Air Conditioner Buying Guide
How do Air Conditioners work?
 
Air conditioners work in a similar way to refrigerators and freezers, but whilst refrigerators cool small areas inside the unit, air conditioners work to cool large areas like rooms, offices, factories, etc.
 
Air conditioners move warm air from inside your home or office to outside.  Most Portable Air Conditioners are mobile units which are often on wheels and can be moved to any room. They usually come with an exhaust hose which blows hot air extracted from inside the room, to outside the room. The exhaust hose would need to be placed outside the room, through a window, into an adjacent room or hallway, or through a hole in the wall. The length of the exhaust hose is often around 1 metre -1.5 metres, and this should not be extended, as it would cause heat to back up inside the air conditioner. 
 
Explained very basically, an air conditioner has three parts, a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator.  The compressor draws hot air from the room into the unit, and passes the air through the condenser and over the evaporator which contains a very low pressure and very cold refrigerant. This then cools the air and connected to the evaporator is a fan that circulates the air around the room.  The heat is expelled through either the exhaust hose or through the external unit of a split system and the cool air is blown into the room.
 
This process continues until the room reaches the temperature the thermostat is set to, and then the unit switches off. When the temperature in the room rises again, the thermostat senses this and switches the air conditioner on again until the room cools again to the required temperature.
 
 
Types of Air Conditioners we supply
 
There are two basic types of air conditioners which meet nearly all requirements, and they are portable or mobile air conditioners, and split air conditioners.
 
Portable Air Conditioning Systems
Portable or mobile air conditioners are best for home or small office use, as they just plug into the mains socket. They are mobile so can be moved easily from one place to another, and are usually sitting on castors. You would need to ensure the hot air is extracted, by attaching the hose provided out of a door, window, or through a small hole in the wall. In the short term, however, you can direct the hose through the window or door. These air conditioners do not require an outdoor unit or professional installation as they just plug in and are therefore an attractive option for their ease of use and the flexibility of moving them from room to room.  You can also just unplug it and place the unit in storage when you no longer need it. 
 
It is easy to control the temperature indoors with a portable air conditioner, and we have a great selection of portable air conditioners at amazing sale prices. Ideal for applications where you need to keep certain areas of your home, office or factory cool, whilst also providing a dehumidifying function. Use a portable air conditioner to keep one room at a time cool, either your lounge or bedroom, computer room or loft, wherever you may be sitting. These units also offer good energy efficiency and can cost as little as 9p per hour to run, a small price to pay for a good night’s sleep!
 
Split Air Conditioning Systems
The split air conditioning systems consist of an indoor, remote controlled unit, and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is fixed to the wall and is connected to the outdoor unit by means of a pipe and the unit cannot be easily moved. The outdoor unit or compressor is either installed on the ground outside, or is fixed to the wall using wall brackets. For this reason split air conditioners are often called fixed air conditioners and they are not mobile. 
 
But the advantages of split air conditioners compared with portable air conditioners are that they are quiet, take up no floor space and are more energy efficient. They also provide a heating function, are remote controlled, easy to maintain and are an attractive design.  Some split air conditioners consist of a more powerful compressor unit which is connected to multiple indoor units. This is called a multi split air conditioner. 
 
Advantages of Air Conditioning?
Most air conditioners contain thermostats so you can set the room’s temperature as desired. The unit will switch itself on or off depending on whether the temperature rises or falls in the room.
Whilst cooling your room, all air conditioners also act as dehumidifiers, and some come with internal water tanks so they can be used as just dehumidifiers without the cooling function.
Portable air conditioners are very easy to install with all necessary fittings included so you can run the exhaust pipe through a door, window or wall. They run off a standard 3-pin plug with a standard 13amp fuse.
Some models feature temperature read-outs and adjustable timers to switch the units on or off, whilst others combine standard fans and air purifiers within the units.
 
BTUs
For those unfamiliar with the term BTU it is a unit of measurement of the power used by air conditioning units in the UK, and stands for British Thermal Units, which is a measure of the amount of heat needed to raise the of temperature of one pound of liquid water by one degree from 60° to 61° Fahrenheit ,whilst maintaining a constant pressure.
 
The number of BTUs required from an air conditioner should take into account two key factors, the size of the room and the amount of heat being produced by people and machines within the room in question.
 
These are both major elements in working out the correct cooling capacity needed from your air conditioner; however another thing to consider is window size and the direction in which the window faces. The light received into a room is a major factor in the temperature the room maintains.
 
As a general rule it is advisable to purchase an air conditioner with a minimum output 7000 BTUs this would be the minimum BTUs required to cool a small room (18sq/m) on a hot day.  Medium rooms (24sq/m) need around 10,000 BTUs and larger rooms and office spaces (36sq/m) require at least 15000 BTUs.
 
Various factors must be taken into account when fitting air conditioning units, including the location of the units.
 
Office Air Conditioning
Offices are usually larger than rooms in an average home, and air conditioners would probably be in use more frequently than in the average home. It is often worth considering a more expensive, higher quality unit. These units usually have more features and can provide a wider range of choice, eg heating, cooling, fan or dehumidify.  A reasonably quiet unit will be probably be required within an office space and many quality units can be set on a low decibel limit between 25 and 40 decibels.
 
Home Air conditioning
Around the home the air conditioner you require can vary in price. There is a large selection of units that can be employed, depending on budget and requirement. It is more costly to employ a totally concealed unit but this is still possible with a ducted system or cassette air conditioning unit.
Bedroom Air conditioning once again requires different factors to be taken into account.  Possibly the most important factor here is that they need to be quiet so as not to affect the rooms ambience. Many better quality units will come with a “whisper quiet” facility, when the noise levels are not raised above 25 decibels.
 
Conservatory Air Conditioning
Conservatory Air Conditioners are very popular and one of the most commonly employed because of the heat retention in conservatories in the hotter months, and heat loss experienced in the winter.
The summer months can see the temperature raised substantially in a conservatory, which can in affect become like a sauna, and as well as the cooling capacity of the air conditioner, it is also important to take into consideration dehumidifying and heating for the winter months.
If you are thinking about air conditioning for the conservatory it all depends where you can site it. A low wall mounted unit can be fitted on a dwarf wall of 600mm.  The low wall mounted units we supply comprise two elements - an internal and an external unit.
The internal unit is fitted onto the Dwarf Wall in the conservatory whilst the external unit is situated outside the building.
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Contact Details:
Customer Services
Air Con Centre
75-97 Walsall Road
Perry Barr
Birmingham
B42 1TX

Email: sales@airconcentre.co.uk
Tel: 0800 865 4567
 

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