature inside your home.
How Does a Central Air Conditioner Work?
Central air conditioners work by the same principle as a regular AC unit. However, instead of having one system in your home or office, you have a central AC system with multiple components located at a centralized place.
Refrigerant is a chemical solution that converts liquid into a gas at low temperatures. The refrigerant circulates through the air conditioner, absorbing heat from the house and then transporting it outside continuously.
- The evaporator coil pumps the cold refrigerant. A fan blows air through the evaporator coil, and the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air to cool it down. The air ducts disperse the cooled air throughout your house.
- Hot, low-pressure refrigerant vapour travels into the compressor, which is connected to the condenser coils. The hot vapours are further compressed into a high-pressure liquid, which changes its state from liquid to gas into a high-pressure vapour.
- Hot, high-pressure refrigerant vapour travels into the condenser. A fan blows on it, cooling down the gas and turning them into a low-pressure vapour. The refrigerant then changes its state from gas to liquid to a low-pressure liquid.
- The liquid refrigerant moves to the expansion valve, which controls the refrigerant liquid’s pressure. This liquid goes to the evaporator coils, where a fan blows it through and absorbs heat. This liquid refrigerant changes its state from low-pressure liquid to high-pressure gas, which begins the cooling cycle again.
What are The Advantages of Central Air Conditioning Systems?
Centralized AC systems offer many advantages over regular window units. There are also other benefits such as:
Better Air Quality
Central AC systems have more powerful filters that distribute clean air throughout your whole house. It means your entire family can breathe clean, fresh air every time you turn on the unit. In addition to filtering dust, pollen, and pet dander from the outside, you will also experience a cooling breeze of clean air inside your room.
Since the system has a higher capacity for cooling and heating, it circulates tremendous amounts of cool or hot air faster than regular window units.
Central AC systems are much quieter than window units, which tend to have many moving parts. Centralized AC systems have much less vibration because their motors are located outside your home, away from the system itself. Window units typically have motors that vibrate against windows during operation, which makes them noisier. You can enjoy a quiet night while the system is running.
Central AC systems have a higher energy efficiency rate compared to regular window units. Their larger capacity for cooling and heating allows them to maintain optimum indoor temperatures without making too much noise or consuming too much power. It means you will save on utility bills when using central AC systems instead of window units.
Large, centralized AC systems have a much easier time maintaining optimal energy efficiency and cooling or heating your home because they have a larger capacity to cool the air in your house. In addition, you will spend less time cleaning these units because you can find their motors outside your home, unlike window units which have motors inside the unit itself.
Central AC systems ensure that the temperature in every room of your house is at a comfortable level. In addition to providing various cooling modes, you can also adjust the temperature from each room because centralized AC systems have multiple thermostats installed throughout your home.
It means that whether you are in your living room, dining area, or bedroom, you will always be able to control the temperature and airflow your unit provides. With window units, however, there is usually only one thermostat in the system itself.
Split or Packaged: Which Central AC System is Better?
A packaged or split central air conditioning system has an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor air-handling unit for your home.
Packaged Central Air Conditioning Systems
This type of system is the most common because it requires less installation time, costs less to purchase, and may be better for smaller homes. The units are typically installed outside near where your furnace resides. It means that you do not have to run more extended ductwork into your house, saving money on installation costs.
However, since the condenser is outside your house, it can also be more difficult to service when the time comes. What’s more, if you want a wall-mounted thermostat inside instead of a handheld one, this option might not work for you.
Split System Central Air Conditioning Systems
Split systems are more expensive to purchase initially, but they provide a more quiet and even airflow throughout your home. Installers place the unit’s compressor outside your home while the air handler is inside. The benefit of this system is that you will not have a condenser running out in your yard near where you will be grilling and having fun with family and friends on those hot days.
In addition, it may reduce noise from regular window units because the compressor is outside the house. Also, you can control the temperature from different locations inside or outside your home since there are multiple thermostats installed in these systems, which regular window units do not have. In contrast to packaged central AC systems, however, this option might be more difficult to service when the time comes.
What is Central Air Conditioning System – Conclusion
Central AC systems tend to be the best option for homeowners because of their larger cooling capacity, more accessible maintenance characteristics, and consistent temperatures throughout your home. However, it would be best to consider the initial cost of installation and potential repairs or service visits in the future when deciding which type to purchase.