Fitted Air conditioning

Fitted Air conditioning

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Discussion

guindilias

5,070 posts

87 months

Sunday 9th August 2020
quotequote all
8-P said:
Fella over the road from me did his house last year, most rooms.

Are they noisy enough to ps off a neighbour?
Nope, modern inverter units are pretty quiet - older non inverter ones have the fan kicking in and out at full speed all the time, but inverter units just ramp it up and down according to demand.
You can still buy non-inverter types if you DO want to piss them off - they are cheaper as well! laugh

normalbloke

Original Poster:

4,748 posts

186 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply, and also add images. Invaluable. Some great info in here. Now, is there anyone on the South Coast who wants to advise and quote on a system? I’m near Fareham in Hampshire.

gizlaroc

17,251 posts

191 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
8-P said:
Fella over the road from me did his house last year, most rooms.

Are they noisy enough to ps off a neighbour?
Obviously not if you are having to ask? laugh

Simpo Two

75,665 posts

232 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
guindilias said:
Yeah, unless you go for a ducted system, which is fine for upstairs (the main unit can go in the loft and be ducted to each room), but won't do downstairs...
Cold air sinks, so if I had one unit feeding cooled air into my bedroom, wouldn't it flow down the staircase and into the nearby lounge?

Harry Flashman

15,433 posts

209 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Hi all, we had this done last year, so I will answer questions. I am in SW London.

UNITS
TCL/ElectriQ, which are generic cheap brands using Panasonic compressors, bought from Appliances Direct

Good:
- they work really well.
- internal units look smart and are quiet
- the outdoor units are extremely quiet, but mounting matters. The ones on wall brackets down the side alley of the house are almost silent, and neighbour reports no noise at all. However the small nursery one on the (fibreglass) flat roof does transmit a small amount of noise through to the room below.
- the unit that is single outdoor/twin indoor works just as well at full pelt as the unit that is just one outdoor and one indoor.
- Can be controlled from the SmartLife App and Alexa/Google Assistant, which is great, as you can have the house cool for when you get home, the nursery cool for bedtime etc.
- can take power from outside or inside, which could save on exterior electrics, but would mean trunking/chasing indoors to get power to the indoor unit from a plug socket.

Bad:
- no lateral swing on the TCL units; this only matters for the first few minutes as the fan cools the room pretty quickly. You can manually set the lateral angle, it just does not swing. The ElectriQ unit has automatic lateral swing.
- had to be installed by a qualified installer at around £600 per room - no significant discount for the one with multiroom indoor units
- outdoor units are not pretty, and neither is the pipework. i don't care as they live in a service alley behind the garage, but if you have a terraced hous, you may wish to build a vented enclosure for them if putting them out back.
- as with everything anything connected to a network takes bandwidth and needs decent coberage. You can run them as simple units without needing to be connected to wifi, though.

I note that AppliancesDirect now have plug and play units that you can fit yourself if you can core a wall, so will try to use these in future. Guindillias, of these forums, is really helpful on this as well as I think he a has done a bunch of them. Frankly, if you aren't bothered about the certificates, installing them doesn't look hard anyway, if you have the time.

I thought about more expensive Fujitsu or Mitsubishi units, but for the occasional use these get didn't think the cost worth it. Also, I have a lifetime of experience using cheap aircon that never gets serviced from experiences at our family home abroad, and these things are pretty simple and easy to fix.

I also think that it is better to overspec the units. There is an argument that smaller units are more efficient (I read that somewhere), but frankly, for occasional use, just get one that will cool the room as quickly as possible initially and then maintain that temperature. We underspecced the kitchen unit, and it just takes longer to cool the room. You end up turning it on earlier in anticipation of the day's weather, so I bet any efficiency gains are negated by this behaviour.

I absolutely love having the aircon. Our house is Victorian with thick walls so stays cool for a few days, but then once the walls have heated up, managing heat becomes quite tough. We are looking at solar when we eventually redo the roof to drive the aircon in hot, sunny months. If anyone knows if the new green grant could help with this, let me know!

20190803_094948 by baconrashers, on Flickr

20190804_081016 by baconrashers, on Flickr

20190804_081003 by baconrashers, on Flickr

IMG_20200810_113332 by baconrashers, on Flickr

IMG_20200810_112649 by baconrashers, on Flickr

Edited by Harry Flashman on Monday 10th August 11:37

Harry Flashman

15,433 posts

209 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Simpo Two said:
Cold air sinks, so if I had one unit feeding cooled air into my bedroom, wouldn't it flow down the staircase and into the nearby lounge?
This does not work as well as you would think - my bedroom one does not cool the dressing room/gym as well as I had hoped. However, sticking a pedestal fan in the doorway helps. It means that you are cooling a room you do not need to first, though.

cb31

727 posts

103 months

Monday 10th August 2020
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How do they work for replacing gas centrally heated radiators? We are doing an extension and originally planned a radiator but am now considering replacing it with an air conditioner that does heating and cooling. Room will be about 18sqm.

Harry Flashman

15,433 posts

209 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Don't know but I suspect gas is cheaper unless you have a really well insulated home with MHVR etc.

Going to use one for our garden room build for heating and cooling, but we have gas CH in the house.

Edited by Harry Flashman on Monday 10th August 13:27

guindilias

5,070 posts

87 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
You might just get cheaper heating than gas - manufacturers often state that the split has a Coefficient of Performance of 4 or so in heating mode, meaning the electricity it consumes is 1/4 of the heat it puts out - but that varys, they become less efficient as the temperature outside drops.
It's a faster wand more controllable for of heat though - unless your heating is zoned by room using zone valves or wifi controlled TRVs like Tado, Honeywell, Wiser, etc. - your central heating will probably heat rooms earlier than you need to.
You might want your bedroom heated before the rest of the house in which case you will probably make a saving by using the split to heat it rather than the central heating. You can only really work it out by looking at the CoP versus outside temperature graph of your particular unit.

h0b0

5,793 posts

163 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
The whole house AC units in the US use gas for heat and electricity for cooling. I assume if there was efficiency gains vs build cost they would use electricity if it showed benefit.

When I visit the Uk I normally rent places with AC. I haven’t seen an American style system yet. They are normally the split systems or not real AC. When I watch UK build threads with AC it is a similar story. This means having the big unit on the wall or a large panel on the ceiling. Is there a reason the US approach of having one big unit in a closet and forcing it to all the rooms? Is it because people in the UK want more control?

My house has 2 systems with 3 zones. I can heat/cool each floor independently. I can’t do it to a room level but if that’s something I wanted I could add more zones and thermostats.



In each room I have 4x12” passive vents with ducting back to the central unit.

Without more knowledge, this is the system I would use in the Uk. But, again, it might be down to wanting to only cool a couple of rooms.

Also, someone asked about actively cooling upstairs and it passively cooling downstairs. With out more mental of air it doesn’t work that way. For example, if you cool one room and leave the door open you would expect it to cool the next. Nope. The cool air doesn’t pass through open doors. If you have a ceiling unit at the top of the stairs the. I could see it cooling the stairs. But, that ceiling unit would only be cooling the hallway and the cold air wouldn’t pass into the upstairs bedrooms in any meaningful way.

red_slr

12,933 posts

156 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Also have an Electriq system (the easy fit one). Its been good other than an ECU failure in the first day after install but they fixed under warranty.

It cools the entire office 2nd floor (30m2 ish) and also has quite a noticeable effect on the ground floor esp if we leave it on overnight.

The only thing I would say OP is get your units installed in the winter, Jan - Feb time. You will pay a LOT less. Having them done now, if you can even get a booking its going to be considerably more and really only 6 weeks of warm weather left.

guindilias

5,070 posts

87 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Houses in the US are built with ducted heating and cooling in mind, houses in the UK aren't. That's the explanation.

h0b0

5,793 posts

163 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
guindilias said:
Houses in the US are built with ducted heating and cooling in mind, houses in the UK aren't. That's the explanation.
Using Harry as an example though, his house was completely gutted and would offer the opportunity to install cleanly.

ruggedscotty

3,723 posts

176 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Countdown said:
richatnort said:
What is the upkeep of them? I'm guessing you have to get them maintained?
A local air-con place charges £30 per unit. They want to service them every year but to be honest the units get used about 4 or 5 times a year so it doesn’t really seem worth it.
they need to be run regularly or the seals dry out and your fridge gas will escape. also not good to leave them sitting unused for long times.
basic maintenance is just power off and then open up the casings and clean them down of dust and the like, especially outside with leaves and general rubbish. a few hours would see an average house system done.

guindilias

5,070 posts

87 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
h0b0 said:
Using Harry as an example though, his house was completely gutted and would offer the opportunity to install cleanly.
It wasn't gutted to the extent of removing ceiling joists etc, which are generally what gets in the way in a ducted sytem retrofit. 99% of UK houses are simply not suitable for ducted systems.

Countdown

31,360 posts

163 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
ruggedscotty said:
they need to be run regularly or the seals dry out and your fridge gas will escape. also not good to leave them sitting unused for long times.
basic maintenance is just power off and then open up the casings and clean them down of dust and the like, especially outside with leaves and general rubbish. a few hours would see an average house system done.
Ah carp...I dont think the one in the study has been run for 5 years frown

How regularly is "regularly" ?

red_slr

12,933 posts

156 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
Countdown said:
ruggedscotty said:
they need to be run regularly or the seals dry out and your fridge gas will escape. also not good to leave them sitting unused for long times.
basic maintenance is just power off and then open up the casings and clean them down of dust and the like, especially outside with leaves and general rubbish. a few hours would see an average house system done.
Ah carp...I dont think the one in the study has been run for 5 years frown

How regularly is "regularly" ?
In the winter I run ours once every week or two. Usually just for an hour. It also heats so sometimes its on anyway.

drewklonky

39 posts

97 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
House hold A/C doesn't use seals car AC does . The flairs are made of copper so it's a copper to brass connection

8-P

2,667 posts

227 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
gizlaroc said:
Obviously not if you are having to ask? laugh
As I said he’s over the road! I’m just thinking I wouldn’t want to piss my neighbour off if I installed them down the least visible side of my house. Sounds like that would not be an issue though.

Harry Flashman

15,433 posts

209 months

Monday 10th August 2020
quotequote all
h0b0 said:
Using Harry as an example though, his house was completely gutted and would offer the opportunity to install cleanly.
It's a good point and I looked at it, but it's actually not as easy as one might think. Brick construction is very different to the stud/clad construction of the US. Fitting ducts would have meant serious work even with the house stripped down, and if you start messing with floors and ceilings in an old house you lose room height and lose original period features as well. Whereas core drilling through walls and fitting some electrics is dead easy.

If I ever clean sheet build, my home will have central air couple to MHVR system. But on a period house, it doesn't make sense unless you are literally replacing everything but the walls.