Countless innovations have improved how we live. Depending on where you live, air conditioning could easily top the list.
You may not think about how air conditioning keeps your home cool and reduces humidity. But when you’re shopping for the right cooling solution, it helps to understand your options and how they work. We can help with that.
Get started here to learn the basics of air conditioning mechanics. And when you’re ready to compare models or to buy, explore the product pages of the site. The number of choices may surprise you: window, thru-the-wall, ductless split, packaged terminal units, and portable for residential and commercial use, as well as hazardous location and vertical packaged units for specific commercial applications.
No matter which model you choose, count on the quality and durability of a Friedrich.
How do room air conditioners work?
Room air conditioners remove heat from indoor air and transfer it outdoors. Cool air is then returned to the room. The cycle continues until the indoor air reaches the “set point,” or the desired temperature on your thermostat.
Cool refrigerant gas is pumped into the compressor where it is—you guessed it—compressed, which heats the refrigerant. The hot refrigerant gas then passes through the condenser coil, where it is cooled, and changes from a gas to a liquid. This liquid runs through an expansion device, which further cools the gas as it enters the evaporator coil. This cooler gas collects moisture (in the form of water beads on the outside evaporator coil surface) and heat from the air to be cooled. The cooled air is then returned to the room and the process repeats until the room temperature reaches the desired set point.
The compressor pumps and heats the refrigerant, increasing the temperature and pressure of the gas. The hot gas passes through coils, loses heat and condenses into a liquid. This liquid runs through an expansion valve and evaporates to become cold, low-pressure gas. The cold gas passes through a set of coils that cools the air. A fan blows the cool air into the room.
Your air conditioner also removes moisture from the air, which makes the room feel much more comfortable.
An air filter traps airborne dust, dirt and debris, keeping the inside room air cleaner by maintaining evaporator coil cleanliness. Regular filter cleaning helps ensure this important function’s effectiveness.
What if I want to heat my room, too?
Friedrich offers two types of air conditioners with heat: heat pumps and air conditioners with electric heat. Not sure which is best for your situation? We can help.
A heat pump is an air conditioning system that can be run in reverse to produce heat during colder weather. What’s great about a heat pump is its energy efficiency. Heat pumps are up to 3 times more cost-effective to run than electric heat, so they’ll save you money on heating bills. Because they work best when the average outdoor temperature remains at 45°F or higher, they can be an excellent heating solution in warmer climates and in shoulder seasons in many parts of the country. Some heat pumps also come with electric heat that will turn on when the heat pump is no longer able to maintain the desired indoor temperature.
Air conditioners with electric heat are simply air conditioners with a built-in space heater. An electric current heats the heating element inside the unit, and a fan pushes this heat into the room—your hair dryer works the same way. Electric heat can be more comfortable in climates where the average winter temperature is below 45°F.
More about ENERGY STAR® labels
The ENERGY STAR® program is managed jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was launched in 1991 to promote efficient lighting in commercial buildings. The program has become a leading source of consumer information about wise energy use.
Products earn the blue ENERGY STAR® label by meeting strict criteria for energy efficiency. Room air conditioners bearing the ENERGY STAR® label use about 10% less energy than other units, which helps you save money.
To determine how much energy a particular model will use and how much it will cost to operate, read the yellow label affixed to the unit. This can help you understand the total cost of owning a particular air conditioner. Look for the ENERGY STAR® label associated with each of our products under the product model specifications page.
Simple ways to keep your home cooler in summer
Depending on where you live, summer’s energy bills can be as brutal as the temperature outdoors. Here are some simple things you can do to reduce your cooling costs:
- Install a programmable thermostat. Setting higher temperatures for the hours when you’re not home can dramatically cut your costs. Set properly, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 per year.
- Close the shades and drapes. Keeping the sun out can reduce the temperature inside your home by several degrees.
- Use the unit’s fan settings wisely. When it’s humid, keep your unit’s fan running, even if the air conditioner is off. It will circulate the air and keep you more comfortable. Ceiling fans are also a big help, but remember, fans cool people, not rooms! Don’t waste energy running them if you’re not in the room.
- Close any gaps or leaks. Don’t lose cold air to leaky ducts or gaps around your window frames. Caulk outside around windows and use weatherstripping indoors to seal in the cold air.
- Regularly clean your filter. This helps your unit perform optimally, which saves you money.
Every degree matters
Did you know that raising the temperature on your thermostat by just 1 or 2 degrees can make a big impact on your cooling bills? You’ll save 5–7% on cooling costs for every degree above 72ºF that you set your thermostat. So before you set your unit to a chilly 68, think about how much you could save by upping the temperature just a few degrees.
Protecting your window unit during the winter
The best way to protect your room air conditioner during winter months is to remove it and store it in a weatherized environment. If you plan to leave your Friedrich unit in the window year round, don’t cover it until you’ve removed the base pan and completely removed all the water. Our units are designed to hold a bit of water; leaving the unit uncovered allows the water to evaporate and prevents mold and mildew. If the air conditioner is installed per the instructions, you should not have problems with air coming in or around the unit. Everything in the rear of the air conditioner is sealed so snow and rain cannot harm the air conditioner. Friedrich Air Conditioning does not make covers for air conditioners.