Air conditioning is amazing technology that has made it possible for people to live comfortably in the southern states. It works by passing warm air over an evaporator coil filled with cool refrigerant. The air is cooled and condensed, and the condensation is collected and drained outside. Cooler air is expelled into the room via a fan, and the temperature of the room goes down.
Before air conditioning, homeowners had to rely on ventilation to cool a room, and usually on wood stoves or other sources of fire to warm a room. The first modern heaters were water based, in which water was heated in a central location and circulated throughout the system to warm different rooms or parts of a home. Ventilation was accomplished by fans, pushing warm air out of a room and drawing fresh, cool air in.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are usually combined in HVAC units. HVAC has been the reigning technology in indoor climate control essentially since it was invented. Recently, however, as researchers and developers have been exploring ways of decreasing energy use, HVAC technology has begun to progress at a rapid rate.
There have been many improvements to HVAC systems since their beginning, such as substituting forced air systems for water heating to make heating more energy efficient. Some of the most recent HVAC technologies have been listed here:
– Heat recovery systems: In a normal HVAC unit, heat is extracted from warm air into the evaporator coils, which runs the refrigerant outside to where it is cooled again by a fan. In a heat recovery system, the warmed refrigerant is instead used to heat water, so your home can have warm water and cool air by virtue of the same system.
– Residential zoning systems: The installation of this system is very simple, requiring only that dampers be placed into the air ducts between rooms. Zoning systems allow for rooms to be cooled or heated separately as needed, depending upon whether or not those rooms are in use.
– Nest learning thermostat: New technology in thermostats allow homeowners to remotely set their thermostats to specific temperatures, letting them change the temperature when at home or away. The thermostat will even learn routines, calibrating itself to when the house is empty or inhabited.
– Passive dehumidification: In this system, the air is passed over three coils filled with refrigerant. The first step in the system is exactly as in a normal air conditioning unit: the warm air is passed over a coil filled with cooled refrigerant, the air condenses and cools, and the condensation is collected and drained. The now warm refrigerant is kept, however, and moved to the third coil in the system. The cool and condensed air is passed over the second coil, filled with super cooled refrigerant. Air becomes very dry, but far too cold. The warmed refrigerant from the first step is used to warm the air back to the desired temperature; since the air is so much drier at this point, the thermostat can be set to a higher temperature.