I used to be on a tour of passive home initiatives in Seattle a few days in the past when somebody requested me, “What do you name the outside a part of a warmth pump? The condenser? The compressor?” For somebody not immersed within the discipline of HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-con), that may be complicated. So let’s check out the fundamental terminology of air-con and warmth pump techniques.
One of the simplest ways to know the right terminology is to grasp the refrigeration cycle. It’s the physics behind air conditioners, warmth pumps, dehumidifiers, and sure, fridges. I wrote a few articles about it a number of years in the past, and that’s a very good place to go if you wish to perceive how these units transfer warmth from one place to a different. I wrote the primary article at a really primary stage, with out the technical phrases. The second went right into a bit extra element, naming the 4 major parts concerned within the refrigeration cycle:
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- Metering machine
- Evaporator coil
- Condensing coil
In the event you don’t need to perceive the refrigeration cycle, these parts give us the whole lot we have to make sense of the title of that steel noisemaker that sits outdoor when you have got an air-source air conditioner or warmth pump.
The photograph above is what you see sitting outdoor. You possibly can’t take a look at it and inform instantly whether or not it’s an air conditioner or warmth pump, however it’s not onerous to determine. (Sure, I’ve written about that, too.) But when it’s an air conditioner, that outside field accommodates the compressor and condensing coil. Most frequently individuals name the outside unit of an AC the condenser or the condensing unit. Its job is to dump warmth from the refrigerant into the outside air, which is sort of a job on a scorching day.
One factor warmth pumps have that air conditioners don’t is a reversing valve. That doohickey does precisely what its title implies. It reverses the circulation of the refrigerant, with the consequence that the features of the indoor and outside coils reverse. In summer season, a warmth pump is simply an air conditioner. The outside unit has the compressor and the condensing coil. In winter, although, it has the compressor and the evaporator coil.
So if you happen to see the outside unit of a warmth pump and name it the condenser or condensing unit, you’re incorrect. Nicely, at the very least you’re incorrect when it’s in heating mode. So what ought to we name it? The perfect title is what I simply known as it: the outside unit. That’s precisely what it’s and it covers each summer season and winter.
Since we’re taking place this path, we ought to not ignore this different kind of system. A bundle unit — whether or not it’s an air conditioner or warmth pump or a gasoline pack (AC plus gasoline furnace) — has all 4 of the parts I listed above within the outside unit. The models I described above are a part of break up system air conditioners or warmth pumps, with each an indoor and an out of doors half. Bundle models aren’t break up. All the pieces that’s a part of the heating and cooling sits in that one bundle outdoor. The perfect title for this one is…bundle unit!
Two particular circumstances
Within the passive home the place I bought requested this query, the piece of apparatus in query was the Sanden warmth pump water heater. It’s a break up system, too, however not in the identical means as air conditioners and warmth pumps used for house heating and cooling. The indoor unit is a tank for decent water. The outside unit is a bundle unit warmth pump. If all you noticed was the outside unit, you may assume it’s a mini-split warmth pump as a result of that’s what it appears to be like like (photograph beneath).
Lastly, there’s a dehumidifier mannequin that’s a break up system. The Extremely-Aire SD12, not like different dehumidifiers, dumps its waste warmth outdoor. (Disclosure: Therma-Stor, which makes the SD12, is an advertiser right here.) The outside unit of a split-system dehumidifier is at all times a condensing unit as a result of that’s the place you’re dumping the warmth. So you might name it a condenser.
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Or you might simply stick to outside unit. In actual fact, in all of those techniques, you’ll be able to name the half that sits outdoor the outside unit. Fairly easy, eh?
The Magic of Chilly, Half 2 – Intermediate Air Conditioning Ideas
3 Methods to Inform if That Contraption Is a Warmth Pump or an AC
An Straightforward Option to Save Cash — Let Your Air Conditioner Breathe!
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