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Air conditio ner

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A typical home air conditioning unit.An air conditioner (often referred to as AC

) is ahome appliance,syste mor mechanism designed to dehumidify and extractheatfrom an area. The cooling is done using a

simplerefrigerati on cycle. Inconstruction, a complete system of heating,ventilati onand air conditioning is referred to as

"HVAC". Its purpose, in abuildingor anautomobile, is toprovide comfort during either hot or coldweather .

Contents

[hide]

1 History

2 Air conditioning applications

3 Air conditioning system

basics and theo ries


o

3.1 Refrigeratio n cycle 3.1.1 Humidity 3.1.2 Refrigera nts


3.2 Reversecycle

4 Types of air conditioner equipment


o

4.1 Window and throughwall units


o

4.2 Evaporativ e coolers


o

4.3 Absorptive chillers


o

4.4 Portable air conditioners 4.4.1 Single hosed units

4.4.2 Dual hosed units 4.4.3 Split units 4.4.4 Heat and cool units

4.5 Centr al air conditioning

4.5.1 Mini (small) duct, high velocity

5 Thermostats

6 Equipment c apacity
o

6.1 Seasonal energy

efficiency ratio (SEER)

7 Insulation

8 Home air conditioning systems around the wor ld

9 See also

10 References

11 External links

[edit] History
Main article:Air conditioning#Hi storyIn

1758,Benjamin Franklinand John Hadley, professor of chemistry at CambridgeUniv ersity, conducted an experiment to

explore the principle of evaporation as a means torapidly cool an object. Franklin and Hadley confirmed that

evaporation of highly volatileliquids such as alcohol and ether could be used to drive down the temperature of anobject past

the freezing point of water. They conducted their experiment with the bulb of a mercury thermometer as their object and with a

bellows used to "quicken" theev aporation; they lowered the temperature of the thermometer bulb to 7 F (14 C)while

the ambient temperature was 65 F (18 C). Franklin noted that soon after theypassed the freezing point of water (32F) a

thin film of ice formed on the surface of thethermometer 's bulb and that the ice mass was about a quarter inch thick when

theystopped the experiment upon reaching 7 F (14 C). Franklin concluded, "From thisexperiment, one may see

the possibility of freezing a man to death on a warm summer'sday".


[1]

In 1820,Britishscie ntist andinventor Mi

chael Far adaydiscov ered that compressing andliquefyinga mmoniacould chill air when the liquefied ammonia was

allowed toevaporate. In 1842, Florida physicianJohn Gorrieused compressor technology to createice, which he used to cool

air for his patients in his hospital inApalachicola, Florida.


[2]

He hoped eventually to use his icemaking

machine to regulate the temperature of buildings. He even envisioned centralized air conditioning that could

cool entire cities.Though his prototype leaked and performed irregularly, Gorrie was granted a patent in1851

for his icemaking machine. His hopes for its success vanished soon afterward whenhis chief financial backer

died; Gorrie did not get the money he needed to develop themachine. According to his biographer Vivi an M.

Sherlock , he blamed the "Ice King",Frederic Tudor , for his failure, suspecting that Tudor had launched asmear

campaign again st his invention. Dr. Gorrie died impoverished in 1855 and the idea of air conditioning faded away for 50 years

Early commercial applications of air conditioning were manufactured t o cool air

for industrial processing rather than personal comfort. In 1902 the first modern electrical air conditioning

wasinventedby Willis Carrier in Syracuse, New York. Designed toimprove manufacturing process control in a printing plant, his

invention controlled notonlytemperat urebut alsohumidity. The low heat and humidity were to help maintainconsist

ent paper dimensions and ink alignment. Later Carrier's technology was applied toincrease productivity in

the workplace, andThe Carrier Air ConditioningCo mpany of Americawas formed to meet rising demand. Over time air

conditioning came to be usedto improve comfort in homes andautomobiles . Residential sales expanded dramaticallyin

the 1950s.In 1906,Stuart W. Cramer of Charl otte, North Carolina, was exploring ways to addmoisture to the air in his textile mill.

Cramer coined the term "air conditioning", using itin a patent claim he filed that year as an analogue to "water

conditioning", then a wellknown process for making textiles easier to process. He combined moisture withventilation

to "condition" and change the air in the factories, controlling the humidity sonecessary in textile plants. Willis Carrier

adopted the term and incorporated it into thename of his company. This evaporation of water in air, to provide a

cooling effect, is nowknown asevaporative cooling.The first air conditioners andrefrigerators employed toxic or flammable gases

likeammonia,m ethylchloridean dpropane, which could result in fatal accidents when theyleaked.Tho mas Midgley, Jr.created the

firstchlorofluoro carbongas,Freo n, in 1928. Therefrigerant was much safer for humans but was later claimed to be harmful to

theatmosphere' sozone layer . Freon is atrademark na me of DuPontfor anychlorofluoro carbon (CFC),

hydrogenated CFC (HCFC ), or hydrofluoroc arbon(HFC)refri gerant, the name of each including a number

indicating molecular composition (R11, R-12, R-22, R-134A). The blend most used in directexpansion home and

buildingcomfort cooling is an HCFC known as R-22. It is to be phased out for use in newequipment by 2010 and

completely discontinued by 2020. R-12 was the most commonblend used in automobiles in the United States until

1994 when most changed to R-134A.R-11 and R-12 are no longer manufactured in the United States, the only source

for purchase being the cleaned and purified gas recovered from other air conditioner systems.Severa l non-ozone

depleting refrigerants have been developed as alternatives, includingR410A, known by the brand name Puron

. The most common ozonedepletingrefrige rants are R-22, R-11 and R123.Innovation in air conditioning technologies

continues, with much recent emphasis placedon energy efficiency and improvingindoor air quality. As an alternative to

conventionalrefr igerants, natural alternatives like CO


2

(R-744 ) have been proposed.


[3]

The increase in use of air conditioning over the years has been implicated as a contributor to increasingobesi ty,

becauseappetit enaturally decreases in uncomfortably hightemperatur es.


[4][5]

[edit] Air conditionin

g application s
Main article:Air conditioning#Air

conditioning applicationsThis section requiresexpansi on.

[edit] Air conditionin g system

basics and theories


[edit] Refrigeration cycle
A simple stylized diagram of the

refrigeration cycle: 1)condensing coil, 2)expansionval ve, 3)evaporator coil, 4)compressor .

Capillary expansion valve connection to evaporator inlet. Notice frost formation.In the refrigeration cycle, aheat pumptransfers

heat from a lowertemperaturehea tsource into a highertemperaturehea t sink . Heat would naturally flow in

the oppositedire ction. This is the most common type of air conditioning. Arefrigerator wo rks inmuch the same way, as it

pumps the heat out of the interior and into the room in which itstands.This cycle takes advantage of the

wayphase chan geswork, wherelatent heatis releasedat a constant temperature during aliquid/gasphas

e change, and where varying thepressureof a pure substance also varies itscondensation /boiling point.

The most common refrigeration cycle uses anelectric motor to drive acompressor . In anautomobile,

the compressor is driven by abeltover apulley, the belt being driven by theengine'scran kshaft(similar to the driving of the pulleys for

thealternator ,p ower steering,etc.). Whether in a car or building, both use electric fan motors for air circulation.

Sinceevaporatio noccurs when heat is absorbed, and condensation occurs when heat isreleased, air conditioners use a

compressor to causepressur echanges between twocompartmen ts, and actively condense and pump aref r iger antar

ound. A refrigerant ispumped into theevaporator c oil, located in the compartment to be cooled, where the

lowpressure causes the refrigerant to evaporate into a vapor, taking heat with it. At theopposite side of the cycle is

thecondenser , which is located outside of the cooledcompart ment, where the refrigerant vapor is compressed and forced

through another heatexchange coil, condensing the refrigerant into a liquid, thus rejecting the heat previouslyabsor bed from the

cooled space.By placing the condenser (where the heat is rejected) inside a compartment, and

theevaporator (which absorbs heat) in the ambient environment (such as outside), or merelyrunning a normal air

conditioner's refrigerant in the opposite direction, the overall effectis the opposite, and the compartme nt is heated.

This is usually called aheat pump, and iscapable of heating a home to comfortable temperatures (25 C; 70 F), even when

theoutside air is below the freezing point of water (0 C; 32 F).Cylinder unloaders are a method of load control used mainly in

commercial air conditioning systems. On a semihermetic(or open) compressor, the heads can be fittedwith

unloaders which remove a portion of the load from the compressor so that it can runbetter when full cooling is not needed.

Unloaders can be electrical or mechanical. [edit] Humidity Air conditioning equipment usually reduces thehumidityof the air

processed by thesystem. The relatively cold (below thedew point ) evaporator coil condenseswate r vapor from the processed

air, much as a cold drink will condense water on the outside of aglass. The water is drained, removing water vapor from the

cooled space and therebylowering itsrelative humidity. Since humansperspire to provide natural cooling by

theevaporation of perspiration from the skin, drier air (up to a point) improves the comfortprovided . The comfort air conditioner

is designed to create a 40% to 60% relativehumidity in the occupied space. In food retail establishments, large, open

chiller cabinetsact as highly effectivedehumi difiers.Some air conditioning units dry the air without cooling it. These work

like a normal air conditioner, except that aheat exchanger is placed between the intake and exhaust. Incombination

withconvection f ans, they achieve a similar level of comfort as anair cooler in humidtropical climates, but only consume

about one-third the energy. They are alsopreferred by those who find the draft created by air coolers uncomfortable.

[edit] Refrigerants

Main article:Ref riger antA modernR134arefirgeratio

ncompressor "F reon" is atrade namefor a family of haloalkaneref rigerants manufactured byDuPont and other

companies. These refrigera nts were commonly used due to their superior stabilit y and safety properties. However,

thesechlorinebearingr efriger antsreach theupper atmospherewhe n they escape.


[6]

Once the refrigerant reaches

thestratosphere ,UVradiationfro m theSun cleavest he chlorinecarbon bond, yielding a chlorineradical. These chlorine

atomscatalyzet he breakdown of ozoneintodiat omic oxygen, depletingtheozo ne layer that shields the Earth's surface from strong UV

radiation. Each chlorinera dical remains active as a catalyst unless it binds with another chlorine radical, forminga

stablemolecule and breaking thechain reaction. The use of CFC as a refrigerant wasonce common, being used in the

refigerantsR11andR-12. In most countries themanufacture and use of CFCs has been banned or severely restricted due to

concernsabout ozone depletion.


[7]

In light of these environmental concerns, beginning onNovember 14, 1994, the

Environmental Protection Agency has restricted the sale,possession and use of refrigerant to only licensed technicians, per

Rules 608 and 609 of the EPA rules and regulations;


[8]

failure to comply may result in criminal and civilsanctions.

Newer and more environmentally -safe refrigerants such asHCFCs(R-22, usedin most homes today)

andHFCs(R134a, used in most cars) have replaced most CFCuse. HCFCs in turn are being phased out under

theMontreal Protocoland replaced byhydrofluoroca rbons (HFCs) such asR 410A, which lack chlorine. Carbon dioxide

(R-744) is being rapidly adopted as a refrigerant in Europe and Japan. R-744 is an effectiverefriger ant with aglobal warming

potentialof 1. It must use higher compression toproduce an equivalent cooling effect.

[edit] Reversecycle

This section requiresexpansi on.For more details on this topic, seeAir conditioning#He at pumps.

[edit] Types of air conditioner equipment

The external section of a typical singleroom air conditioning unit. For ease of installation, these are frequently

placed in a window. This one was installed through ahole cut in the wall.The internal section of the above

unit. The front panel swings down to reveal thecontrols.

[edit] Window and throughwall units


Room air conditioners

come in two forms: unitary and packaged terminalPTACs ystems.Unitary systems, the common one room air

conditioners, sit in a window or wall opening,with interior controls. Interior air is cooled as a fan blows it over the evaporator.

On theexterior the air is heated as a second fan blows it over the condenser. In this process, heatis drawn from the room and discharged

to the environment. A large house or buildingmay have several such units, permitting each room be cooled

separately. PTAC systemsare also known as wall split air conditioning systems or ductless systems.
[9]

These PTACsystems which are frequently used in hotels have two separate units (terminal packages),the evaportive unit

on the interior and the condensing unit on the exterior, with tubingpassing through the wall and connecting them. This

minimizes the interior systemfootprint and allows each room to be adjusted independently. PTAC systems may beadapted

to provide heating in cold weather, either directly by using an electric strip, gasor other heater, or by reversing the refrigerant

flow to heat the interior and draw heatfrom the exterior air, converting the air conditioner into a heat pump. While room

air conditioning provides maximum flexibility, when cooling many rooms it is generallymore expensive than

central air conditioning.

[edit] Evaporative coolers


Main article:Evaporati ve cooler

In very dry climates, evaporative coolers, sometimes referred to as swamp coolers or desert coolers, are

popular for improving comfort during hot weather. This type of cooler is the dominant cooler used inIran, which

has the largest number of these units of anycountry in the world, causing some to refer to these units as

"Persiancoolers ."
[10]

Anevaporative cooler is a device that draws outside air through a wet pad, such as a

largespongesoa ked with water. Thesensiblehea tof the incoming air, as measured by adrybulb thermometer , is reduced.

Thetotal heat(s ensible heat plus latent heat) of theentering air is unchanged. So me of the sensible heat of the entering air

is converted tolatent heat by the evaporation of water in the wet cooler pads. If the entering air is dryenough, the results can

be quite comfortable; evaporative coolers tend to feel as if theyare not working during times of high humidity,

when there is not much dry air withwhich the coolers can work to make the air as cool as possible for dwelling occupants.Unlik

e air conditioners, evaporative coolers rely on the outside air to be channeledthrou gh cooler pads that cool the air

before it reaches the inside of a house through its air duct system; this cooled outside air must be allowed to push

the warmer air within thehouse out through an exhaust opening such as a open door or window.
[11]

These coolers cost less and

are mechanically simple to understand and maintain.An early type of cooler, usingicefor a further effect,

waspatentedby John Gorrieof Apalac hicola, Floridain 1842. He used the device to cool the patients in

hismalaria hosp ital.

[edit] Absorptive chillers


Main article:Absorptio n refrigerator

[edit] Portable air conditioner s


This article needsreferences that appear in reliable thirdpartypublications

.Primary sourcesor sources affiliated with the subject aregenerally not sufficient for a Wikipedia article. Please

add more appropriatecitati onsfromreliable sources.


(March 2010)

Please helpimprovethis articleby expanding it.

Further information might befound on thetalk page.


(May 2010)

Portable air conditioners are movable units that can be

used to cool a specific region of building in a modular fashion, not requiring permanent installation. Most portable

air conditioners are refrigeration based rather than evaporative,


[ citation needed ]

and it is this typethat is

described in this section.All refrigerated type portable air conditioners require exhaust hoses for venting. Throughthis

process of air intake, cooling and venting, air is continually cycled through the unituntil the room reaches the desired temperature

setting. Also, the refrigerant works to notonly cool the air but also dehumidify air in the room, owing to

the temperature decrease

in the air which results in the saturation of the water content of the

air, causingcon densation when the air is returned to the room. The air will therefore be left withoutthis ional water content.
[12]

. The water loss rate is sufficiently high to require collection or drainage. The exact conditions for the

condensation of the water from the air can beestimated using aPsychrometric chartfor air at room pressure. [edit

] Single hosed units A single hosed unit has one hose that runs from the back of the portable air conditioner tothe vent kit

where hot air can be released. A typical single hosed portable air conditioner can cool a room that is 475 sq. ft. (45

sq meters) or smaller and has at most a coolingpower of 12,000 BTUs. However, single hosed units cool a room less effectively

thandual hosed as the air expelled from the room through the single hose creates negativepressur e inside the

room. Because of this, air (potentially warm air) from neighboringroo ms is pulled into the room with the cooling unit to compensate.
[13]

[edit ] Dual hosed units Dual hosed units are typically used in larger rooms. One hose is used as the

exhaust hoseto vent hot air and the other as the intake hose to draw in additional air (usually from theoutside). These units

generally have a cooler power of 12,00014,000 BTUs and coolrooms that are around 500 sq ft (46 m
2

). The reason an intake hose

is needed to draw inextra air is because with higher BTU units, air is cycled in large amounts and hot air isexpelled at a

faster rate. This would create negative air pressure in the room, so the intakehose eliminates reduction of room air

pressure which would draw outside air into theroom.


[ clarification needed ]

[edit] Split units Portable units are also

available in split configuration, with the compressor andevaporator located in a separate external package and

the two units connected via twodetachable refrigerant pipes, as is the case with fixed split systems. Split portable unitsare

superior to both single and dual hosed monoportable units in that interior noise andsize of the internal unit is greatly reduced due to

the external location of the compressor,and no water needs to be drained from the internal unit due to the exterior location of

theevaporator.A drawback of split portable units compared with mono-portables is that a surfaceexterior to the building,

such as a balcony must be provided for the external compressor unit to be located.Unlike window ACs the split AC does

not have an option of exchange of indoor andoutdoor air. [edit] Heat and cool units

Some portable air conditioner units are also able to provide heat by reversing the coolingprocess so that cool air is

collected from a room and warm air is released. These units arenot meant to replace actual heaters though and should not

be used to cool rooms lower than 50 F (10 C).

[edit] Central air conditioning


Central air conditioning,

commonly referred to as central air (U.S.) or air-con (UK ), isan air conditioning system that uses ducts to

distribute cooled and/or dehumidified air tomore than one room, or uses pipes to distribute chilled water to heat exchangers in

morethan one room, and which is not plugged into a standardelectric al outlet.With a typical split system

, the condenser and compressor are located in an outdoor unit;the evaporator is mounted in theair

handler unit. With a package system , all componentsare located in a single outdoor unit that may be located on the

ground or r oof .Central air conditioning performs like a regular air conditioner but has several addedbenefits:

When the air handling unit turns on, room air is drawn in from various parts of thebuilding through returnair ducts. This

air is pulled through afilter where airborneparticle s such asdustandlintar e removed. Sophisticated filters may

removemicrosc opicpollutantsas well. The filtered air is routed to air supply ductwork that carries it back to rooms.

Whenever the air conditioner is running, this cyclerepeats continually.

Because the condenser unit (with its fan and

the compressor) is located outsidethe home, it offers a lower level of indoor noisetha n a freestanding

air conditioning unit. [edit ] Mini (small) duct, high velocity A central air conditioning system using

high velocity air forced through small ducts (alsocalled mini-ducts), typically round, flexible hoses about 2 inches in

diameter. Using theprinciple of aspiration, the higher velocity air mixes more effectively with the room air,eliminating temperature

discrepancies and drafts. A high velocity system can be louder than a conventional system if sound attenuato rs are not used,

though they come standardo n most, if not all, systems.The smaller, flexible tubing used for a mini-duct system allows it

to be more easilyinstalled in historic buildings, and structures with solid walls, such aslog homes. Thesesmall

ducts are also typically longer contiguous pieces, and therefore less prone toleakage. Another added benefit of

this type of ducting is the prevention of foreign particlebuildup within the ducts, due to a combination of the higher

velocity air, as well as thelack of hard corners.

Thermosta ts

Main article:Thermost atThermostats control the operation of HVAC systems, turning on the heating or coolingsystems

to bring the building to the set temperature. Ty pically the heating and coolingsystems have separate control systems

(even though they may share a thermostat) so thatthe temperature is only controlled "one-way." That is, in cold weather, a

building that istoo hot will not be cooled by the thermostat. Thermostats may also be incorporated intofacilityener

gymanagement systemsin which the power utility customer may control theoverall energy expenditure. In

addition, a growing number of power utilities have madeavailable a device which, when professionally installed, will

control or limit the power toan HVAC system during peak use times in order to avoid necessitating the use of rollingblacko

uts. The customer is given acreditof some sort in exchange, so it is often to theadvantage of the consumer to

buy the most efficient


[ citation need ed ]

thermostat possible.

[edit] Equipment capacity


Air conditioner equipment power in the U.S. is often described in

terms of "tons of refrigeration". A "ton of refrigeration" is defined as the cooling power of oneshort ton(2000pound

sor 907kilogr ams ) of ice melting in a 24hour period. This is equal to12,000BTUpe r hour, or 3517watts.

[14]

Residential central air systems are usually from 1to 5 tons (3 to 20kilowatts(kW) ) in capacity.The use of

electric/compre ssive air conditioning puts a major demand on theelectrical po wer gridin hot weather, when most units are

operating under heavy load. In theaftermath of the2003 North America blackoutlocals were asked to keep their air conditioning

off. During peak demand, additionalpower plantsmust often be broughtonline, usually expensivepeak er plants. A

1995metaanalysisof various utility studiesconclude d that the average air conditioner wasted 40% of the input

energy. This energy islost in the form of heat, which must be pumped out.In an automobile, the A/C system will use around

5horsepower (4 kW) of the engine'spower .


[ citation needed ]

[edit] Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER)

Main article:Seasonal energy ef f iciency ratioFor residential homes, some countries set minimum

requirements for energy efficiency.In the United States, the efficiency of air conditioners is often (but not always) rated bythe

seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) . The higher the SEER rating, the moreenergy efficient is the air conditioner. The SEER

rating is the BTU of cooling outputd uring its normal annual usage divided by the total electric energy input inwatt

hours (Wh) during the same period

SEER = BTU (Wh)

this can also be rewritten as: SEER = (BTU / h) W , where "W" is the average electric al power in Watts,

and(BTU/h) is the rated cooling power.For example, a 5000 BTU/h airconditioning unit, with a SEER of 10,

would consume5000/1 0 = 500 Watts of power on average (assuming 1000 hours of operation during atypical

cooling season, i.e., 8 hours per day for 125 days per year)The electrical energy consumed per year can be

calculated as the average power multiplie d by the annual operating time: 500 W 1000 h = 500,000 Wh = 500kWh

Another method that yields the same result, is to calculate the total annual cooling output:

5000 BTU/h 1000 h = 5,000,000 BTU Then, for a SEER of 10, the annual electrical energy usage would be:

5,000,000 BTU 10 = 500,000 Wh = 500 kWh SEER is related to thecoefficient of performance(C OP) commonly used

inthermodynami csand also to theEnergy Efficiency Ratio(EER). The EER is theefficiency rating for the equipment at

a particular pair of external and internaltempera tures, while SEER is calculated over a whole range of external temperatures

(i.e.,the temperature distribution for the geographical location of the SEER test). SEER isunusual in

that it is composed of anImperial unitdivided by anSI unit. The COP is aratio with the same metric units of energy (joules

) in both thenumerator a nddenominator . They cancel out, leaving adimensionless quantity. Formulas for theapproximate

conversion between SEER and EER or COP are available from thePacificGas and Electric Company:
[16]

(1)

SEER = EER 0.9 (2) SEER = COP x 3.792 (3) EER = COP x 3.413

From equation (2) above, a SEER of 13 is equivalent to a COP of 3.43, which means that3.43 units of heat energy are pumped per

unit of work energy.Today, it is rare to see systems rated below SEER 9 in the United States, since older unitsare being

replaced with higherefficiency units. The United States now requires thatresidential systems manufactured in

2006 have a minimum SEER rating of 13 (althoughwindo w-box systems are exempt from this law, so their SEER

is still around 10)

Substantial energy savings

can be obtained from more efficient systems. For example byupgrading from SEER 9 to SEER 13, the power

consumption is reduced by 30% (equal to1 - 9/13). It is claimed that this can result in an energy savings valued at up

toUS$300per year (depending on the usage rate and the cost of electricity). In many cases, thelifetime

energy savings are likely to surpass the higher initial cost of a highefficiencyunit.A s an example, the annual cost of electric

power consumed by a 72,000BTU/hair conditioning unit operating for 1000 hours per year with a SEER rating of 10 and a

power cost of $0.08 per kilowatt hour (kWh) may be calculated as follows: unit size, BTU/h hours per year, h power cost,

$/kWh (SEER,BTU/Wh 1000 W/kW) (72,000 BTU/h) (1000 h) ($0.08/kWh) [(10 BTU/Wh) (1000 W/kW)] =$576.00

annual costA common misconception is that the SEER rating system also applies to heating systems.Howev

er, SEER ratings only apply to air conditioning.Air conditioners (for cooling) and heat pumps (for heating) both work similarly in

thatheat is transferred or "pumped" from a cooler heat source to a warmer "heat sink". Air conditioners and heat pumps

usually operate most effectively at temperatures around 10to 13 degreesCelsius (C) (50 to 55 degreesFahren heit(F)). A

balance point is reachedwhen the heat source temperature falls below about 4 C (40 F), and the system is notable to pull

any more heat from the heat source (this point varies from heat pump to heatpump). Similarly, when the heat sink temperature

rises to about 49 C (120 F), thesystem will operate less effectively, and will not be able to "push" out any more heat.Geotherm

al heat pumpsdo not have this problem of reaching a balance point becausethey use the ground as a heat

source/heat sink and the ground'sthermal inertiaprevents itfrom becoming too cold or too warm when moving heat from or to it.

The ground'stemper ature does not vary nearly as much over a year as that of the air above it.

[edit] Insulation
This section requiresexpansi on.Insulationred uces the required power of the air

conditioning system. Thick buildingwalls, reflectiveroofing ,curtainsandtree snext to buildings also cut down on system

andenergy requirements.

[edit] Home air conditionin g systems

around the world


Domestic air conditioning is most prevalent and ubiquitous indeveloped Asi anandMiddle

Eastern nations and territories. This especially applies to capitals and urbanizedareas where most of the population lives in

smallhighriseflats. In these areas, with high

summer temperatures and a somewhat highstandard of living, air conditioning isconsidered a necessity and

not aluxury. Japanese-made domestic air conditioners areusually window or split types, the latter being more modern and

expensive. In Israel,virtually all residential systems are split types.In the United States of America, home air

conditioning is most prevalent in theSouth/South westand on theEast Coast.


[ citation needed ]

Central air systems are most commonin the United States of America, and are virtually standard most of times in all

newdwellings in moststates.
[ citation needed ]

InCanada, home air conditioning is less common than in

East Asia and the United States,b ut it still quite prevalent. This is especially true of theGreat Lakesregions of southernOntario

andQuebec, where there are especially high humidity levels. While window andsplit units are common in these regions, central air

systems are the most widespread inWestern Canada. Virtually all Western Canadian homes are built

with alreadycompatiblecentr al forced air natural gasheating systems, making installing a central air

system verysimple. InCentral Canadaseparat e roombasedhydropow ered heating is more common,leadin

g to the higher cost of retrofitting a central air system. The majority of modernurban high-rise condominiums

built in Canadian cities have air conditioning systems. It isalso offered as a relatively low-cost option on most new

built homes. While energy iscomparatively very cheap in Canada, the large size of the average Canadian home andcold winters

make heating and cooling one of the largest household expenses. Canadiansumm ers are uncomfortably hot, but rarely

reach the dangerous temperatures experiencedin the United States or Asia. As such, many Canadians, especially in

older homes, simplyc hoose to forgo air conditioning in lieu of simple fans and evaporative coo lers. Asidefrom

the cost, air conditioning is often considered envi ronmentally unfriendly, eventhough the majority of household

energy in Canada comes from hydro and nuclear. Therehave been a number of advances in more environmentally

friendly technologies,inc luding geothermal cooling, and a theEnwavedeep lake system inTorontothat cools anumber

of office towers using cold water fromLake Ontario.InEurop e, home air conditioning is generally less common, in part due to higher

energycosts and moderate summer temperatures.S outhern Europeancountr ies such asGreece,on the other hand,

have seen a wide proliferation of home airconditioning units in recentyears.


[18]

The lack of air conditioning in

residences,resi dential care homesandmedi calfacilitieswas identified as a contributing factor to the estimated 35,000 deaths

mostly inGermany,Fra nceandItaly left in the wake of the2003 heat wave.