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Contents of article "Air conditioning installation - a photo guide"

- Advantages of air conditioning
- How does air conditioning work?
- Choosing the right air conditioning for you
- Choice of unit
- Photo-guide

Advantages of air conditioning

Air conditioning is the system of controlling the temperature, humidity, cleanliness and movement of the air. It has been proven in hot countries that it has a positive effect on performance, achievement and health. Most modern air conditioners are equipped with filters that take dust, pollen, smoke etc from the air, thus creating a pure and cleaner environment, as well as dehumidifying.

Many air conditioners today are reversible, meaning that they can also provide heating.


How does air conditioning work?

Whilst there are several different types of air conditioning on the market, the basic principle is always the same, requiring an indoor unit and an outdoor unit connected by copper piping through which the coolant passes.

A fan blows the hot indoor air over a heat exchanging coil through which coolant flows. The coolant absorbs the heat from the air and cooled air is blown back into the room.

The coolant circulates through the units and the piping and takes the heat from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit.

Through compression, the coolant gas is heated and its boiling point increases. In the outdoor unit the obtained heat is compressed and released outside by means of a fan which blows the outdoor air over a heat exchanging coil.

The liquid coolant flows back to the indoor unit.


Choosing the right air conditioning for you

A good air conditioning company will advise you on the best system for you, and the positioning of the units but here are a few points to bear in mind. (Always get a second opinion if possible. An unscrupulous company may push a certain type of air-con simply because they have it in stock, or make more profit on it. They may also recommend room placings because of ease of fitting for them rather than efficiency!)

Do you want cooling only, or do you also want the units to give out heat in the Winter? (From our own air conditioning installation, we calculated that the reversible units (cool and heat) were not vastly different in price from the cool only units.)

The positioning of the units is important as each unit has its own air distribution pattern. A unit placed in the wrong position in a room will reduce the efficiency and can lead to draughts and increased noise. Your air conditioning installation company should calculate the required capacity, take into account sunlight in room, lighting and number of occupants. and advise you on positioning. This does not always take into account aesthetics however. We were advised to put one of our units in a corner for best effect, but aesthetically it looked unbalanced compared to the rest of the room so we had it moved into the middle of the wall. It looks much better and still works well.

Position of the outside unit This should be accessible for maintenance but obviously as unobtrusive as possible, as they are not pretty! Also take into account weather (wind, rain etc) which is bound to effect its durability so a sheltered spot is worth considering.


Choice of unit

We were offered three possibilities - wall units, floor units, or air conditioning that passed through a system in the loft (or false ceiling if no loft or attic) and blew the cold air out through ducts in the ceiling. This was the most expensive option and the least space consuming of course. We had heard various rumours that this is an unhealthy system as, if not maintained very stringently, bacteria can infiltrate the system and blow infection into the air. This information is not backed up by any fact or proof however, so if you are considering this form of air conditioning, don’t be put off - do your own research though just in case.

We chose the option of wall units as our house is quite small, particularly the bedrooms, so floor space is limited. The units are individually remote controlled, so we can have different temperatures in each room if we wish, or no air conditioning in rooms we’re not using. The remote controls, one for each unit, are simple and efficient and we can raise and lower the temperature as we wish, or set a unit to turn on or off on timer.


Photo-guide

Below is a photo guide to the work we have had done. As I write this article, we have had the air conditioning for two weeks, and there can be no doubt that it has made a big difference to our lives. Sleeping at night is so much more comfortable, and a hot, muggy afternoon passes by unnoticed wheras before, it was very difficult to work in the house after midday, as it was so hot.


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The Team
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Pulling of the cable and pipe work for one of the split units
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The mounting plate of the split unit
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Installation of the condensation pipe which goes through the floor into the crawl space under the house
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Installation of the condensation pipe into the gutter
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One of the split units above door
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Spaghetti junction in our attic
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Meeting point of all cables and pipes before going to the outside unit
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Sorting out of all the cables and pipes to the outside unit
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