How does Air Conditioning actually work?

How does AC actually work?

An air conditioner removes heat from an area as well as dehumidifies it.  The cooling itself happens through a refrigeration cycle where coolant (water or gylcol) soaks up heat in the space you want cooled as it turns to a gas, then travels through pipes back to the air conditioning unit itself.  There, the coolant is compressed from a hot gas back to its normal liquid state, expelling the heat outside the area you want cooled.  The coolant then travels back inside the building, absorbing more heat and once again turning into a gas in the process.

Why are AC units measured in tons?

Tonnage in AC units doesn’t refer to the weight of the unit itself, but rather it cooling potential.  Every ton designates 1 ton of water that it can cool by 1 degree every hour.  Thus a 1 ton unit can cool 12,000 pounds of water by one degree every hour and a 2 ton unit can do 24,000 pounds.  Another term for this is BTU… British Thermal Unit.  That same 2 ton unit could also be called a 24,000 BTU capacity unit.

 

Basic AC Diagram

Now you can not only impress your friends with this fun information, but also know the basics of the gear we are setting up to cool your event!

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