With temperatures soaring this summer, increasing numbers of homeowners and landlords in the UK are beginning to see air conditioning as less of a luxury and more of a necessity. During 2022, the United Kingdom has witnessed record high temperatures and equally jarring levels of humidity, and one of the best ways to combat this is with a home air conditioning system.
There are many types of AC system, although each one functions on the principle of removing heat from the home and circulating cool air. However, each model has its own efficiency levels and suitability depending on the aesthetics of your home. In this article, we’re going to focus on different types of air conditioning systems to help you decide which is the right choice for your home or apartment.
Portable air coolers
Portable air coolers are incredibly convenient because they stand on the floor without the need for installation. These units draw in air from the room and remove heat and moisture. This air is then cooled and vented back into your home. The hot and humid air drawn into the portable air cooler is vented, typically via an exhaust hose which leads to a window.
Portable air cooler benefits
• Easier to set up than other air conditioning units.
• Mounted on casters for optimal positioning.
• Venting hose won’t obstruct the view from the window.
• Practical: can be rolled out and used temporarily during hot spells.
Portable air cooler disadvantages
• Lower cooling capacity than other AC units.
• Less efficient than similarly-sized window units.
• Water reservoirs must be manually drained.
• Noise can be a factor.
Central air conditioning systems
The most comprehensive way to keep your home cool is to install a central AC system. This involves the distribution of cooled air through ducting, with supply and return registers in each room of the house. With a central air condition system, the components are usually located on the exterior of the property, with the exception of the air handler.
Benefits of central air conditioning systems
• Most efficient way to keep your home cool.
• Could help reduce energy bills in comparison to freestanding AC units.
• Lower humidity which could reduce mould spores.
• Virtually silent setup.
Central air cooling system disadvantages
• Regular maintenance to keep your system in working order.
• Higher upfront costs in comparison to portable AC units.
• Inconvenience of installing ductwork.
• In-depth survey required to ensure the right-sized system for your home size.
Air conditioning purifiers
If you’re looking to cool your home and enjoy cleaner air, a combined air conditioning purifier could be the choice for you. These devices help to lower room temperatures via evaporation-based cooling. Simply fill your unit with cold water, ice cubes or ice packs to cool down the incoming warm air.
In addition to the cooling function, air conditioning purifiers also help to create a cleaner environment. The integrated air filter with a honeycomb structure ensures that incoming air is filtered and humidified before being recirculated.
Air conditioning purifier benefits
• Four-in-one function: HEPA air purification, air cooling, air freshening and humidification.
• Highly effective against dust, viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
• Evaporative capacity of almost one litre per hour.
• Large water tank with level indicator.
• Coloured air quality indicator.
Air conditioning purifier disadvantages
• Manual refill.
• Could potentially be noisy.
• Not suitable for large spaces (above 45-metres squared).
Ductless air conditioners
Ductless mini-split air conditioning systems are essentially heat pumps without ductwork. They have two main components: an outdoor compressor (similar to those found in central AC systems) and an indoor evaporator coil/air handling unit (this mounts to the ceiling or wall). A conduit which is fed through a sealed hole in the wall links both units together.
Ductless air conditioners can be a good choice for UK homes. Most UK homes don’t feature ductwork as standard, and in older properties, it is not particularly feasible to add ductwork.
Ductless air conditioner benefits
• High energy-efficiency rating: could help keep bills to a minimum.
• Closest thing to a central AC system without having to perform major home renovations.
• Heat pump can also provide heating in the winter.
• Low-noise operation: as quiet as an ordinary fan.
• Unobstructed window views.
Ductless air conditioner disadvantages
• More expensive than portable units.
• Requires a professional electrical engineer to install.
• Could cause interior design issues.
• Not suitable for all properties.
Window air conditioners
Window AC units are ideal for flats and apartments, and can also be used to boost cooling in single rooms in larger properties. They are designed to fit into the window frame and are relatively easy to install without professional help. While window air conditioners were considered inefficient until recently, modern models offer far greater efficiency than ones on the market just ten years ago.
Benefits of window air conditioners
• Reasonably portable.
• Easy to install without professional assistance.
• Great for those on a budget.
• Reasonably energy efficient.
• Long warranties (up to five years).
Disadvantages of window air conditioners
• Not intended to cool the entire home.
• Multiple units required to keep your entire property cool.
• Impairs the ability to use your window.
• Blocks the view from outside.
• Can be noisy – compressor runs inside.
No two properties are the same, and the right air conditioning solution for a home owned by your friend or relative might not be the correct choice for your own property. It’s also worth remembering that whilst summers are undoubtedly getting warmer in the UK, you might not need an air conditioning system all year round.
It might therefore be a good idea to try a portable air conditioner as an affordable way to keep your home cool during the hottest periods of the year. This could help you to avoid having to splash out on building work for air ducts and is a lot cheaper than installing a central air conditioning system.
If you have concerns about the quality of the air in your home, you might want to consider a four-in-one air conditioning purifier. This way, you can have peace of mind that your home won’t just be cool; the air you breathe will be free from contaminants and allergens, too.
For further information on air conditioners for the home, please do not hesitate to contact us today. A member of our friendly and experienced team will be more than happy to talk you through the options available to you and to advise you on the right air conditioning units for your home based on your budget, requirements and the size of your property.