What’s an AC Fan?

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Air conditioning vents allow air to escape from the unit, with exhaust vents commonly found in portable units and built-in vents in wall-mounted and central units. Proper installation is important for efficient performance and preventing hot air from entering cooled rooms. Decorative covers can also be used. Additional vents should be installed by a professional HVAC contractor to avoid fan malfunction.

An air conditioning vent is the opening through which air escapes from an air conditioning unit. Depending on the type of air conditioner, the fan can blow out exhaust air or cold air. Exhaust vents are most often seen in portable air conditioning units, usually as a tube that extends from a door or window to expel the exhaust outside. Wall-mounted air conditioners have a built-in vent located at the rear, outside of the unit, which expels the exhaust air outside. On central air conditioning units, openings in the wall or floor of the building through which cool air is distributed are called air conditioning vents.

Designed to allow rooms or buildings to be air-conditioned without a permanent air conditioning unit, a portable air conditioning unit is a self-contained air conditioning machine that can be moved from room to room. This type of unit has a flexible exhaust pipe that acts as an air conditioning vent that removes warm air from the cooled room. Proper installation of an air vent is critical to the operation of a portable air conditioning unit. The more efficiently the exhaust air is discharged, the better the performance of the unit. Long exhaust pipes can sometimes transfer heat into the room by heating up the pipe, so some vent pipes are insulated to prevent heat transfer.

Some units require the user to install a vent kit, which is a specially shaped housing for the end of the hose that creates an airtight seal around the air conditioning vent location. These kits are similar to the units that installation engineers use to install a new car stereo seamlessly. Improper installation of the ventilation duct on a portable air conditioning unit can cause hot air from the unit to be expelled into the cooled room. Poorly installed or poorly sealed vents in windows and doors can lead warm outside air into the cooled building.

In a central air conditioning unit, the air conditioning vents are most likely visible high up on the wall or on the periphery of a room near the floorboards. The vents are made more attractive by using an air vent or decorative air conditioning vent cover, which can also serve to keep debris from the vent shaft from flying into the room. Some central air conditioning unit fans depend on the sealed nature of the unit to function properly. Installing an additional vent in a central air conditioning unit can cause the unit’s fan to malfunction, so new vents on a central air conditioning system should be installed by a professional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor.

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