choose a split-system / Clever things

This year, the exhausting summer heat arrived in Europe, even with some anticipation of the schedule. Scientists who frighten the respectable public by global warming or global cooling, finally agree: the global climate, no matter what it is in the future, will never be the same, and, at least, will be more capricious than in the good old days .

The most experienced buyers are concerned about buying a home air conditioner in advance – until the moment when sellers slowly begin to overstate the typical "winter" prices for fans, split-systems and everything that somehow helps to bring down the heat in the unreasonably heated apartment. Reasonable housewives and householders should not wait for the most baked under the version "that's pressed it down so hard", it's time to take care of the choice, purchase and installation of the air conditioner right now.

We all remember how suddenly a very hot summer can magically affect prices, increasing them almost two or three times. Therefore, today we will not detain you for a long time: we will tell very briefly and almost thesis about how to make a suitable choice among all the diversity of split systems – they are usually associated with the majority of buyers with the definition of "air conditioning".

# Split or multi-split?

Already by the very name it is clear that the split-system is an air-conditioner, which is technically divided into two blocks – the outer and the inner ones. The blocks, in turn, are interconnected by copper pipes, through which a cooling agent (usually freon) circulates, as well as an electric cable. Due to this the most noisy part of the device is located outside the window, and the indoor unit can be placed in a convenient place of the room or office.

Three components of a typical inexpensive home split system

A special case of the split-system layout is multi-split, when one external cooling unit serves several internal ones. This option is chosen in the case when it is necessary to condition several rooms in one apartment (or office), and there is no possibility to place several external units. Contrary to popular belief, as a rule, it will not be possible to cut costs when assembling a multi-split system, since the cost of installing systems and works on laying cables and ducts is increasing, and considerable savings will be observed unless in the case of a multi-storey office cooling with industrial models.

Multisplit scheme in a two-story house with a cable system (which we will discuss later)

Referring to the figures, the price tag for a simple home split system starts from about 10,000 rubles, the power consumption is on average from 2 to 7 kW (we will return to this a little later). Such systems are designed for premises from 10 to 70 square meters. Now it is about household models, but also there are semi-industrial (as they are called) models, which can be used in private homes, and simply in large apartments.

In addition, add the cost of installation and components (external block fixing, decorative boxes, copper tube, drainage pipeline, cables): an average of 25% of the price of the air conditioner for the first and up to 10% for the second.

# Cassettes or channels?

The indoor unit of the split system can be both wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted. The latter are divided, in turn, into cassette and channel.

The cassette conditioners got their name because they are actually "inserted" into the ceiling as cassettes into a tape recorder, and communications are laid inside the hanging ceiling. The dimensions of the indoor units are standard and are 60×60 or 120×60 cm.

Typical cassette indoor unit. And they all look something like this

Yes, in this case, it is necessary to hang the ceiling, because in the standard ceiling "Khrushchev" or high-rise cassettes will not work. Advantages of cassettes – they can be built into any place of the ceiling, they do not depend on the interior and walls, and therefore the air can be distributed in an optimal way – unlike wall systems. Depending on the design of the indoor unit, air can be distributed in two or four directions.

But this is what a person usually sees outside the cassette

A channel air conditioner also likes a false ceiling, but, unlike a cassette, the distribution of cooled air does not go through the bottom of the unit, but through a system of insulated ducts that are also located in the inter-ceiling space. Duct systems, thanks to this design, can cool several rooms at once.

And this is how the split-system channel systems look in the interior

However, for the apartment they are also poorly suited, like the cassette ones: their typical cooling capacity can reach 25 kW, and such industrial figures are not entirely suitable for apartments where the most energy consumes the electric stove. Actually, there are many similar commercial models (roof air-conditioners, closets, columns and others), but still it is a choice for the office and / or production premises. We talked only about the two most popular of them – those that are theoretically and practically can be used in large apartments and houses.

# Wall or ceiling?

The most popular split-system (it is usually meant by the words "split-system") – wall type. Energy they consume at times less than those mentioned above, cools less space. A typical home system is one outdoor unit and one wall-mounted, in one room on one wall.

To the design of indoor units, manufacturers come up with a great imagination, which is logical, given its place in the interior; in contrast to the same cassette systems, which from the outside leave only the decorative grille and the distribution blinds. However, in the cheapest models of the latter may not be.

A typical wall-mounted indoor unit

A special case of wall models – floor-ceiling models. They are similar to the wall only in that they represent the same separate unit, and are installed either at the bottom of the wall or on the ceiling (hence the name). In this case, in the first case, the air flow is directed upwards, and in the second case – horizontally along the ceiling. Not the best option, but it can be suitable for rooms of complex shape that do not have a false ceiling.

# And not at all monoblock

From old Soviet and foreign films, we got references to monoblock air conditioners: they liked to install them in the windows of all state institutions, and all the elements in them were housed in a single building (these air conditioners, incidentally or for the sake of Hochma, "drop out" from windows on the heads of passers-by in some old American films, remember?). On the one hand, they are convenient, fairly budgetary and easy to install. On the other hand, their dignity ends on this, because you want to look at the window.

And in general, it's not the seventies now, so today's monoblock systems are more like nightstands.

Window monoblock conditioner

However, such cabinets do not have a relationship to split systems, so we'll finish here, as we will tell more about such things in one of the following materials.

# This mysterious power

Simplified calculation of the power of the air conditioner can be made based on the following formula: at 10 m 2 rooms with a ceiling height of about three meters, you need 1 kW cooling capacity. Keep in mind that the cooling capacity is not the power consumed, which exceeds the first approximately 2-3 times.

The second aspect that needs to be kept in mind is the correspondence of power to the size of the room. If the room volume, for which the air conditioner is designed, is exceeded, this will lead to the work of the device for wear, and this work will not be of the highest quality. Take with a reserve of power – this is good, but here too, the main thing is not to overdo it, because too high capacity means overexpenditure of money to buy and overuse of electricity during operation. In general – you need to look for the golden mean.

# Do not interfere with living with neighbors

We will focus on the withdrawal of the drain pipe of the air conditioner. From it, during the operation of the device, water constantly drips (on average it can be up to 2 liters of water per hour on a hot day). In the author's life experience there was a case when a neighbor from the top installed the air conditioner so inaccurately that the condensate constantly dripped on the tin canopy of the loggia. Imagine such inconvenience for the tenants from below and for the owner of the split – when the tenants come to complain from below and will require a remake of the established one. And the owner will have to pay for it. But you could make a tap a bit more literate, not from the balcony, and even directly into the sewer …

This arrangement of systems is not the best: one interferes with another with illiterate drainage

Therefore, the selection of an assembly company or installation master should be approached with utmost responsibility. Of course, it's cheaper to hire "shabashnikov", but not the fact that they will do everything as it should, and that you will not have to rework everything. Especially when installing such a technically complex thing as a split-system. Typically, the installation service is offered by the seller himself, so it is not a sin to use them.

It is also worth considering the location of the external unit in advance. Ideally, it is a balcony or a loggia: the outer block does not spoil the interior of the facade of the house and does not bother anyone.

# Fiddling and all that

All modern split-systems of any type have a remote control. Cassette and cable systems usually have a wall console, and wall and all of its variants are a simple compact control panel, in most cases with an LCD display for greater convenience. It allows you to set the desired temperature, adjust the timer to automatically turn on and off the air conditioner at a given time, control the airflow with the help of distributional blinds and other convenient trifles.

Examples of various remote controllers

One of the most useful things in the air conditioner is the filter. The presence of the most simple filter is necessary, if only because the air sucked from the street is not the cleanest, and it will be very problematic to clean internal parts from large dust. In addition, the presence of filters is usually very critical for those who have allergies or small children in the family.

But filters of fine (that is, more thorough) cleaning, if they exist, need to be changed, and quite often, sometimes even every month, for otherwise the air conditioner will accommodate fungi, harmful microorganisms and unpleasant odors.

Thus, a more advanced filtration system in the air conditioner requires additional costs and hassle of maintenance. In general, it's worth it, but sometimes it's easier to buy a free-standing air purifier, about which we already wrote earlier. In this case, you can choose high-quality electrostatic or photocatalytic cleaners that do not have expendable materials (in all senses) in general.

The modest split-system from Samsung

One of the least useful functions of split systems in our latitudes, especially in urban apartments with central heating is the heating mode. Do not think that the air conditioner will fully replace the radiator, especially since the external unit of the split system, which can heat, in any case can not work at temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. However, this mode can be useful in the fall or spring, when the batteries have not yet been turned on or already turned off.

# Brands

Air conditioners can be clearly divided into three price categories: budget, medium and expensive. The models of the first category produce both well-known brands like LG and Samsung, as well as little-known outside the ex-USSR Ballu, General, Lessar, Midea or Dantex.

The second category includes respectable models from Panasonic, Electrolux, Zanussi, Hyundai, Toshiba and the same LG and Samsung. The top league is headed by Daikin, Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Carrier.

Air conditioners are produced mostly in Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, China, India, etc.), and even Japanese manufacturers place their production there for the sake of cost reduction.

Split systems from Daikin – one of the most expensive, despite the seemingly unprepossessing appearance

# Inverter Split Systems

Separate line are inverter split-systems: they are produced as budget LG and Samsung, and not at all budgetary Mitsubishi. The main advantage of inverter split systems is the possibility of smooth regulation of the compressor operation power. Strange as it may seem, a conventional air conditioner has, as a rule, a fixed power and therefore it always works at full power, depending on the desired level set.

Inverter split system from Fujitsu with various economical modes

Inverter models have a temperature sensor that "only" smoothly regulates power, and, depending on its readings, the microprocessor increases or lowers the intensity of the compressor as needed. At the same time, due to the fact that the compressor is running constantly, it allows maintaining the required temperature without sudden changes.

The main advantage of inverter systems is the reduced power consumption by 20-30% due to smooth load regulation.

# Conclusion

As you can see, nothing complicated, except that once again you want to repeat: if you decide to buy a split-system, it's better not to drag with this until the middle of the summer, and take care of the purchase as quickly as possible.

If there is no sense (or desire, or possibility) of spending tens of thousands of rubles on a split system in terms of climatic conditions in your locality (or for reasons of economy or the architect's prohibition), it's worthwhile looking at alternative options. For example, to fans and other cooling devices, which we will discuss in one of the following materials.

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