When temperatures rise, many of us rely on central air conditioners to keep our homes cool and comfortable. But how exactly does an air conditioning system work? And, more importantly, do central air conditioners recirculate air? Or maybe, do AC units pull air from outside instead? To answer these questions, we need to take a closer look at the inner workings of an air conditioning unit.
How Air Conditioners Work
Air conditioners are designed to cool the air inside your home by removing heat and humidity. They do this through a process called the refrigeration cycle, which involves the use of a refrigerant, a compressor, and several other components working together to remove heat from your home.
The refrigerant gets cold as it moves through the system, and then it is pumped into a heat exchanger or evaporator coil. A valve opens, allowing the refrigerant to evaporate, which draws heat from the surrounding air and cools it. The cooled air is then blown back into your home through your air conditioning system’s ductwork. Meanwhile, the hot refrigerant gas is pumped outside, where it releases heat and turns back into a liquid so that it can start the cycle again.
Do Central Air Conditioners Recirculate Air?
So, do central air conditioners recirculate air, or do they bring in fresh air from outside? The answer is that it depends on the type of air conditioning unit you have.
Most central air conditioners recirculate indoor air to cool your home. The air conditioning system draws air from your home, passes it over the evaporator coil, cools it, and then blows it back into your home through the ductwork. This means that the same air is cooled and recirculated throughout your home.
Every home has a level of infiltration, which is air that leaks into a home from outside through tiny (or in some cases large) holes in the building enclosure. It may seem like a good thing that your home can “breathe” in fresh outdoor air, however, this air is unconditioned and unfiltered. This can introduce moisture and contaminants that negatively impact health, increase electricity usage and even cause moisture damage to your home.
Some smarter ways to remove old stale air and bring in fresh air are to invest in a ventilating dehumidifier or an Energy Recovery Ventilator. These ventilation strategies are more expensive but they are the only viable options on the market today.
Think About Your Indoor Air Quality
Speaking of indoor air quality, it’s essential to consider the quality of the air that your air conditioning system is recirculating. If your home has poor indoor air quality due to factors such as mold, pet dander, or airborne allergens, those pollutants will be recirculated throughout your home by your AC unit. In this case, it’s important to address the underlying causes of poor indoor air quality and consider a professional indoor air quality consultation.
Keep Your Home Comfortable & Safe With Our Services!
So, do central air conditioners recirculate air? Do AC units pull air from outside? When it comes down to it, central air conditioning systems only recirculate indoor air over and over. However, there are some great options available to bring in fresh air from outside. Regardless of the type of air conditioning system you have, it’s essential to consider the quality of the air being circulated throughout your home and take steps to improve it if necessary.
Are you ready to improve your home’s indoor air quality? Polar Bear is here to help! Contact us for indoor air quality services in the Cayman Islands, or schedule a central air conditioner system installation today!