What are The Power Factors in Air Conditioners?

Summer is well and truly on its way, so now is the perfect time to be considering air conditioning in your workplace. Ensuring the working environment is of a comfortable temperature is more important than you may think; having the optimum working temperature means that employees will not only be more comfortable but they may also become more productive. It is important to do everything you can to stop the heat having a negative impact on your business, so hiring a cooling system may be high on your priority list as temperatures begin to rise. Air conditioning units are generally the first choice for cooling as they are cost effective and practical.

There are two main types of air conditioning units; exhaust tube and split air conditioners, and then within those categories there are further choices to make. Exhaust tube units are typically the most popular choice for commercial air conditioning as they work by pulling hot air in through exterior grills, which is then moved through a refrigeration cycle where a heat transfer cools the air; the cooled air is pumped out of the front to cool the workspace whereas the hot air is released out of the exhaust tube at the rear. The exhaust tube must be placed through a window, or similar ventilation. Split air conditioners work in a similar way but offer a lot more flexibility as they consist of inner and outer components joined together by a longer connection, this means they don’t have to be placed directly next to a window or vent.

When choosing which air conditioner is right for your building, and when using one for the first time, it is important to have a general understanding of the power factors in air conditioners.

Power Factors in Air Conditioners

Air conditioners work on three power factors; Real Power, Apparent Power and Reactive Power. Real Power is the instant product of voltage and current, Apparent Power is the average power of current and voltage. Reactive Power is the power consumed in an air conditioning unit that does not perform any useful work.

Power Factor is a dynamic value between 0 and 1. The closer the power factor is to 1, the better. When the power factor is lower, closer to 0.50 it is usually as a result of the air conditioner being mostly inductive and only slightly resistive; this can have negative consequences. An air conditioner with a low power factor draws more current than one with a high power factor which will then require larger wires and other equipment. If you are using electrical equipment with a low power factor you will likely be paying higher energy costs due to the extra equipment and wasted energy.

If you have questions about the power factor of air conditioning units, contact us for more information.


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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 5 years of experience at HSS. Speaking to customers on a daily basis, she brings a wealth of product knowledge and is able to give advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.


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