Here in the UK, we are a nation of radiator users. With such fluctuations in our weather conditions, we have become dependent on heating our homes rather than cooling. However, as climate change continues to take hold, our years are becoming hotter. The Met Office estimated that 2020 was due to see an increase in global temperatures of more than 1.1°C – something that extends into England too. And, for these reasons, it’s becoming more apparent to homeowners that having the tools to cool our homes down is essential.
Residential air conditioning allows you to do just this – giving families the ability to cool down a space in minutes. It makes homes more enjoyable to pass time in, improves usability and can also help to clear the air. Without the experience in running these machines on a regular basis, the team here at Controlled Climate have pulled together our guide to residential use to make sure you get the most out of this investment.
In short, air conditioning units remove heat from a room and replace it with cool air. The actual process is more complex and goes something like this:
- Warm air is drawn in through a vent into the evaporator coil. Here, it comes into contact with the refrigerant. This liquid changes into a gas as it comes into contact with the warm air.
- This liquid flows through the system into a compressor where it’s pressure and temperature is increased. It is then exposed to outside air which absorbs the heat and lowers the temperature of the refrigerant. It then turns back into a liquid which travels around your system.
- This process is repeated continuously until all hot air has been absorbed and cooled. At this point, the thermostat will switch off.
Air conditioning units are highly practical and effective at what they do – especially when used within the right-sized rooms.
Some countries, such as Japan, use AC units daily to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. They have discovered all of the benefits associated with this technology in a way we haven’t yet here in the UK. Here are some of the key benefits that we’ve identified and reasons why aircon is ideal for the family home.
Air conditioners work to reduce humidity in the home – a key trigger for asthma or breathing-related health issues. They also work most effectively when doors and windows are closed. This minimises the amount of pollen and airborne irritants that can enter the home. Most modern units are also built with replaceable filters that capture dust and contaminants. Therefore, they reduce the number of allergies in a home significantly.
When electronic devices are used continuously, in both warm and cool environments, they are prone to overheating. This not only produces excess heat in a room, but it can also cause significant damage to the technology inside. In serious situations, this can be a costly issue for you – meaning you need to replace or repair devices more often. Air conditioning keeps the room temperature cool which helps to minimise excessive heat for your devices.
To use air conditioning effectively, you need to keep windows and doors closed. This means your property is likely to be more secure throughout the day – eliminating the amount of entry and exit points kept open around the home to keep it cool.
Modern air-con units have been designed to reduce noise pollution anyway – they are much quieter than older models. But in addition, as we mentioned above, they work better with windows and doors closed. This reduces noise pollution from outside and keeps your home calm, quiet and relaxing at all times.
If you work from home or even spend time working on a side project in the evenings, air conditioning can help you make the most of your productivity. With 16°C – 24°C deemed to be the ideal temperature range for working, you’ll be able to create an environment that gets projects completed quicker and more efficiently.
Our body temperature instinctively drops as we approach bedtime, to signal that it’s nearly time for rest. A cooler room temperature helps this change to happen and promote good sleep. You may also have noticed that you feel warmer in the middle of the night – this is due to your body temperature rising slowly throughout your rest as it works to repair and replenish itself. Having the room temperature properly maintained ensures you can glide through different sleep cycles with more ease.
There are 3 main types of air conditioning unit with sub-categories for each one. We’ll look into them here.
These devices are all contained within 1 single ‘block’ or house. They are normally portable, more cost-effective and can be used in a variety of different settings. Monoblock AC units are for indoor use and are ideal in homes with a limited budget but many rooms to cool. Within this category, you will find:
- Portable air conditioners
- Floor-mounted air conditioners
- Wall-mounted air conditioners
- Spot coolers (mainly used in industrial settings)
- Window air coolers
Split Air AC
These models generally consist of 1 unit that sits inside the home and another that sits outside. The pairs are connected with electrical cables and copper piping. Modern options are remote controlled and can also be used to heat the home during winter. They are more of an investment than monoblock models and are perfect for bigger properties. These include:
- Wall-mounted air conditioners
- Ceiling cassette air conditioners
- Floor-mounted air conditioners
- Duct mounted air conditioners
Multi-Split Air AC
Here, these industrial level units are generally found in larger buildings, such as office blocks or retail stores. They have a centralised external unit linked to numerous indoor units that can be used in various settings. Typically, there will be between 2-5 internal units. This option is one of the most expensive, due to installation and labour costs as well as maintenance fees.
Top tips for use
Whichever unit you choose to install for the best results, here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of it.
- Close doors/windows – Keep windows and doors closed so that the AC unit can remove the hot air that already exists.
- Match the unit size with the room size – We have a handy blog post here that explains how best to calculate this.
- Regular maintenance – Keep your machine maintained appropriately to reduce repair costs and extend the lifespan of your AC.
- Replace filters – Filters in your unit keep it working properly. Have them replaced or cleaned regularly to make sure you’re making the most of the cooling.
Here at Controlled Climate, we regularly design and fit residential air conditioning systems for customers. If you would like more information or to discuss a specific project, please get in contact today.