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Do you know the difference between Air Conditioning & Refrigeration

A question we are often asked is what is the difference between Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, it’s a little technical but hopefully the below explanation shoud explain it for you.

  • An air conditioning system requires that the air is filtered and purified continually to remove odours and dust particles, using enzyme, mechanical and bio-filters. Refrigeration systems only require the same volume of air to be cooled and passed through the compartment in order to maintain the desired temperature.
  • An air conditioning system demands the circulation of a certain volume of fresh air containing 20.9% O2. If fresh air is not provided, after a short time the O2 in the room’s atmosphere will be depleted and replaced with CO2. This makes it initially uncomfortable and then unsafe for human occupancy.
  • The temperature in the refrigerator is very low to inhibit enzymatic action of the perishable items (thus facilitating its storage) whereas an air-conditioner provides temperature and humidity more favourable to human comfort.
  • The control volume of a refrigerator is very limited for a specific size of compressor. But for the same size of the compressor an air-conditioner offers a much larger control volume.
  • Convective Heat Transfer: Air movement is required for air conditioning in a closed room, as to keep the occupants cool the air needs to be circulated continually. In refrigerator, air movement is controlled by the temperature that is needed to be maintained (ie the demand temperature or thermostat set-point). Once the desired temperature is reached, the air movement simply stops.



ACS Electrical Exeter Air Conditioning Specialists