Air Conditioning and the First Signs of SummerWritten by Duncan under Air Conditioners, General | No Comments
In the old days of LBC talk radio on FM in London you knew summer was coming because virtually all the advertisements on air were for portable air conditioners. Even if it was raining cats and dogs outside the car window, as soon the annoying, strident tones of the ads for a particular supplier came on, you knew blue skies and soaring temperatures were not far off!
If the forecasts of just how sweltering this summer is going to be are anywhere near correct, then air conditioning will be essential for virtually anyone at home or in the office. They will probably be a life-saver if you have a conservatory. If temperatures do reach the stratospheric heights predicted, you could wind up with a very effective blast furnace in which you could smelt steel instead of a comfortable room outdoors! They could also, very literally, be a genuine life saver for the elderly in particular if we do indeed get a real heat wave!
Portable and window air conditioners are the ideal temporary or permanent cooling solution for offices, cafés and restaurants, kitchens and domestic environments when the weather turns really hot and sticky. Window air conditioners can provide a year-round solution by fitting permanently in the walls of a building or the supporting brickwork of an extension or conservatory. They’re also suitable for temporary installation through sash windows for example.
Many people think that air conditioners lower the temperature simply by somehow pumping cool air in when in fact any unit recycles warm air in a room back as cooler air. In some senses, an air conditioner is essentially a refrigerator without the insulated box and uses the evaporation of a refrigerant, just like a fridge, to provide cooling. Some air conditioners can cool and help clean the air as well. Some indoor units have filters that catch dust, pollen and other allergens as some can also function as dehumidifiers, taking in excess moisture from the air and using it to help cool the unit.
If you are considering a portable unit, you should also be aware of the limitations on just how “portable” it will be. All portable air conditioning units require a hose to be fed out a window or door to extract the hot air produced by the compressor. This does limit where they can be situated, but you can get hose extensions so you can reach a convenient window or other opening. “Through the wall” vent kits to go with portable units are probably a better solution. They allow you to maintain a sealed room rather than leave doors or windows slightly open. This improves the overall cooling efficiency, but does of course require a hole to be drilled through the wall and some installation work.