Today on the market of climatic equipment are many different models – from inexpensive to high-budget. Who to trust with the selection and installation of equipment? Maybe do it yourself? What air conditioner is suitable for your apartment, and what one is not?
What is a split-system??
Split-system is an air conditioner, consisting of external and internal blocks. The name comes from the English word “split. Such construction eliminated all main difficulties and inconveniences which are usual for usual window conditioners – noise and binding to the window opening.
Separation of the evaporator unit from the compressor-condensing unit significantly reduced the noise from work, because the compressor is the “loudest” part of a conditioner, and in split-systems it is taken out to the outer part of the building.
The most advanced models have a noise level of about 20 decibels, which is almost imperceptible to the human ear. One more advantage is that the inner block can be installed indoors anywhere.
And it is not obligatory on the wall, models can be floor, ceiling, column, and built in false ceiling. Internal and external parts of a split-system are connected to each other by two thin copper pipes in heat-insulation, they are usually hold inside the walls, behind the panels or close by the decorative plastic boxes.
Where we go for purchase?
Now it is possible to buy split-system both in the trading networks on home appliances sale and in specialized stores and companies. Experts advise to apply to a company, which have a good reputation on the market. The matter here is not only in equipment itself, but the quality of given services on installation and technical service is also important.
Of course, it is easy to hire a “seasonal” team and maybe you can even save money in this way. But very often the non-professional installers are not qualified enough for proper installation of split-system, they do not have the necessary tools and accessories. Illiterate work leads to the premature unwinding and breakage of technics.
If the system is bought from a not popular firm, then afterwards problems with warranty and service repair can arise. The company may close down or change its name. It is not pleasant to find out that there are no spare parts at the warehouse.
Therefore, before making a purchase, make sure that the seller has certificates for the equipment, and when signing the contract attached cash voucher and a detailed description of the services agreed upon in advance.
It is worth paying attention to the level of staff training and the number of showrooms. All of these factors should lead you to believe that this is a reputable company, not a suspicious office selling unknown equipment.
How to choose the right model?
One of the most important parameters you should pay attention to is the capacity, because much depends on it the further destiny of your split-system. Insufficient power will make the technique to work at the limit and will quickly bring it out of operation, and excessive – is an additional, unnecessary expense to the buyer.
For exact calculation of power, selection of air conditioner and location of its units it is necessary to have technical knowledge, which as a rule ordinary buyer does not possess. The best solution is to turn to professionals for this. Now many companies offer free visit and consultation. But for communicating with employees of the company is better to be prepared in advance.
All air-conditioning systems are divided on the type of power regulation into invertor and noninvertor. Inverter split-systems regulate their capacity smoothly, while the ordinary non-inverter systems work only on switching on and off like an ordinary fridge at home. Thanks to the inverter technology it is possible to reduce noise and save up to 30% of electric energy.
All from the fact that the power consumption decreases when the room temperature approaches the desired temperature. Multi-split-systems with inverter control are able to regulate capacity depending on the amount of working internal blocks, redistributing necessary capacity from blocks with smaller loading to blocks with bigger one.
Even greater savings are achieved in multi-zone systems with heat recovery. In such systems simultaneous work of internal blocks in a cooling and heating mode is possible, at that the system will simply transfer the heat from one room to another one and the power consumption will halve in comparison with usual systems.
The only disadvantage of the inverter conditioners is higher price, than of the usual conditioners, but one should not save money on his health and comfort. In addition, this choice will be paid back with a long service life of the equipment as the “inverter” has a smooth load on the compressor without jumps, and reduced power consumption.
There are some requirements for external blocks location:
– Guidelines for minimum distances between the unit and surrounding structures must be considered.
– They should not obstruct the free air circulation – it is necessary for the effective heat exchange.
– The discharge of warm air should not inconvenience the neighbors and the noise from the operating outdoor unit should not exceed 50-60 decibels in the living area.
– If you want to install the external unit on a glazed balcony you will have to leave it open when the air conditioner is on.
– At work on cooling it is necessary unobstructed drainage of the heat emitted.
– If you install it properly the engineers will pay your attention to the fact that the outdoor unit must be protected from precipitation and icicles falling from the roof. When installing it under a window or on a bare wall it is recommended to build a special canopy.
– If an external unit is installed on a roof or other horizontal surface, you should take care that it is not covered with snow in winter. For this purpose, a special stand is built.
– Water drainage should be arranged in such a way that condensate drops do not fall on the passers-by even in a strong wind.
– It should be remembered that the owner of an air conditioner is responsible for outside unit location on the façade and condensate outlet on the street.
If there are restrictions on the placement of outdoor units on the facades of buildings of historical value, the units are placed on the exterior wall facing the courtyard by agreement with the housing and utilities committee. Also in the residential complexes of the premium class can have its own special limitations.
For example, removal of condensate exclusively into the sewerage system and not outside the window or location of outdoor unit in a strictly designated area, and it can have a limited area regardless of the capacity and size of the outdoor unit. And, of course, the outside unit should be available for service. That is why you should not place it on a bare end wall.
It is necessary to know the area of the room, the height of the ceilings and the glazing area, to take into account the number of people in the room and the heat-generating equipment eg, TV or computer , and also to pay attention to the orientation of windows to the cardinal points and whether the room is on the top floor, because it can receive additional heat from the roof, heated by the sun.
Almost all these parameters are important for a proper selection of the air conditioner, so do not trust these “specialists” for whom knowing only the area of your room will be enough.
Split-systems of a wall type
Most common on American market. They are designed for air-conditioning of one room with area from 10 up to 100 m2, depending on the capacity of a model. Typically, units are equipped with useful features such as a timer, adjustable louvers, multi-stage air filtration and even a fresh air supply, though in a relatively small amount.
There are restrictions on the distance and height difference between indoor and outdoor units. As a rule, the distance between them can’t exceed 20-50 meters, depending on the capacity of the system.
It is not necessary to use the same capacity and type of indoor units, they can be different.
In such systems it is impossible to have different indoor units for cold and heat at the same time.
Designed for simultaneous operation in several rooms, the total area of which can reach 300 m2. Indoor units of this type are installed behind a suspended ceiling or decorative ducts, the air is intake through the louver and is supplied with the air duct system to the conditioned rooms. This unit has a more powerful fan to overcome the resistance of distribution ducts and grilles.
In large ducted units it is possible to organize inflow of fresh air, which partially solves the problem of ventilation of the premises. True, you’ll have to spend money on additional accessories, such as a supply fan and a duct heater, as it is not allowed to supply very cold air directly into the unit.
If you use one channel unit for air conditioning of several premise you cannot regulate temperature, airflow and other modes for each premise separately because you have only one control panel and a control sensor per unit.
Up to four or five indoor units are installed on one outdoor unit. Suitable for air-conditioning of an apartment with several rooms. The choice of such system is expedient also in places where the place for installation of external sides is limited, for example, because of the architecture of a building. Increases installation complexity, but it is more economic solution than purchase of several split-systems.
Split-systems of cassette type
They are used to maintain a comfortable temperature in large rooms. Have one of the lowest noise levels and near perfect air distribution. In such conditioners there is often an option to use fresh air.
Floor-ceiling type air conditioner
It is recommended to install when the capacity of a usual split-system is not enough and there is no possibility to install a cassette or duct type conditioner, for example, if there is no false ceiling or if the room has strongly elongated shape.
The internal block of such conditioner directs a powerful stream of cooled air along the wall or ceiling and thus provides even temperature distribution in the room. Its original appearance is specially designed for ceiling or wall mounting.
Are suitable for air conditioning of a large building, but not a separate apartment, but often such systems are used for air conditioning of cottages or a few apartments. Up to 64 indoor units of different capacity can be connected to one outdoor unit. The length of a route between an outdoor unit and the farthest indoor unit can reach 150 meters and even more. The outdoor unit is installed on the roof, in the yard, in the attic or in any other inconspicuous place.
Have a large capacity: from 7 up to 25 kilowatt. They are so called because their inner block is made in the form of a column. Such conditioners are usually met in halls of hotels, restaurant halls, conference halls, stores and other similar rooms.
Powerful air flow is directed into the ceiling space, from where it is evenly distributed throughout the volume of the room. Typically, these air conditioners are equipped with automatically controlled distribution louvers.