What type of Air conditioner is right for you?
Air conditioners certainly provide comfort for those living in harsh climatic environments. South Africa certainly is one of these. Whether you’re selecting an air conditioner for cooling or a reverse cycle unit for heating and cooling, there are many options available.
The type of air conditioning unit you select should be based upon many factors, some of which include: your budget; the area and number of rooms you wish to cool or heat; the type of insulation you have in your home; the material your home is made of; whether the room is north or south facing; and the type and perhaps number of windows and window treatments you have.
Types of Air Conditioners
- Split system: This is probably the most common of air conditioners; split systems are called this because of the splitting of their operation units. The cooling part is outside the home, while the fan and evaporator is inside. Split system Air Conditioners are often used for a couple of rooms or an open space, these systems are more effective than a wall unit or a portable type. The inside component can be matched to suit existing décor to minimise visual impact. The multi-split system caters for up to nine rooms and is more expensive. In both instances, professional installation is required.
- Central ducted: These types of air conditioners are used where there are a number of rooms that require heating and cooling. The unit sits outside the home and the cooling fan pulls the cool air into the ducted system. This air then winds throughout the walls and ceilings. This is one of the most expensive types of Air Conditioners and must be installed by a qualified professional.
- Window or wall unit: These are a popular choice of air conditioning due to their ease of installation and lower cost. This type of Air Conditioner does not require professional installation, making it a possible DIY project. Fitted in either a window or wall, they work best in smaller rooms. The drawbacks to these units are that they can interfere with light from the window if installed in the window space and they’re difficult to conceal.
- Portable: This type is easily moved from one room to another within the home. Because of their small size, they work best in smaller rooms. They are also less expensive than other types of air conditioners.
Air conditioners can also be reverse cycle which means that they can provide both heating and cooling options. In many parts of South Africa this is of benefit however they do cost more than just the cooling type. With the current crisis with our energy supplier Eskom please take consideration the energy efficient rating and energy consumption figures when selecting a unit. The noise level for a unit in decibels should also feature heavily when making your purchase.
Air Conditioners: Supply, Design and Installation
Portable and window/wall air conditioning units can be purchased from air conditioning specialists and some home improvement/hardware stores. DIY installation of the window/wall unit is an option. However, a local contractor can help to fit the unit according to where you require it. In terms of the installation of ducted and split system types, a professional air conditioning contractor is mandatory. Specialist air conditioning companies can also custom design and install your systems based upon your specific circumstances (such as the dimensions of the room or rooms to be cooled or heated, the type of house construction, surface area of glass/windows) and what you require!
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