Myths of Air Conditioner

In Malaysia, the temperature is always hot throughout a year.

As a result, Air Conditioner is the must have electrical appliances for “survival” in every building from industrial to residential.

Myths About Air Conditioners
Figure 1 : Example of Split Type Aircond Indoor Unit

Mystery 1: Why is it called Aircond instead of Air Cooler?

You know aircond, but you don’t understand Air Conditioner

In Malaysia, you can hardly find any buildings or houses that do not have at least 1 unit air conditioner. Both in town or kampung.

Air Conditioner is generally knowns as air cond (aircond) for all local Malaysian and hence we will also use the word aircond instead of air conditioner throughout this page. This is simply because we are proud Malaysian as well with our unique Manglish

First of all, do you know why is it even called aircond? Why don’t ppl name it as air cooler? Isn’t the aircond can produces much cooler air compare to air cooler* ?

*Air Cooler is commonly referred to Evaporative Air Cooler in Malaysia

The reason is already suggested by its name.

Air Cooler – The only function is to cool air.

Air Conditioner – The function is to CONDITION the air, which means it can COOL or HEAT the air.

Yes, you read it right, aircond also can use to produce HOT air.

Figure 2 : Aircond Refrigerant Flow Illustration

But why we never see such option on the aircond? This is because we will NEVER need to use HEATING function in Malaysia, so most manufacturers cancel it out.

This also explained in some models of CBU car are equipped with heating function, it is not an add-on functionality, but it is the dual-effect for Refrigeration Cycle. In other words, aircond is producing both Cool(indoor unit) and Hot(outdoor unit) air at the same time at different locations.

Mystery 2 : Is using Aircond will harm the environment and ozone layer?

Nope. Normal aircond will not harm the environment and ozone layer when using it.

Figure 3 : One of the common leaking is due to over-tightening of Valve using conventional wrench

However, it will damage the ozone layer once the refrigerant escaped from the closed system loop. This is mostly due to improper way of workmanship (install and dismantle) and wear&tear on the aircond itself which cause leaking.

One of the example that cause leaking is the over-tightened of flare nut. Flare nut is a type of mechanical connection method for copper piping where it needs no brazing work. The advantage for this joint is convenient but it requires strict procedure to be followed, any minor mistake will cause leaking of refrigerant. 

Despite the strict requirement on handling the flare nut, most of the local technicians tend to overlook or simply skipped the most important part, which is the tightening torque! Every aircond comes with specific amount of Torque require to tighten the nut and it must be carried out using a special calibrated Torque Wrench, either less or greater Torque will cause leaking of the refrigerant!

Figure 4 : A professional Torque Wrench for Aircond Flare Nut

Mystery 3 : Inverter VS Non-Inverter

Which one is better?

The answer is based on your usage.

For easier understanding, let’s think about Hybrid car and normal petrol car.

We all know that Hybrid Car is very fuel-efficient, but it comes with a more premium price and incur greater cost for maintenance and repair compared to traditional petrol car.

This is exactly the same case for Inverter Aircond, it is highly energy-efficient, but it comes with premium price and more costly for maintenance and repair.

So, you have to perform a mathematic calculation do actually decide whether Inverter is worth the investment or not. The math could be confusing for normal people, hence there is some general rules of thumb that you can refer:

  1. If daily usage is more than 8 hours, can go for Inverter
  2. If budget is not an issue, no need think, Inverter is the best for you

 

Ultimate Mystery : Relationship of Humidity and Temperature 

Did you always recon that wet = cool while dry = hot?

But hey, Malaysia weather is hot but it is having relatively high humidity whole year round, why leh?

Have you ever wondered why your aircond keep “producing” water?

Have you ever felt your lips and skin is very dry if you stay in aircond room for a long hour?

To answer this question, let’s us go through a brief explanation on humidity, temperature, heat and water phases.

  • Humidity is a quantity representing the amount of water vapour (water in gas state) in the atmosphere.
  • Temperature is intensity of heat present in a substance or object.
  • Heat is a form of energy. Which with heat present, one will feel hot; in the absent of heat, one will feel cold.

Water have 3 states, solid(ice), liquid(water) and gas(vapour), depending on the surrounding temperature.

            In order for water to transform among 3 states, heat energy is either released or absorbed.

Figure 5 : Heat is absorbed moving upward and vice versa

            As we can see from the figure above, the Vapour State of water is the form of water that contains highest amount of heat compared to other 2 states. This is the most simplest way to explain why high humidity environment (high amount of water vapour in the air ) is always felt warmer. You can try to Google about “Enthalpy” if you wish to have a more thorough understanding on this topic.

            Before we proceed to next explanation, one might ask:

“But we do feel very cold when we spray water onto our body?”

“Our body is sweating to cool down temperature, isn’t it?”

            Yes, both statements are correct and it make total sense as well. But this is also the most common misunderstanding that we all have.

            To answer this, now let’s us emphasize again the different between water(liquid state) and vapour. When we deal with water spray or mist, it is still in the water state just in smaller droplet, it is not in Vapour State. Once those small droplet of water in contact with hotter surface, it will absorb the heat and evaporate into Vapour State. Hence, the temperature of the hotter surface is reduced. It is the small water droplet on our skin that evaporate by absorbing heat from our body makes us feel cool.

            Now let’s move to the next questions, why aircond room is dry and why aircond keep draining water out from nowhere?

            To make it simple, the water drained out from aircond indoor unit is “extracted” from the vapour in the air of your room. A bit difficult to imagine hah?

Figure 6 : Water droplet formed on the cold drink can

 Take a look at the picture of a cold drink can, can you relate something? Especially whenever you took any cold drink can from fridge and place it on table, within seconds it becomes wet with a lot of water droplet covering the whole can, isn’t it?

            The water droplet is actually from the surrounding air but not leaking out from the can itself. When the Cold Drink Can exposed to the air, it will start absorbing the Heat from the Vapour in the air that directly contact with its surface. Once the Vapour “lose” up certain amount of heat, it will change to Water state in droplets form, which is called Condensation.

            This exact same process is happening at the aircond indoor unit, the refrigerant flowing in the cooling coil is of very low temperature that it condenses the vapour from the air passing through it, forming high amount of water droplets on its surface. All water droplet will then be collected in the water tray beneath it and finally drained out through water pipe.

Figure 7 : Vapour condensate on the cold cooling coil and form water droplets

            This is the reason why the cool air in the aircond room is always dry since most of the Vapour in the air was “draining away” by the aircond in the water state.

            If you still having some questions, please do not hesitate to email to us your at sales@crystalproof.com . Our expert will answer you very soon!