Reverse cycle air conditioners are considered the most common and have been in use for many years. Essentially, they take air from the outside and transfer into your house, cooling it as it does so. The outside heat is captured by a refrigerant that is passed through an external coil and functions on basis of reversing the flow of the refrigerant. This is the same kind of system that your refrigerator uses.
Some reverse units are portable so they can be used in different rooms. Some are specific to outdoor use, which may seem silly, but there is a market for them. Most systems are indoor units, however. Other units mount to the wall or can be placed inside a window. These units tend to be more permanent are self-contained. Some wall mounted units have been modified with an external compressor for more versatility.
Ducted air conditioners are used for heating and cooling larger areas such as an entire home. Duct air conditioners are more expensive and require ducts throughout the house. Duct heating and air systems are also common among commercial properties as they are more efficient for large warehouses and buildings.
In the old days, air conditioning units were very harmful to the environment, but with the green movement, pressure has been put on the industry to not only be more efficient, but to run clean and safe. Systems no longer use ozone depletion components such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs. Currently, low and “no-ozone” depleting compounds, such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are used in commercial air conditioning. Such measures have helped to reverse the negative effects of ozone depletion in our environment and today, most scientists agree that the threat to our ozone layer is no longer an urgent concern. Today, our concerns are based primarily on green house gases and the warming climate throughout the earth – an entirely different, but related, problem.
As a result, the US government started ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR was created in the wake environmental concerns. It is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The program has become enormously popular in recent years as it helps consumers save money and protects the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
The question now remains as to how the air conditioning and heating industry will change to accommodate a cleaner, safer environment. Solar heating and wind generated power units may change the way American’s keep cool in the summer and stay warm in the winter. As in a pole conducted for San Diego air conditioning, many people are in favor of using clean energy, but in practice, we tend not to commit to such uses until it makes sense for us economically. As solar heating and cooling becomes cheaper to install and maintain, we may see an increase in the use of such units. In fact, we are see such an increase already. When heating bills reverse, as they do for some solar users, expect solar energy to gain in popularity among American home owners.