Sun God is now showering heat blessing over the hemisphere and the air-conditioning companies are happily selling air-conditioning units. Various marketing schemes running all over the earth to push sell instant chilling machine. It is our bad luck that global temperature also increasing. Whether we can conclude that Sun God love the air-conditioning companies is completely different topic! We simply need some practical information around them. In our previously published articles, we discussed about Data Center Cooling and Server Cooling and Free Cooling Methods for Data Centers. Unless one is having such bigger need of cooling, the path to cooling is towards home appliance shop. Any developer, DIY enthusiasts need some sort of cooling of their heads for working with computers or development boards. Here is a Comprehensive Article on Split AC Versus Window AC For Computer Room Cooling Explaining the Technical Differences and Practical Aspects. Our context of discussion of this article is limited to consumer grade air-conditioning systems. Essentially any home user can follow our this guide to understand the matters.
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Basics of Split AC Versus Window AC
Most of the consumers possibly face tricky misleading information of energy efficiency, beautiful look, noiseless operation etcetera by virtue of advertisements. Split AC and Window AC has no difference in basic technology and from that perspective there can not be any preferred choice between them. Both split AC and window AC can be equally efficient. EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio represents the amount of cooling an air conditioner can provide per watt of electricity it supposed to consume which is expressed as star rating. Higher the EER of air conditioner, higher will be the star rating and lower will be electricity wasted for a given amount of cooling.
Both split and window can have high EER ratios like 5 star, 3 star rating. The basic difference between Split AC Versus Window AC is that, Windows AC has a single unit whereas Split AC has 2 units. The cost increases because of complexity in manufacturing two units in case of Split AC. Split AC may be highly complicated to install and failure of proper installation may result in actual lower Energy Efficiency Ratio aka star rating. Star rating for Split AC is for ideal installations.
Split AC Versus Window AC : Technical Matter
The principal behind all true air conditioners are similar regardless of the fact whether it is a full size home AC, a Split AC, or a Window AC. They rely on compressing refrigerants and transferring heat from one heat exchanger to another. In case of window AC, the total matter takes place inside one unit with the hot and cold heat exchangers both packaged inside the same unit. In case of Split and whole home ACs, these two heat exchangers are separate. One is placed indoors while the other is outside the house to transfer indoor heat to the outside air.
Heat naturally tries to flow in the cooler to hotter direction. We need work to achieve the opposite action of heat. In one refrigeration cycle, heat is transported from a colder to hotter area using energy. In general, the circulating refrigerant vapor enters the compressor. Pressure and temperature of refrigerant increased at which it can be condensed. Then, it is routed through a condenser where it is cooled by air flowing across the condenser coils and condensed into a liquid. In this way, the circulating refrigerant removes heat and the heat is essentially carried by the air. On bigger outdoor units, pumps pour water over the condenser coils making it much cooler to efficiently cool. The condensed, pressurized somewhat hot refrigerant is routed through an expansion valve, which is a pinhole, where it undergoes an abrupt reduction in pressure. That pressure reduction results in flash evaporation, lowering its temperature. A blower sucks the interior warm air across the evaporator, causing the liquid part of the cold refrigerant mixture to evaporate to further lowering the temperature. To complete the cycle, the refrigerant vapor is routed back into the compressor.
Modern air conditioning systems does not draw outside air into the room but only recirculate the cool air of inside. As this air have some amount of moisture, the cooling portion of the process causes ambient warm water vapor to condense on the cooling coils and to drip at the bottom of the unit as water.
In an inverter AC, the frequency of the AC current is made to vary using an inverter and in that way the speed of the compressor is controlled. If the compressor is running at full speed (like in all non-inverter ACs), the coolant is circulated inside the coils will be at a faster rate and that will always draw the same amount of power making total emergency consumption higher. When the desired temperature level is achieved, inverter AC doesn’t turn off the compressor. It reduces the frequency of the input to the compressor and reduces the speed of the compressor to maintaining the desired coolant flow rate to maintain the set room temperature. Normally at this time the compressor takes only 50% input power compared to a non-inverter AC.
Split AC Versus Window AC : Practical Considerations
Split ACs are wall mounted units in indoor, great for large room space or if there are no way to install Window AC in the room. It cools the room practically instantly. A split AC might cost twice as Windows AC. Installing a Split AC requires more cost than a Window AC. Split AC does not produce noise, while the Window AC produce noise as they function practically kind of immediately beside the room.
Window AC usually needs more frequent servicing than Split AC for cleaning the interior. In general, life span of Window AC greatly reduced out of corrosions out of water droplets.
Every 1 ton of cooling power (commonly known as heat removed by a 1 ton AC in one hour) is also expressed as 3500 watts. Hence 1.5 ton AC will be rated at least 5275 Watts. If 5 star Split AC with 1.5 tons cooling capacity is rated for 1507 watts it will consume 1507 watts per hour. 1000 watts per hour is one unit of power consumed. Thus the AC will consume 1.507 units per hour. In real life usage AC compressor will run for only 70 percent of time normally. But, since most are seen using AC at 4 degree Celsius above recommended Temperature the compressor will run 80 percent of the time. Thus on average AC will consume 1205 Watts. The electricity it will consume 1.205 Units in an Hour. Assuming eight hours usage per day it will consume 9.64 units per day. Thus AC power consumption in a month (30 days) will be 290 units. In case of inverter AC, it will go towards near 75% of that bill (not 50% as there is wastage of electricity as heat for involving more complexity).
For effective energy efficiency, cooling efficiency and electrical safety, hire an experienced engineer for your project of room cooling and make the technician work under his supervision. Only depending on technician for installing Split AC may result in unexpected lower cooling or higher expenditure on long run.
Inverter AC save energy but under certain circumstances. The biggest drawback of inverters is that it has complex microprocessor circuitry inside the outdoor unit to control the compressor motor speed. The chances are that the circuitry will corrode and it will cost a lot to repair it. Inverter ACs wont seen to be lasting more than 6-7 years and if in between there is even a minor problem in the circuitry it will cost you a lot which will nullify the energy saving advantages.
We recommend normal cheap 5 star rated Window AC for increased cost effectiveness and reducing complexity wherever practical. As you can see, a Split AC costs near double than a Window AC, then after selecting Split AC, you’ll tend towards Inverter AC (which costs double than normal Split AC), then that Inverter Split AC will need minimum 6-7 hours run every day to give you cost effectiveness and die after 7 years. 7 years in case you are lucky, if you are unlucky then the microprocessor may get blown away far before. Installing Split AC is complicated and site better to get evaluated by an engineer. Unless you are playing something like South African Online Casino to easily make quick cash for home cooling project, Split AC actually not great for the poor developers.
Always turn off AC where probability of increasing dust particle increases – like you are finding something from cabinet full of dust. Also, turn off AC during heavy usage of some heating source (old style soldering iron actually produce lot of heat).