Air conditioning is a much-appreciated invention as it helps beat the scorching summer heat. One question often pops up in people’s minds: whether air conditioning systems utilize Gas or electricity to operate. This article will answer this confusing question about the operating medium of air conditioning systems. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand the air conditioning system and understand the difference between air conditioners and air conditioning. You’ll also be able to understand electricity as the primary energy source and what is gas-powered air conditioning.
Understanding Air Conditioners
Before diving into its energy sources, you must understand the fundamental concept of air conditioning. The working of air conditioning is quite simple to understand as it works on the principle of heat transfer and phase change of refrigerator. The refrigerator is responsible for the absorption and release of heat.
Generally, air conditioners comprise an indoor unit, also called an evaporator, and an outdoor unit, commonly called a condenser. Cooling happens when hot air is drawn by the indoor unit and passed on to the evaporator cools, where the refrigerant is also present. Refrigerant works by absorbing that hot air and converting it into a low-pressure gas leaving the room behind with a cooling effect.
Then, evaporated air from refrigerant travels to the outdoor unit, which is converted into liquid due to high pressure. The heat is then released into the environment for dissipation.
Difference between Air Conditioner and Air Conditioning
When we talk about an air conditioner, we are talking about all the functioning systems we discussed above with an indoor unit, an outdoor unit, and a refrigerant.
But ‘Air Conditioning’ is a term that begs to differ from ‘Air Conditioner’. Air conditioning is basically an approach that is used to change the air temperature according to our needs. We can either put a system in place to cool down the air or we can warm up the air.
We can heat the air by using a furnace which uses Gas or fuel to heat our homes and you can cool down the temperature through an AC.
Air Conditioners always function with electricity but Air conditioning can also be gas-powered.
Electricity- The Primary Energy Source
Air Conditioning primarily depends on electricity for its functioning. Electricity powers the compressor, which is the air compressor’s central part, which further leads its other components to cool down the air.
A significant amount of electricity is required to run air conditioners which cause the electricity bills to shoot up. The electricity bills can be brought down a little bit by following these instructions:
- Conducting regular AC repair and maintenance
- Reduce the power of your Air Conditioners in peak usage times in your area.
- Don’t use any other high-energy electric appliances such as Ovens while using AC.
- Clean your AC filters so it doesn’t consume much energy to blow out the cool air.
- Have an electrician inspect and repair any faulty wires or cables.
Gas-Powered Air Conditioning
While electricity is the primary source of powering Air Conditioning Systems, some setups use natural Gas or fuel. These systems are mostly found in commercial buildings and industrial applications. Residential buildings don’t usually opt for Gas.
Absorption Chillers are one of the setups that use Natural Gas or Fuel as their energy source. These systems consist of an absorbent and a refrigerant to create a cooling effect. The heat from a gas-powered burner heats the refrigerant, causing it to vaporize and absorb heat from the surroundings.
Even though not commonly used, Gas-powered air conditioning systems are cheaper as Gas is a more affordable energy source.
Lastly, we discussed the difference between air conditioning systems and air conditioners and how most air conditioners use electricity as their energy source. Even though it is pretty expensive, people need to become more familiar with other options. Gas-powered air conditioning is also used in some places where it absorbs the heat from the surroundings and dissipates it.
People are now striving for sustainability and energy efficiency; Gas-powered systems will probably be soon in because they’ll cut out the electricity expenses significantly, causing the bills to go down.