What is the difference between sensible heat and latent heat?
Sensible heat is the heat that causes an object to change temperature. When an object is heated the increase in heat is called the ‘sensible heat’. When the temperature of an object falls, the heat removed is called ‘sensible heat’. Latent heat is the heat the heat added to an object in order for it to change state. All natural substances can change state; solids become liquids (ice turns into water) and liquids can turn in gasses (water turns into vapour) when heat is added removed from them. However, latent heat does not affect the temperature of a substance or object. Water for example boils at 100°C and the latent heat keeps the water boiling. Total capacity in an air conditioner is the sum of the sensible and latent heat values. The term ‘sensible capacity’ defines the cooling capacity of an air conditioner, whilst the term ‘latent capacity’ defines the capacity of the cooling unit to remove the moisture from the air.