The business you run performs vital work. Your products or services solve problems for your many customers, so it’s essential that your employees are always comfortable enough to do their best work. For that reason, many commercial business owners in California make a point of investing in high-quality air conditioners for their offices, shops, factories, and other facilities. However, business owners without a thorough understanding of air conditioning technology can sometimes feel at a loss for how to choose the right system or hire the right professionals to install it. After all, when you’re investing in any piece of equipment for your company, don’t you want to make sure you obtain the best value for your hard-earned money? Learning how an air conditioner works can provide you with the information you need to choose superior products and installers.
In the following guide, we’ll detail the air conditioning process so that you can understand what the essential components of your system are and learn how to safeguard them against common errors and malfunctions. By the time you’ve finished the following paragraphs, you should have at least a basic understanding of how commercial air conditioning works and be comfortable enough with your knowledge to seek out a high-quality system for your workplace.
The Basics of AC: How an Air Conditioner Works
Air conditioning takes advantage of the heat absorption process that naturally takes place when liquids undergo changes in states and become gases. If that sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry: all you need to know is that when liquid becomes gas, it takes heat from the air that surrounds it. As a result, the temperature of that air drops. In air conditioning, the liquid that goes through this change is called refrigerant, and it flows throughout your system in a closed circuit. Refrigerants differ from many other fluids in that their states can be changed relatively quickly. As such, they require the system to use less energy than it would need to convert other substances back and forth between states.
Refrigerant begins in your system as a gas with relatively low temperature and pressure. It is then sucked into the compressor, where pressure is applied. As the gas is compressed, its temperature increases, sucking heat from the air inside your home. The refrigerant then leaves the compressor and travels to the condenser, housed in the system’s outdoor unit. The condenser allows the coolant to release the heat it’s holding into the outside air, efficiently transferring the heat outside. As this happens, the coolant cools down and becomes a liquid.
The liquid is still at a reasonably high pressure at this point, so it passes through the expansion valve. The expansion valve limits the amount of liquid that can flow through it at a given time, which brings the pressure of the refrigerant down. After this process, the liquid refrigerant moves into the evaporator, where it can absorb heat from inside the home until it becomes a gas once again. The entire cycle then repeats itself and continues to do provided the air conditioner is running.
Understanding Air Conditioning Considerations for Commercial Spaces
The primary difference between most commercial systems and their domestic counterparts is that commercial air conditioners must cool much larger spaces. Doing so requires more power and a method that provides broader coverage. As such, you will need to ensure that there is sufficient room in your facility for a suitable network of ducts. You may also require multiple thermostats on different walls of your building so that you can localize temperature control in various areas throughout the space.
Perhaps the most important aspect of successful commercial air conditioning is to ensure that the system is sized correctly before installation. Sizing should always be a priority for those about to buy an HVAC, but when you are investing in a commercial system, it is even more critical. Your system must provide the proper BTU for your space so that it doesn’t short-cycle and wear out prematurely or draw an excessive and unnecessary amount of power, driving up your utility bills. To ensure that your system is sized correctly, hire an HVAC service company with a long history of performing successful commercial installations for clients. Look for testimonials and online reviews from other customers, and make sure that your contractor has the appropriate license to deliver the services they are advertising. Remember that any HVAC work costing more than $500 in the state of California is required to be done by a professional who holds their C-20 from the California State Licensing Board.
Purchasing a commercial air conditioner for your space can be an excellent investment, but you should know how an air conditioner works before you do. Use this guide as your starting point and continue seeking the knowledge that will ensure your comfort whenever you deal with air conditioning professionals.