There are many varieties of air conditioners on the market. Each of them has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. Before you decide which air conditioner is worth buying, check out their nuances.
In that article, we will talk about the most popular types of air conditioning systems that can be used in different conditions, including domestic ones.
Air conditioners are different: compact and bulky, expensive and cheap, beautiful and hidden behind a suspended ceiling. But all of them have one thing in common — the devices work on a refrigerating agent. And, to be more precise, on freon.
All air conditioners on freon consist of several key components:
The compressor. It is responsible for the compression of the refrigerating agent;
Heat exchangers. They are responsible for the transfer of heat energy from the refrigerant to the room or to the street;
Fans. They are responsible for blowing the heat exchangers;
Filters. Required for air purification;
Electronics. Responsible for managing the operating modes.
These are the main components. Depending on the type of air conditioner and its functionality, other components may be added.
Types of air conditioners
All air conditioners can be divided into household, semi-industrial and industrial. In this article, we will talk only about the first two, and we will devote a separate article to the topic of industrial devices.
Household air conditioners are installed in homes and apartments. They are low-power and energy-efficient. Manufacturers often rely on design, because they understand that a household air conditioner should successfully complement the interior.
Semi-industrial devices can be found in large offices, restaurants, server rooms, fitness clubs, supermarkets, etc. They are designed for long work, sometimes even around the clock. Their power and energy consumption are higher than that of a household air conditioner.
Now let’s take a closer look at the popular varieties of air conditioners in terms of their functionality and scope.
The split system consists of 2 blocks (external and internal), they are connected to each other by means of cables and tubes through which the refrigerating agent circulates.
The external (aka external) block is installed on the facade of the building. Indoor unit is installed indoors and can be controlled by a remote control. On sale are air conditioners with a different form factor of the indoor unit. It can be wall-mounted, floor-ceiling, cassette, , etc.
For example, a popular wall-mounted air conditioner, which can be seen in many apartments — is a split system consisting of a wall-mounted indoor unit and an outdoor unit mounted on the facade.
In offices, restaurants and other non-residential premises, cassette or duct air conditioners are often used, which are installed in the space between the draft and the suspended ceiling.
The split system is a well-proven air conditioner, which is perfect for both home and non-residential premises.
Now you know that a standard split system consists of two blocks. This is not always convenient if you want the air conditioner to be installed in several rooms at once. To solve this problem, you can use a multi-split system.
It consists of one outdoor unit and several indoor units (from 2 to 8). With a single outdoor unit, you can cool the air in several rooms at once. All the blocks are combined into a single system, each component of which can work simultaneously or separately.
Simply put, you can turn on the air conditioner in one room and not turn it on in the other. Or turn on all the indoor units at once, but set a different temperature. However, please note that the simultaneous operation of different units in different modes (for example, one for heating, the other for cooling) is not possible.
Multi-split systems are expected to be more expensive than a conventional split system consisting of only two blocks. These are technically complex devices that require expensive components to operate. Perhaps in the future, manufacturers will find a way to make multi-air conditioners more affordable.
For this reason, such devices are rarely used for commercial purposes. They are too expensive to install and operate. Usually, multisplit systems are purchased by wealthy people to cool the air in their multi-room houses or apartments.
VRV / VRF (aka multi-zone air conditioning system) is one of the most modern types of air conditioning. It was based on a standard multi-split air conditioner, which was significantly improved.
Externally, the VRV / VRF system looks exactly the same. There is one outdoor unit and several indoor units. The key difference from multi-zone conditioners is the ability to connect up to 64 indoor units to a single outdoor unit! Thanks to this device, you can cool the air in dozens of rooms at the same time.
VRV / VRF systems are technically sophisticated air conditioners that operate thanks to built-in automation. It ensures the correct operation of all the system blocks, only occasionally reporting failures. Of course, such a system is very expensive. It is not used in everyday life, but it is used in elite business centers of class «A».
Speaking about other features of VRV / VRF systems, it should be noted their increased noise. It is for this reason that such devices are often installed above the suspended ceiling or hidden in the utility room, so that the noise does not interfere with work.
A few words about the name of that system. This type of air conditioner was invented by the company «Daikin» and called VRV. Over time, other manufacturers also introduced their own variations of this air conditioning system to the market and called it VRF to avoid lawsuits over the use of the name. In general, there is no fundamental difference between VRV and VRF.
The air conditioner of the «monoblock» type is an apparatus consisting of a single unit. In its case, all the main components necessary for stable operation are located. The two most popular types of monoblock air conditioners are window, wall and floor.
They are inexpensive, easy to install and operate, and can be installed in a room with a complete repair. A monoblock can be a real salvation on hot days, if it is forbidden to install a conventional split system with an outdoor unit in your home or office.
But why, with all the advantages, do buyers prefer split systems? Monoblocks are an obsolete type of air conditioning. In the past decades, they were widely used in homes and offices, but sometimes their shortcomings are too critical for comfortable operation. If you have the opportunity to install a split or any other air conditioning system, take advantage of this.
Precision air conditioners
The precision air conditioner is designed for year-round cooling, heating and ventilation in large server rooms. This is a specific type of air conditioning, which is most often used in server rooms. These devices are able to work smoothly around the clock, and even with this rhythm of use, their service life is 15-20 years.
Precision air conditioners provide the right microclimate in large server rooms, are able to work for a long time without failures, regardless of the temperature and humidity outside the window, are often equipped with a remote control, are simply installed in an existing ventilation system and emit a small noise level.
Now you know what air conditioners exist, and what are their key features. We talked about the most popular types of air conditioning systems. Of course, there are other devices, but we will talk about them in the following articles. Good luck!