As summer rapidly approaches, our thoughts turn to how best to keep our homes cool and comfortable over the hottest months of the year.
Our own house faces north-west so in winter it is delightfully warm but over summer it can be sizzling!
Now is a great time to plan on how to beat the heat - and if you need more than a fan, the next option would be some air-conditioning.
There are so many brands and models available that you will need to decide what would best suit your needs and budget. You will also want to make energy efficiency a priority so select a system with the latest technology.
This short list of considerations will help you decide which system covers all of your key requirements.
Do you want to cool just your main living areas or do you require several rooms - or even the entire house, including upstairs, perhaps - to be cooled?
This, then requires some calculations to be done:
- room sizes
- ceiling height
- window sizes
Then of course the house orientation must be considered, roof insulation will keep the heat of summer out, as will drapery and window coverings, or aternatively seal drafts around the home.
The cost of installation will increase if electrics are to be involved, so a power supply should be close by for ease of connection - consider a 'supply and install' package when you buy.
If the noise level of the cooling unit is critical, then positioning of the air conditioner is an important consideration - investigate the best design for your needs.
Thermostats and timers will give you maximum control over your cooling unit but not all units have timers so it is worthwhile determining if the model you would like gives you these options.
Of course you will want excellent after sales service and a great warranty so be clear about these issues before purchase
Types of Cooling options
- Portable - low power output and suits small spaces.
- Ducted - cools multiple rooms by pumping cool air through ducts.
- Window unit - mounted, good for small rooms.
- Splitsystem - cooling unit is outside the house and is suited for cooling one or more adjoining rooms.
- Multi-split system - uses multiple fan units inside to distribute cool air.
- Evaporative cooler - cools by drawing air past a water-cooled tower. Works best in low humidity and requires a window to be open.
The most efficient domestic cooling system in terms of operating costs would be the split system, using inverter technology. Inverter technology is efficient as the system could increase or decrease the operating speed of the compressor, depending on how much power was required, to achieve the desired temperature. This means less electricity is consumed during low speed operations.
So, if you end up choosing airconditioning for your home, rather than the humble fan, remember that, by keeping the filter cleaned regularly, you should create a wonderful, cool summer environment for the entire family.