Air Conditioning unit (ACU)
Years ago, when the threat of global warming was not that close to home, winter came at its time and summer was at least bearable. But recently, we have experienced a longer and hotter summer and with the look of things, it may not get better soon. When it comes to choosing the best cooling system in the UK, generally it can be a tedious affair as most homes are made of bricks with limited wall cavities and such. Fans are cost-effective and energy-saving even so, there is so much they can do. But not to worry, this article will guide you on how to choose the best air conditioner for your homes and offices.
How does an Air Conditioner work?
An AC unit works in three ways; by changing the temperature, humidity, or general quality of the air. Depending on the specification of the air conditioner, it can perform all three functions or at least one of these. But generally, an air conditioner works as a cooling system by drawing the heat from indoors and transferring it outdoors while replacing it with cooler and fresher air.
Portable Air Conditioner: How does it work?
A portable air conditioner is usually made up of three components: the refrigerant; compressor; and fan. Many have likened the cooling system of portable AC to that of a refrigerator. A basic explanation of how a portable AC works is this:
First, the fan sucks the hot air in the room into the unit, inside the unit, there are condensing coils in which will cool down the hot air while extracting moisture/water vapour (condensed on the coils), while the refrigerant is being compressed by the compressor, the hot hair is transferred to the refrigerant in the coils turning the refrigerant fluids into gas. Cool air is vented back into the room, the moisture can be collected in a bucket or release outside while hot air is vented out of the exhaust vent that is installed.
Portable Air Conditioner: Why?
When considering an air conditioning unit, there are so many to choose from, ranging from split-unit AC to evaporative AC to Ceiling AC and of course the portable AC or Mobile air conditioner. First, to understand the air conditioner suitable for your room or office size, we have to explain what a BTU is.
BTU known as (British Thermal Unit) is a measurement that tells the performance of a unit in cooling down concerning space. Normally a small room will need around 8000BTU, a medium room, 10000BTU. This could easily be confusing because you are probably wondering what we consider as the average size of a small room. Easy. To calculate the BTU of your room, here’s a simple step to follow.
As a rough guide, multiply the dimension of the room (in feet) by 5. So, a room that of 20×12×8 feet will be 20×10×8×5= an air conditioner of 8000BTU.
The Split-unit AC: This type of air conditioning unit while versatile and attractive can be quite expensive. Though for those who prefer a quieter unit, the split-unit will achieve this provide the windows are closed this is because the compressor that is usually positioned outside generally does make a lot of noise and this unit can be burdensome for tall buildings. The lowest BTU for a split-unit air conditioner is 9000BTU.
Evaporative AC: this type of AC unlike the other types doesn’t use recycled air but instead draws hot air into the home which is then cooled and distributed through a fan. They are cost-effective and they provide a constant supply of fresh air. However, they are majorly suitable for medium to larger spaces. However, they come in portable sizes like Honeywell Portable Evaporative air conditioner.
Portable AC: This type of air conditioner is cheaper than split-unit and as the name goes, they are incredibly portable. They come in different sizes and shapes depending on their make and they are energy efficient. Installation is cost-effective and can be easily transferred into another room if needed. It is quite suitable for UK weather because it can easily be unplugged and put into storage after summer. BTU ranges from 8000.
Some models can double as dehumidifiers, heaters, or air purifiers. Although portable air conditioners have been known to make loud noises, there are some models like the De’Longhi PAC AN112 Silent air conditioner acclaimed as one of the quietest on the market with an incredibly strong compressor.
How to choose the best Air Conditioning Unit: Factors and Features
Choosing the best air conditioner for your home or office can be quite a drag. There are so many options to choose from but here are some factors you should consider.
Cooling time: Knowing how quickly it takes to cool a room at 10 is one factor you should consider or ask when it comes to choosing your air conditioner.
Ease of use: If you have a particular kind of AC in mind, find out if it’s easy to use, assemble or install. Is the manual or manufacturer's guide detailed and easy to understand?
Portability: Averagely, summer lasts for 3-4 months and once the season ends, your AC may start to gather dust or snow for split units unless it is placed into storage. So, it is important to consider how portable and movable the AC is.
Noise: Unlike fans, most AC make noises between 37-82 decibels. For use at home, a quiet AC will have 52db or less.
Energy efficiency: Electricity is more expensive than gas so getting an air conditioner that is energy efficient is both cost-effective and eco-friendly.
Here are some cool extra features that you can look out for while choosing the best air conditioning unit.
Dehumidifier mode: When spending on an air conditioner, you can watch out for units that double as a humidifier. Igenix 3in 1 portable air conditioner is a good example of such.
Remote control or smartphone control: This feature could be very useful if you do not want to leave your seat to adjust the temperature.
Timer: A very effective feature for times when it gets cooler in the night or if you like to come home to a cool house.
How to Install a Portable air conditioner?
Setting up a portable air conditioning unit usually takes two people because it can be quite heavy and awkward to lift.
First, check the manual for any special instruction that is specific to your unit.
Attach the connectors to the hose.
Check if your air conditioner comes with a window sealing kit suitable for your window. If it doesn’t, you can just stick the hose out the window. Once the exhaust vent is well placed, plug in your unit and switch it on.