Keeping Cool: Air Conditioner Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Keeping Cool: Air Conditioner Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/Greg Nicholas

About This Quiz

Are you all steamed up because your air conditioner is on the fritz? Knowing some basics about how your air conditioner works will help you keep your cool. Test yourself to see how much you know about the indispensable air conditioner.
Air conditioners can be compared to what other household appliance?
dishwasher
refrigerator
Air conditioners are basically just refrigerators, but they make the space outside them cool, while fridges keep the space inside them cool.
oven

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Air conditioners also help __________ the air.
dehumidify
Air conditioners also work as dehumidifiers. Less humid air feels cooler.
humidify
sterilize

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The __________ of your home determines your air-conditioning needs.
size
The size of your home determines what type of air-conditioning system is best for cooling your home.
age
exterior material

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For most consumers, what is the determining factor when purchasing an air conditioner?
price
Most consumers are very price-conscious when purchasing an air conditioner. A split unit, used in most homes, costs thousands of dollars.
energy efficiency
size

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What is an easy and affordable way to cool a small space?
split unit
cooling tower
window unit
A window unit is an easy and affordable way to cool a small space. Choose a window to install it in and you're well on your way to chilling out!

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Why are some air-conditioning units called split units?
Parts of the unit are installed inside and outside the home.
In a split air-conditioning unit, the noisy compressor is located outside, and the air handler is inside the home.
Parts of the units are installed on different floors of the home.
Parts of the unit are interchangeable with other home appliances.

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What is the main mechanical difference between a window unit and a larger split unit?
They use different coolants.
They use different types of thermometers.
There is no difference.
There is no significant mechanical difference between a window unit and a larger split unit; they both operate the same way.

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What part of the air-conditioning unit helps to clean the air?
filter
The filter is a very important part of the air conditioner because it cleans dust, pollen, mold and other allergens from the air. Be sure to change your filter frequently.
air handler
air compressor

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If you don't see the compressor outside a building, where else should you look?
basement
attic
roof
Some buildings have their air compressor on the roof. Have a look the next time you are taking off in a plane.

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Why is it useful to know an air conditioner's British thermal unit (Btu) rating?
It will help you calculate energy costs.
A British thermal unit (Btu) is the amount of heat needed to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. It's a standard unit of efficiency measurement in heating and cooling systems.
If you know the Btu, you can convert it to the American thermal unit rating.
It will help you determine how long the air conditioner will last.

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An air-conditioning system with a high energy efficiency rating generally has a ___________ price tag.
higher
The higher the efficiency rating, generally the higher the price. A system with a high rating might pay for itself over time.
lower
Energy efficiency doesn't affect price.

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What is the least expensive cooling system for large buildings?
chilled water units
Chilled water air-conditioning systems are the least costly of these very expensive systems.
window units
split units

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What is the most energy-efficient cooling system for residential use?
ground source heat pump
The most energy-efficient cooling system, and also the most environmentally friendly, is the ground source heat pump.
split unit
cooling tower

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How can you recoup the cost of an expensive but efficient air-conditioning system?
manufacturer rebate
federal tax credit
lowered electricity bill
You can recoup the cost by saving money on your electric bill, but it may take several years to do so.

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Passive cooling is air-conditioning without what?
electricity
an air-conditioning unit
Passive cooling is a method of cooling your house without an air-conditioning unit. Some passive cooling methods include heat shielding, landscaping, ceiling fans and good insulation.
a temperature that's actually lowered

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What is a passive cooling method that every home should try?
Give everyone in your home paper fans.
Open the windows on nice days to create airflow.
A popular passive cooling method is to open windows and create airflow. Let some fresh air in!
Put reflective tape over all windows.

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Why will you likely see several air-conditioner compressors outside a multifamily unit?
Compressors cannot be on the roofs of multifamily buildings.
Each living unit has its own compressor.
Apartment buildings and other multifamily homes have a compressor for each living unit.
Building codes require all compressors to be installed together.

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How do large campuses with many buildings handle their cooling needs?
There is a campuswide central air-conditioning system.
Large campuses such as a university have a central cooling unit and run pipes with chilled water to different air handlers.
Each building has its own air-conditioning unit.
Each building has window units on every floor.

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What does ice have to do with air-conditioning?
Ice is needed to keep the compressor cool.
Ice is needed to keep the refrigerant cool.
It's a new "green" method of air-conditioning.
Ice cooling is a new "green" type of air-conditioning. It involves freezing water into ice overnight when electricity rates are lowest and then blowing fans over the blocks of ice.

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How many ice air-conditioning systems exist worldwide?
30
300
3,000
As of 2007, there were more than 3,000 ice coolers worldwide, according to New York state officials. They're expensive to install but help reduce air pollution and are easier on the power grid than traditional air conditioners.

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto.com/Greg Nicholas

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