What does a Vermonter know about air conditioning? I live so close to the Canadian border that half of the radio stations are in French. If my house needs cooling, I just let the fire in the wood stove die down.
When I first began reporting on air conditioning topics over a decade ago, I felt out of my element. Impelled by the certainty that there’s no such thing as a dumb question, I’ve managed over the years to badger a few air-conditioner experts, all of whom contributed to my education. So now I finally know the difference between an evaporator coil and a condenser coil.
In no particular order, here are the answers to a few air-conditioning questions.
Q. What’s a “split” air conditioner?
A. A split air conditioner is the typical central air conditioner found in many U.S. homes. It consists of an outdoor unit that sits on a small concrete pad and an indoor coil located in the furnace plenum or the air handler. The term “split air conditioner” distinguishes this type of cooling system from other types of air conditioners, including window units.
Two thousand pounds of … I dunno
Q. What’s a ton of cooling?
A. In the old days, people used to buy ice to keep cool. A “ton” of cooling capacity is based on the amount of heat absorbed by one ton of ice melting over 24 hours. One ton of cooling capacity is equal to 12,000 Btu/h.
Maybe “Dental X-Rays”?
Q. What does “DX” stand for?
A. DX stands for Direct eXpansion — the standard refrigeration cycle used in most American air conditioners. (There are other refrigeration cycles — for example, the ammonia absorption cycle used in propane-fueled refrigerators.)
Q. What’s a SEER rating?