Archive for the 'Rants' Category

Jul 12 2009

Let me tell you something about air conditioners

Published by under Rants

It’s hot in Israel. Really hot. On the coastal area (Tel Aviv, Netanya, etc.) it’s also very humid (usually above 75% humidity). This is not even the peak of the season yet, and we suffer outside.

Still, I almost daily find myself shivering from it being too cold in the office. I go to the air conditioner controls and find them set at 18 degrees Celsius. This is so stupid and it just boggles my mind at how people, especially my coworkers, who are electronics engineers, have no idea how air conditioners work.

So here’s the low-down:

Air conditioners have no way of controlling the strength of their operation.

The only thing they control is the compressor: they can turn it on or off. It doesn’t matter how low you set the thermostat – they won’t cool the air faster. It will simply cause the air conditioner to try and reach an even lower temperature, meaning that the compressor will work for a longer time. If you want the room temperature to be 25 degrees Celsius you can set the thermostat to 25 or to 16 – it will still reach 25 just as fast. The only difference is that when set to 25 it will stop the compressor there, but when set to 16 it will keep it on until reaching 16 degrees (which is very hard to achieve and will probably never occur).

Now in my office the thermostat is pretty uncalibrated, so a reasonable setting is 21. Fine, set it to 21! Why 18?!

The only other thing that you can set on air conditioners is the fan speed. This, in fact, will probably cool the room faster if set higher, for obvious reasons. But this is rarely used in practice – only the let’s-freeze-Amir’s-ass setting.

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