Your HVAC condenser is solely responsible for cooling your home or office, and so it’s important to understand and learn more about the types of HVAC condensers you can buy for your home or office. Therefore, today we’re going to break down the three main types of condensers you can buy for your home’s HVAC system or commercial HVAC system.
What are the different types of condensers?
Condensers come in a few different types and constructions. These designs vary mostly in the tubing used to carry the refrigerant and the working principle through which the condenser cools the refrigerant. The different types of tubing used include:
- Plain tubes – the generic type of tubing
- Finned-tubes – these greatly increase the surface area
- Plate types
- Series-pass and parallel tubes – complicated but efficient tubing designs
The main distinction between condensers comes from their cooling methods. There are a few main types of condensers:
- Air-cooled condensers – these rely on a steady flow of air passing over the coils of the condenser.
- Water-cooled condensers – these are eco-friendly cooling solutions for your commercial space. Here, a spray of water onto the coils cools the refrigerant.
- Combined air and water-cooled condensers – these combine both types of condenser systems and bring advantages from both types.
What are Air-Cooled Condensers?
Air-cooled condensers follow a simple design and rely on standard airflow to manage its cooling. Here, a fan blows are over the condenser coils, and as the air passes through, the refrigerant within the coils cool down. Condensate from the air drains down into a pan below. This design is perfect for smaller capacity HVAC systems and is perfect for use in small homes and offices.
The primary issue with an air-cooled condenser is the maintenance. It needs to be free from dirt, dander, and lint, as they tend to impede airflow, thereby passing less air over the coils and so results in less cooling. In addition to the airflow problem, if there is a lot of dirt and grime in the air passing over the main condenser coils, they’ll quickly accumulate – in which case you’ll need to hire AC maintenance & repair services to deal with the issue.
What are Water-Cooled Condensers?
Water-cooled condensers are an eco-friendly variation of the standard air-cooled condenser. Here, the condensers handle the cooling by using water that circulates through a network of tubes and sprays onto the condenser coil. Here, the gaseous refrigerant cools down and the water hitting the coils evaporates. Due to the two-pipe design from the water and refrigerant, a water-cooled condenser is also known as a double-pipe condenser.
Because a water-cooled condenser does not waste water, it allows for larger compression based installations in an area where water is scarce. Moreover, these types of condensers do not require additional water disposal problems and serve as one of the most economical ways to cool air.
What is an Air-Water-Cooled Condenser?
In this type of condenser, water sprays onto the coils to cool the refrigerant within them. As soon as the water hits the coil, it evaporates and creates a drop in temperature within the coil. This in turn condenses the gaseous refrigerant within the coil, thereby cooling it down. In addition to the water, cool air enters from the bottom of the condenser and blows across the coils. Here, both the water and the air work in tandem to cool the refrigerant in the coil back into a liquid state. Moreover, just like the water-cooled condenser, once the water vapor cools down again into a liquid state, it circulates back into the system to spray once again onto the coils. Therefore, air-water-cooled evaporative condensers offer an eco-friendly and effective cooling solution for commercial HVAC systems.
Although evaporative condensers are great for cooling, they owe to a complicated design due to the additional requirement of water recirculation. Therefore, you need to make sure you maintain your evaporative condenser regularly so that there is no corrosion and no leaks within the condenser.
Other advantages of an evaporative condenser include:
- They are cheaper than water-cooled condensers.
- They are great for areas with low water supply.
Choosing the right condenser for your HVAC system is vital in ensuring a healthy and efficient air conditioning system. Once you’ve got the right condenser for your home or office, it’s important to maintain it regularly to ensure it doesn’t break down or drop in efficiency. For this reason, you can rely on your local AC maintenance & repair companies to take care of your system.
See the summary of this content here – 3 Types of HVAC Condensers [Infographic]
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