The operation of the air conditioner for heating in winter: is it possible to use it in winter?

Let's see how air conditioning works for air heating. Since school years, everyone knows that during evaporation, the liquid accumulates the thermal energy of the body during interaction and cools it. So, pouring water on your hand, soon you will feel a feeling of cold. The developers asked whether the air conditioner can also work as a heater and invented a system that takes the opposite effect and allowed to use air conditioning for heating in the winter.


  1. Principle of operation
  2. Can I use air conditioning in extreme cold?
  3. Advantages and disadvantages
  4. Feature of the operation of mobile air conditioners
  5. Video about the operation of the air conditioner for heating

Principle of operation

In order to understand device operation principle in winter for heating, you need to figure out how the work in cooling mode proceeds. These two processes are very similar from a technical point of view, exactly the opposite, therefore, understanding one can easily understand the other.

Stationary air conditioners

in professional circles also called split systems. This is because such a device consists of two main blocks. The external unit includes an external air intake fan, a compressor and an external coil, as well as a case with oil. The indoor unit is a combination of electronics and a coil with a radiator.

Between these two components there is a constant circulation of a gaseous substance called freon. It has properties that make it equally easy to warm and cool due to the possibility of being in four states: condensation, evaporation, compression, expansion. Compression is performed by a device called a compressor, when as expansion occurs in capillary tube. Condensation is carried out condenser.

The compressor resembles an ordinary electric pump. Only he distills not air, but gaseous freon. In fact, it depends on the speed of the compressor how intensively the cooling will take place. The main task is to increase the pressure of freon and send it directly to the radiator, which removes heat - a condenser.

By increasing the pressure, the gas itself becomes heated. Then it flows already in a liquid state under strong pressure through a metal tube called capillary. Its inner channel is specially narrowed so that freon can pass only in small portions. As a result, a discharge occurs at the other end of the tube due to the constant operation of the compressor.

The key moment of the cooling process comes at the next stage of freon circulation. Immediately after the substance in a liquid state falls on an already heated coil located in the indoor unit, instant evaporation occurs. In this case, the gas takes the lion's share of thermal energy from the environment, and cooling begins.

The principle of operation of an air conditioner for heating is similar to that for cooling. Everything happens exactly the opposite, with the exception of a couple of details. Air conditioning works for heating makes freon moving in the opposite direction. In this case, the coils, which are located in the outdoor and indoor units, change roles. The outer one takes heat from the street air, and the inner one gives it into the room, due to which heating occurs.

An attentive reader may notice that to reverse Freon, it is enough to make the compressor work in the opposite direction. However, in practice, everything is somewhat more complicated. The indoor unit is equipped with an electronic valve, which has the ability to work in two directions and has four strokes. The valve itself is equipped with a special chip block, which is responsible in manual or automatic mode for switching cooling to heating and vice versa. This solution allows you to free the compressor from constantly switching operating modes and, thus, extends its life.

Can I use air conditioning in extreme cold?

Let's look at what happens when the air conditioner works in winter. The coil itself and the crankcase with oil are taken out to the outdoor unit. If the temperature outside the window is too low, the grease begins to thicken. Due to this, the operation of the mechanisms becomes difficult, and their wear increases significantly.

The second stumbling block of the air conditioner operation in winter for heating is the loss of freon efficiency and a strong decrease in the air conditioner's efficiency. If the temperature is extremely low, no heating occurs anymore, and icy air enters the room from the street. The way out of this situation is the use of a special brand of freon, which allows you to use air conditioning in winter at temperatures up to -25 degrees.

The solution to the thickening oil problem is to use special winter kits. They include an oil sump heater, a heating cable for an external outlet pipe with fluid drain, and a special board that artificially reduces the voltage on the fan motor and reduces its speed work. Without this kit, which, by the way, comes as an additional option, it is strongly discouraged to use air conditioning in winter at temperatures below zero.

Advantages and disadvantages

The operation of the air conditioner for heating in winter requires special properties from the equipment that are not inherent in ordinary, “summer” models. For example, the use of high air pressure to release thermal energy exposes used to pipes of materials to considerable loads and requires the use of only particularly durable, rare and expensive materials. The amount of electronics used is also seriously increasing. Following this, the complexity of the device, which seriously tests the reliability of the entire system as a whole, also increases.

Heating model

Heating models have the following advantages:

  • Automatic maintenance of the set temperature, changing it in one of two directions;
  • Low power consumption
  • Use of environmentally friendly technologies;
  • Minimal combustion of oxygen indoors and minimized carbon monoxide emissions, in contrast to the use of heating elements;
  • High efficiency of the air conditioner.

And yet, in order to remain completely objective, we note some of the drawbacks of such systems that will not allow them to completely replace conventional electric heaters in the market:

  • High price;
  • Complex device;
  • Expensive, complicated repairs;
  • High sensitivity to temperature difference;
  • The need for periodic inclusion, in order to avoid idle lubrication.

Feature of the operation of mobile air conditioners

In addition to stationary devices, the so-called mobile units are widely represented on the market, which are a monolithic building, and do not provide an external air intake block. Consider the possibility of using such devices in the cold season.

Mobile air conditioning

The system itself is located in the room, which removes the question of the need for heating oil and freon. Designed for outlet pipe, which removes excess water from the air, due to which cooling occurs. If the pipe is planned to be taken outside, it is necessary to implement a system that will not allow water to freeze and clog the outlet channel.

The way out of this situation may be to use a special heating cable, which is able to automatically turn on when the water reaches a critical temperature and, thus, prevent its partial or complete freezing. The disadvantage of this solution is the energy consumption for heating - when the power is turned off, the water will freeze and will inevitably lead to the failure of the device. Even in cold weather, the cable will work continuously and will consume a large number of kilowatts.

Video about the operation of the air conditioner for heating

A video can be added to this article, which describes in detail how heating air conditioners work:

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