Types of HVAC Compressors


Many types of HVAC compressors are used for different products on the market today. The compressor is the key part to any type of cooling system. From automobiles to large buildings, if it has a cooling system, it has compressors. If you need cold air you will find a compressor whether it is a refrigerator, freezer, air conditioner, car or building. You can use several different types of compressors depending on the size and needs of the area you're cooling. Any HVAC system has many more components than just the compressor, and they all have a job to do; but without the compressor, none of the other components can operate.

Rotary Compressor

  • This type of compressor is used for smaller jobs. It may be small, but a rotary compressor is one of the most reliable types of compressors available. Along with reliability, another desirable feature is that a rotary compressor is quiet. Although the rotary compressor is not the most efficient compressor, its other attributes make it desirable for many small uses. This is the type of compressor you see in most window air conditioning units.

Reciprocating Compressor

  • Another type of compressor is the reciprocating compressor. It is the most commonly used compressor today. It is used for many applications, from residential to light commercial use. This type of compressor is versatile to say the least. Along with the applications already mentioned, you'll find it in refrigerators, freezers and ice machines. Reciprocating compressors are also very economical to operate.

Scroll Compressor

  • The scroll compressor is becoming more common for use in HVAC equipment; it may even surpass the reciprocating compressor as the most commonly used compressor. Since first used in the 80s, it has proven itself reliable and efficient, which is the reason it is used in more equipment than ever before. The main reason for its reliability is the fact that it has less moving parts than the reciprocating compressor.

Screw and Centrifugal Compressors

  • Other types of compressors on the market are generally used for chilled water applications in large buildings. The most common of these is the screw compressor. You may also find a centrifugal compressor handling these types of applications. Both of these are large compressors, but they are becoming smaller as technology advances, which means you can use them for smaller applications, and they may become more prevalent as time passes.

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