No one is surprised by the standard equipment of offices and cars with air conditioning, while the installation of the air conditioner is not very common in homes. Find out what you can get by installing air conditioning in your home and when it’s necessary.
In the periods of troublesome heat, the lack of installations with air conditioners is felt the least by residents of buildings equipped with small and medium-sized glazing and erected using traditional sandwich wall technology, which are characterized by high heat and moisture accumulation. Massive external walls of such buildings do not heat up excessively during a short heatwave and installation of the air conditioner is not necessary.
Houses less protected from heat are those in which – in accordance with current architectural trends – huge glazing was designed on sunny facades. Large windows intensify the effects of heat in buildings constructed of wood, in skeletal technology. In them, the installation of the air conditioner is simply necessary, because they have a small accumulation of heat and moisture.
The last hot summer with long-lasting heat above 30 ° C, everything took its toll, and the tendency of further climate warming predicted by meteorologists is slowly forcing homeowners to replace ordinary portable fans with a professional air – conditioning installation – fortunately, single-family systems are no longer as expensive as it used to be. It is definitely wise to arrange them immediately during construction, without waiting for another wave of African heat to bother.
Which provides professional air conditioning?
The answer is – cooling, dehumidifying and filtering hot air in rooms, and in the case of using inverter technology – also it’s heating on every request.
The need for periodic use of air conditioning is due to the fact that home air does not always give users thermal comfort. They feel it only when the air temperature is 21-26 ° C and its humidity 40-60%. The air conditioner has the task to bring the current air parameters in the room to such a state – that is, cool the heated air and remove excess moisture from it (the less moisture in hot air, the better the well-being of the household).
In addition to automatic temperature and humidity control, the device allows, thanks to the use of appropriate filters and ionizers, to clean the air of dust, dust, bacteria, mites and unpleasant odours, which helps to improve the health of not only allergy sufferers. If it has heating elements installed, it will temporarily heat the room when it is needed (this function cannot be overestimated in the so-called transition periods, when the heating system is not yet operational).
Air conditioners – Construction and principle of operation.
Two heat exchangers form an evaporator (equivalent to a fridge freezer) and a condenser, besides there is a compressor and an expansion valve. The airflow around the exchangers is forced by two fans.
The refrigerant circulates between the evaporator and the condenser – in the evaporator, it receives heat from the room, in the condenser it releases it to the environment. The compressor and expansion valve allows the refrigerant to switch to a liquid or gas phase. In order for the evaporation process to take place, heat is removed from the room, and during condensation, it is released outside.
Types of air conditioners.
During operation, the most noise is generated by fans, a compressor and an expansion valve, which is why split air conditioners are intentionally mounted outside the building, in a separate housing – the entire module is an outdoor unit. In the room, however, in the second housing, an indoor unit with an evaporator and a silent fan is placed. Some air conditioning systems are equipped with a multi-split system in which one strong outdoor unit is connected by copper pipes to several internal ones.
Of the indoor units, wall models (mounted on the wall under the ceiling) are the most popular, as are ceiling and floor versions (suspended from the ceiling or near the floor). In interiors with suspended ceilings, duct units are most often attached (the device covers the ceiling, and from the inside only the intake and exhaust grates are visible) or the coffer (to be built into the suspended ceiling).
Split devices provide greater usability than compact monoblock models, containing both quiet and loud components in a common cover. Usually, their effectiveness is low. Portable models work best in rooms that are used sporadically, e.g. in guest rooms.
Air conditioners – Location and installation.
- Monoblock compact air conditioners
They do not require difficult assembly. In order for their work to proceed correctly, it is only necessary to bring the heated air outside the building through the exhaust pipe. It can be embarrassing that such exhaust pipes have many times the diameter than the thin copper pipes used in split devices.
In rooms where there is an inlet to the chimney ventilation channel, the solution to the problem is relatively simple and more effective – compared to leading the pipe through a tilted window. In the latter case, in order to limit the inflow of hot air from the outside, it is worth using (if possible) the smallest and non-sunlit window. In order not to cause undesired underpressure, a cool air supply must be provided to the room with the air conditioner, e.g. from the basement, northern room.
- Stationary split and multi-split air conditioners.
Only a few models, equipped with special quick couplings on pipes, can be mounted independently. Specialists should arrange a more complicated installation. They should also choose the device modules appropriate for the given rooms and their location.
In year-round houses, a permanent non-demountable connection is usually used. It is advisable to locate the outdoor unit in a ventilated and shaded place, and to strictly follow the device manufacturer’s instructions (given in the instructions), including appropriate pipe length (they can be from a few to several meters), taking into account the difference in levels between individual installation modules.
After punching the opening in the outer wall, the pipes connecting the outdoor and indoor units are routed in-wall furrows or over the partition surface, providing access to the fittings. Pipes that run outside must be protected with thermal insulation and a vapour barrier tape. They are carried out indoors in the least visible way.
The stationary indoor unit is usually installed as close to the window as possible, because it quickly cools the air heated from the glass. In addition, this location ensures an even temperature distribution in the room. To this type of indoor unit, we must necessarily connect a condensate drain pipe – they are usually directed gravitative outside the building.
A remote-controlled air conditioner should be installed at least 1 m from the radio or TV, and at a suitable distance from heating devices and those supplied with flammable gas.
- Portable split air conditioners.
If they are installed in summer houses, it is worth using a detachable connection. You should then choose a model with a quick coupling, which without costly loss of refrigerant will allow easy and quick connection of flexible pipes to it (manufacturers offer pipes with a length of even 3-4 m). Preparation of appropriate holes for pipes in the window frame or on the wall will allow multiple assembly and disassembly of the air conditioning system.
Air conditioners – Installation support.
It is usually done with the help of a remote control. An element of the control system is the temperature regulator, on which selected parameters are set, e.g. different for the day, different for the night – it should be remembered that the recommended difference in air temperature in an air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned room is at most 7 ° C.
Each user must avoid creating a dangerous draft for health, by setting the right speed of airflow – chilled will not hurt anyone if its flow speed is not greater than 0.2 m / s. In addition, the control person should use the function of choosing the direction in which the air is blown out after cooling.
- Replacement of filters and disinfection of installations.
In order for the air conditioning installation not to become a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria, it requires regular disinfection and washing or replacement of filters.
- Condensate removal.
If the installation is long, sometimes it is necessary to force the drainage mechanically, using a pump. Owners of portable models with built-in condensate tanks must remove them manually.
- Room ventilation.
In houses with mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation, residents have no problem with this – the installation does it automatically and according to the needs. However, when it is hot outside and the air conditioners are working in the rooms, homeowners with gravitational ventilation must remember to unseal the windows or to open them temporarily.