To make life easier in the heat, the best solution is to install an air conditioner. But this equipment is quite expensive and needs to take into account many factors, such as the place of installation and the area on which it will work. Therefore, before buying, you should understand how to choose the right air conditioner for your conditions. And for this, start by studying what air conditioners are in general and what functions they can perform, and only after that choose suitable equipment.
Types of air conditioners
Air conditioners are a type of climate technology that changes the air parameters in the room. Most modern models can maintain stable humidity along with temperature changes. There are also some additional features that may be useful. For example, there are models that filter dust, there are models with a disinfecting effect, with ionization, etc. All these parameters affect the choice of air conditioner, but first of all, you need to decide on its type. And sometimes they are:
- Window monoblock air conditioner. Stationary installed in the window, replacing a part of the glazing. It has a relatively small power, which makes a lot of noise during operation. Not the best qualities, and that is why this type of climate technology is almost not used.
- Mobile (portable) air conditioner. This is the most modern version of a monoblock air conditioner. It is a rather large box on wheels that is easy to move from room to room. The exhaust air is discharged outside through a corrugated hose, so the installation location is near the window (a special tab is installed in the window). If you need to choose an air conditioner for a country house, this is a good option. It has a low cost and is easy to install. The main delay is installing the insert in the window, and the device itself is immediately ready for work. In principle, you can temporarily expose the hose in the apartment, somehow blocking the flow of warm air through the cracks. You can use it as an economy option for an apartment.
- Split and multi-split systems. These are more complex devices that consist of an external unit and one or more internal units. All noisy devices are located in the outdoor unit, thanks to which the room remains quiet. A normal split system has one indoor unit, multi-split – from 2 to 5 and can maintain a microclimate in different rooms. There is also a difference in installation. Split can be installed in an already renovated room. Multisplit has long tracks that connect all internal blocks with the external, so they are installed during repairs.
Actually, it is not difficult to choose an air conditioner for an apartment or a house by type. A split system with one internal unit is suitable for a small apartment (1-2 rooms), if there are 3 or more rooms, two or three devices with one unit or multi-split may be needed. You have to look at the price.
A mobile (portable) air conditioner can be considered as an inexpensive option for a cottage. They can escape from the heat in an apartment, but only in a small size, or you will have to drag it with you. Another thing to know about portable air conditioners is that they make a lot of noise when they are working. About as window.
How to choose an air conditioner by square footage, cubic capacity.
In order for the equipment to cope with air cooling, it is necessary to choose the power of the air conditioner correctly. There are two methods of calculation – by area and by volume. More correctly – by volume, because the entire volume of air will have to be cooled, and it depends on the height of the ceilings, which is not taken into account in the calculation of the area at all. However, it is very easy to choose an air conditioner based on square footage: it is believed that 1 kW of power is needed to cool 10 square meters of space. That is, you need to divide the area of the room (or all rooms that are cooled) by 10. For example, we choose an air conditioner for a room with an area of 16 square meters. According to this method: 16/10=1.6 kW. It turns out that you can install an air conditioner with a capacity of at least 1.6 kW. But so that the equipment does not work at the limit of its capabilities, we will add a margin of 20-25%. So, the best option is 1.9-2.0 kW.
When choosing an air conditioner by volume, more factors are taken into account. In addition to taking into account the height of the ceilings, it is also possible to take into account the location of the room on the sides of the light:
- to the east/west – 35 W/cube;
- to the north – 40 W/cube;
- to the south – 30 W/cubic.
Having chosen the appropriate standard, multiply it by the volume of the room. We get the desired value. But even in this case, it is desirable to add 20-25% “for reserve”. For example, let’s calculate the power of the air conditioner for cooling a room of 16 square meters. m. with a ceiling height of 3 meters, the outer wall facing south. The volume of the room is 16*3 = 48 cubic meters. The norm is 40 W/cube, i.e. 48 cubic * 40 W/cube = 1920 W or 1.9 kW. Let’s add a reserve, we will get 2.3-2.4 kW.
As you can see, the area in both calculations is the same, but the need for air conditioner power is different. In the second case, we took into account the north side and higher than standard ceilings. It turns out that for standard apartments, you can calculate the power of the air conditioner by square footage. But it must be remembered that in rooms facing south, a larger reserve must be left – to compensate for the heating of the walls.
What to do if you are going to choose an air conditioner for an apartment or house? It is necessary to calculate the power separately for all rooms that are planned to be cooled, and then folded. As a result, you will get the total power.
Main technical indicators
In addition to productivity, it is necessary to decide on other technical characteristics. If you need to choose an air conditioner for a bedroom or living room, pay attention to such a parameter as the noise level. Two numbers are usually indicated in the characteristics – the lowest (minimum) and the highest (maximum). They are measured at the lowest and highest power. The lower these numbers, the better.
It is worth knowing that according to the regulations, the permissible noise level in residential premises during the day is 40 dB (maximum 55 dB), at night – 30 dB (maximum 45 dB).
It is also worth paying attention to such an indicator as energy efficiency (economy). This parameter is usually indicated on the labels, denoted by Latin letters from A to G. The most economical (consume less energy for the same degree of cooling) are marked with the letter A (there are also A+, A++, A+++, the more pluses, the better), the most uneconomical – G.
Moreover, if the model is selected with the possibility of heating, there will be two letters – separately for cooling, separately – for heating.
It is also worth paying attention to the maximum length of the highway. The outdoor and indoor units must be connected using copper pipes and cables. Having decided where you will have these blocks, measure the distance between them (with all the bends, transitions, etc.). The maximum length of the main line of the selected air conditioner should be slightly greater than this number (we take into account the error).
Ordinary domestic air conditioners have a maximum track length of 5 meters, but there are models from 3 to 45 meters and even more.
Modern air conditioners are complex equipment that has electronic control. This increases the cost of split systems, but provides many additional options that increase the level of comfort in the room.
The first function that is worth paying attention to is the ability to work on heating. This is a very useful option for owners of apartments or houses connected to central heating. In the off-season, when the heating has not yet been turned on, and the rooms are already cold and damp, you can create an ideal atmosphere in a few hours. The only downside of this solution is the higher price. It is also worth knowing that the air conditioner can work for heating only at temperatures down to -5 °C or -10 °C. There are models that heat up to -20 °C, but you will have to pay a hefty sum for them.
Inverter control can also come in handy. In normal models, the engine always runs at one speed. The temperature is maintained by turning the system on/off. Split systems with inverter control work differently. In them, the speed of rotation of the compressor varies within the limits, and the temperature adjustment is smooth, the temperature is maintained more accurately. What else does this technology provide besides comfort? Electricity savings – up to 30-40% savings. They have energy efficiency class A+ and higher. Another nice point is faster cooling or heating. Immediately after switching on, the compressor turns on at full power, quickly brings the air to the required parameters, then switches to low speeds.
Another useful thing is the function of remembering settings. If this function is available, the equipment automatically sets the last settings when it is turned on after stopping or losing power. Without this option, they are reset to the weekend every time (factory set). This option has little effect on the cost, but it is more convenient to use such split systems.