As big and bulky as it may be, the air conditioner is a fairly simple appliance that cools warm air using a refrigeration cycle. Like most major inventions, there were dozens of people who contributed to its development, including famous names like Benjamin Franklin and Michael Faraday. The first modern electrical air conditioning system was created by Willis Carrier in 1902. |
Where Are We Now?
According to a recent estimate, around 85 percent of American homes now have some form of air conditioning. The device has become so familiar to us that we have come to expect the sound of cool air blowing through a vent when we go to the grocery store, the library, or even to the movies - when it's hot out, of course. But that does not necessarily mean we take it for granted. When the National Academy of Engineering released their list of the 20 greatest engineering accomplishments of the last century a few years ago, AC made the grade. In fact, it beat out more high-profile entries like the spacecraft and even the Internet!
Types Of AC Units
The device hasn't changed all that much since its introduction. Sure, the average unit is much smaller and more efficient than its predecessors, but it relies on the same technology. Because they are affordable, window and wall units remain the most popular types of AC, especially in cities. You can see them jutting out of the windows of apartment buildings in any urban area. In the suburbs, however, homeowners have been transitioning to a relatively new system called central air. What is it?
Rather than relying on window or wall units to cool each room, these systems are powered by outdoor units that pump cold O2 through ducts to whichever rooms in the home requires cooling. Although more expensive to install, central systems are far more convenient and should save homeowners money over time.
Air Conditioning Filters
No matter what type of AC system you own, they all include air filters. As you might expect, the job of a filter is to remove impurities, allergens, and pollutants from the outside O2 before it is cooled and pumped into the home. Most AC units are sold with disposable filters that are made of cardboard and fiberglass. Once they get clogged up with dirt and dust, they must be discarded and replaced with new ones. Although they are more expensive, permanent AC filters will save you money in only about a year. How do we know?
The more you run your unit, the dirtier its filter will get. According to most HVAC professionals, it should be cleaned or replaced every one to three months. If you heed that sage advice, the money you waste on disposable versions could pay for a new permanent one in about a year. Made of durable materials like aluminum and steel, these parts should last for several years. Relatively easy to clean, permanent filters trap about ten times as much dust, dirt, and debris as their disposable peers.
One of the most exciting things to happen to AC is quite some time, permanent filters can save you time and money on home maintenance.
When considering air conditioning, Orange County residents visit Larson's Heating & Cooling, Inc. Learn more at http://www.larsonsheating.com/cooling/.
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