Does a split AC bring in air from outside the room?
Air conditioners are loved and much needed to provide cool air when temperatures are off the scale during the summer season. Despite the benefits an air conditioner provides, many are unfamiliar with its heating and cooling systems. You must have wondered how a split air conditioner cools the room.
Does it bring dirty air inside the room, or does it affect the room’s ventilation and indoor air quality? People often misunderstand that their wall-mounted air conditioners bring in fresh air from the outside. This article will help you understand the working of your split system air conditioner in detail.
How do split air conditioners work?
A split ac unit consists of two components, the indoor unit called an evaporator, and the outdoor unit called a condenser. The evaporator delivers cool air and is placed inside the room while the compressor, usually attached to the wall, is outside the room. Like some of the window AC’s, split-type air conditioners do not have the option to bring in the fresh air. Let’s understand what mechanism does split AC’s work.
The indoor components of a split system ac are connected to the outdoor elements with the help of wirings and copper wires. The copper pipes allow movement of a special liquid called a refrigerant from the outdoor unit, compressor to the indoor unit, evaporator through the condenser. The homeowners can control the cold airflow in the room using a remote control or thermostat.
The split-type aircon requires connecting the indoor and outdoor components to allow hot air passage from inside the room to the outside. These types of AC’s do not require an external exhaust as the refrigerant itself converts the heat of air to energy used to vent the air. The AC’s condenser pulls the heat and humidity from the atmosphere of the room using refrigerant.
The refrigerant, which is a cooled high-pressure special liquid, turns into gas when it comes into contact with the hot air of the room. It pushes the hot air outside the room. The refrigerant then passes through the evaporator to the condenser, where it cools down because of the low pressure. This blows cold air into the room, thus cooling down the temperature of the area.
Thus as seen from the above explanation, split ac do not bring fresh air or dirty air from outside. Instead, it cools the air inside the room, and the cycle continues till the room’s overall temperature cools down to the temperature set by the homeowner.
Need for ventilation
Before explaining the need for ventilation, first, let us understand the meaning of ventilation. What is the importance of ventilation? The replacement of the indoor air with fresh, good quality outdoor air to displace and dilute harmful air pollutants present inside the building is called ventilation.
Pollutants are harmful substances present in the environment that affect health. These include carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, bacteria, viruses, carbon monoxide. Ventilation has proved to dilute and displace these pollutants from the area.
If a room is completely closed, the concentration of air pollutants increases. This impacts the health of the people present inside the room. Ventilation is vital for displacing or reducing the concentration of air pollutants.
Also, dirty air accumulates in a room with no ventilation system. Residences such as condominiums or houses have a high percentage of airtightness. Due to the aircon, contaminated air cannot leave the room, and if nothing is done for ventilation, this dirty air will accumulate in the room.
The need for additional ventilation depends on your requirements. The ventilation system can reduce your cooling needs, thus lowering the bill or improving air quality. The function or style of a ventilation system will vary depending on the age and construction of the house and the health of the family, and comfort needs.
Ways to circulate fresh air
You need to put some extra effort to eliminate air loss as split aircon do not circulate air from inside to outside or vice versa. The indoor air will be full of contaminants, allergens, or viruses. If you keep it that way, the air quality will worsen, which will adversely affect health. One can adapt some of the tips mentioned below to maintain good air quality and get fresh air every day.
Windows and doors should be used for proper ventilation in the room. Opening them once in a while will allow stale and stuffy air to flow out and be replaced by fresh, clean air. Turning the fans on will make this process more effective.
Hot air moves up while cool air moves down. It is recommended to provide a ventilation hole in the room so that air that moves out is replaced by fresh air. The ventilation hole should be made higher up in the walls, which allows the hot air to flow out from the hole quickly, and the fresh air replacing it will move down, thus maintaining the temperature and ventilation.
Adapting HVAC system
HVAC or Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning is much more than a simple AC. It is a complete package that functions not only for heating or cooling purposes but also for ventilation. The HVAC system offers separate ventilation ductwork and AC ductwork. The HVAC duct supplies ventilation air as a part of the cold air ensuring the right amount of fresh air supply.
Exhaust fan installation
Installing an exhaust fan will serve the same purpose as ventilation but more effectively than manual ventilation. An exhaust fan is used chiefly when manual ventilation is not possible or is too difficult.
Side effects of split air conditioners
If you spend long hours in an air-conditioned environment, it may cause your skin to lose moisture. You need to aid your skin with moisturizers to avoid dry skin constantly.
Air conditioners cause lung diseases such as Legionnaires disease, a fatal disease that causes high fever and pneumonia. Air conditioners circulate many air-borne diseases spread by germs and microorganisms that cause breathing problems.
Air conditioners are known to increase the effects of the illness that you are already suffering from. It increases the symptoms of low blood pressure, pain, arthritis, neuritis, etc.
Inability to deal with heat
People who spend a lot of time in an air-conditioned environment become intolerant of hot summers. These effects are because of the stress on the body when the temperature changes. This intolerance has led to increased heat death.
Fatigue and illness
People who work or stay over-air-conditioned become more prone to cold, flu, or breathing problems. Researchers stated that prolonged exposure to air conditioners could cause fatigue, headaches, breathing problems, or irritation.
As explained earlier, split-type aircon do not bring fresh air from outside but make use of air present in the room. It is often believed that the air conditioner’s efficiency will decrease if the room’s insulation is not done correctly. Hence, you might consider ventilation as a bad idea for the performance of your air conditioner. Instead, it has proven beneficial to provide circulation of fresh air. It reduces the burden on the air conditioner as some hot air is replaced by cool fresh air.