About Air Conditioning
The the Oxford English Dictionary defines air conditioning as :
"a system for controlling the humidity, ventilation, and temperature in a building or vehicle"
However common usage of the term air conditioning has meant that it is most often used to describe a system for controlling temperature only.
So when you tick the options box marked 'air conditioning' on a new vehicle all you will get is the facility to cool in addition to the normal facility to heat.
As part of the cooling process, moisture will condense out of the air and the air conditioning system will give the added benefit of reducing humidity - particularly useful for improving comfort in humid areas such as the UK.
So how does it work ?
Air conditioning applies the same basic principles used in a standard fridge or freezer.
A fridge or freezer is an appliance which removes heat from one area (where the food products are stored) and discharges this unwanted heat to another area (usually into the surrounding air at the back of the appliance).
The “refrigeration circuit” consists of 3 basic items:
1 - a freezer section which has very cold refrigerant gas passing through
2 - a compressor (that’s the big black metal thing near the floor at the back of your fridge) which drives the refrigerant through the pipes.
3 - a condenser (a series of tubes at the back, which are quite warm to touch. The condenser tubes are actually discharging unwanted heat into the surrounding air.
An air conditioning system is a larger version of the fridge/freezer,
which removes heat from one area (a room inside the building) and discharges
it through its condenser to outside the building.
In order to make it practical to install an air conditioning system in
a building, the “refrigerant circuit" of an air conditioner is divided
into two parts
These systems are also known as "split systems" - because the system is split into two parts joined by pipework.