This summer saw record-breaking temperatures in the UK, and many people will have suffered from the heat. And with 10 of the hottest years in the UK occurring since 2002, it looks like hot summers could be here to stay.
You may have air conditioning in your car, and perhaps you enjoy it in your office too. But what about in your home? As summer heatwaves in the UK get more common this could soon become a very serious consideration for a lot of homeowners.
Here’s a guide to the options available and the costs involved to help you decide whether it’s right for your home.
Types of Air Conditioning
Split Air Conditioning
Split air conditioning is one of the main types of air conditioning for your home.
As the name suggests, it is split between two units. One of the units is located inside your house, and the other goes outside. They are connected by pipes, and a refrigerant flows between them.
The compressor is the outside part, which contains the fan. This is noisier and larger, while the quieter internal part goes indoors.
They often come with remote controls, and different models have a large selection of settings to choose from. Some can also be used for heating your home in the winter.
They can be wall mounted, which is the most common option. However, they can also be floor mounted, and portable units are available too.
Multi-split air conditioning is another option. This is where the system includes several indoor units that are all attached to a single outdoor unit.
Monoblock Air Conditioning
Monoblock air conditioning is the other main type of air conditioning for the home. It consists of two sets of coils that are included in one unit, and the refrigerant goes from one set of coils to the other. The units are positioned inside, but a pipe goes outside so that the hot air can be dispersed.
They can be portable, floor mounted or wall mounted. Portable is popular because you can set them up and turn them on without any need for installation. The problem is that they can be noisy because the compressor is not located outdoors like with a split system. However, they are often more affordable, and there is no need for any installation.
Sometimes wall mounted units are installed in older buildings where permission is not given for an external unit.
There are also window units, where the air is drawn in from outside and cooled down as it passes inside. You may see these in Europe, but they are not common in the UK.
Ducted Air Conditioning
Central or ducted air conditioning is another option, but this is far more common in commercial settings like offices. With these, cool air is distributed throughout the property via the duct system, and it is used to cool larger spaces.
How to Choose Your Air Conditioning
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when you are deciding which to get for your home.
First of all, you need to decide on the capacity of the unit. How much space do you need to cool down in your home? Is it for a large or a small room?
Do you want a system that is quiet and operates in the background? Or do you not mind having one that is a bit noisier and bulkier? It’s usually a straight choice between a split air conditioning unit and a monoblock.
Look at the functions as well. Do you want a remote control and extra programmes, or just the most basic unit you can find?
Then decide whether you want it wall mounted or floor mounted. Most people choose wall mounted to keep the unit up high and out of the way.
If planning restrictions mean you cannot install an outdoor condenser, you may need to opt for a monoblock. Again, it can be mounted on the wall or on the floor if you want.
Do you want a unit that can heat your home in the winter as well? Then get one with a heat pump. This is mainly an option with split systems, but some mounted monoblocks have heat pumps too.
Air Conditioning Installation Costs
The cost will usually play a large role in your decision. So how much does installation cost?
In this case, we will consider a split system, which is usually wall mounted. You will need a registered gas engineer to install it, and this usually works out as about £1,000 for an indoor unit.
It may cost more or less depending on the service you use. You might also want the system to be hard-wired into the thermostat, and this can add costs.
Get a number of quotes for your air conditioning installation, and you will quickly see what the going rate is in your area. Most important of all, make sure you only use an experienced and qualified technician.
Over and above the installation costs you also need to consider the running costs of home air con. Choose a unit that is more eco-friendly and uses less power, which will end up saving you money on your bills.
Good insulation is also essential. If you have an outdoor unit, the pipes need to have high-quality lagging, and you should also have good insulation on the building.
Air conditioning servicing is another key factor to consider. Regular maintenance helps to keep the unit in good condition, and this makes sure it is more effective. So call out an engineer once a year or so to keep it in good working condition.
Get the Right Air Conditioner for Your Home
There are many options on the market when you start looking for air conditioning for your home, and you will have a lot of choice. So think carefully about your air conditioning and consider all the factors before making your decision. Then by the time the hot weather returns, you’ll stay nice and cool all summer long.
And if you have any questions, just give us a call.