With the summer months in full swing and London being extra hot this summer, many property owners are looking for ways to cool their homes. The question, “should I install air conditioning?” has probably crossed everyone’s minds at this point. If this is you, here are our top 10 things to consider before installing internal water cooled air conditioning in your London property. Our guide will help you make an informed decision on the best solution for you.
1. Planning Permission
If you live in an apartment, flat or listed building, you will most likely require planning permission to install a traditional external condenser. Permission is often not granted in cities such as London. This will depend on the individual restrictions of the building. Water cooled air conditioning in therefore the best solution for you.
If you don’t live in a restricted property or have already been granted planning permission, we suggest you install a conventional air conditioner. This is because water cooled units are specifically designed as an alternative solution for restricted properties. If you can install an external condenser, you will not benefit from a water cooled system as they are generally more expensive to install.
Generally speaking, our internal water cooled condensers do not require planning permission to install. This includes apartments and Grade II Listed Buildings. We install both traditional and water cooled air con systems, so we can accommodate your needs whatever your requirements.
2. Property Type
In cities such as London, apartments and listed buildings face the most restrictions. Listed buildings are protected because of their historical significance. Modernising this type of property can be a challenge. Apartments and flats are limited by their lack of outdoor space and access to external walls, so conventional AC systems are often prohibited. If you live in a house or are located outside the city centre, planning restrictions usually ease up. So, it it worth checking whether you can install an external condenser.
Commercial properties in London face similar restrictions as residential properties. If you own or work in a listed building, you will most likely not be able to install a traditional unit. In addition, if your business is based inside a shopping centre, the lack external access will make conventional AC installations difficult. Our water cooled air conditioners are perfect for restricted commercial properties including restaurants, cafes, shops, schools and data server rooms.
3. Number and Size Of Rooms
It is important to consider the size of the area you are looking to cool. This will help you choose the right size and type of unit you need to install. For example, a single wall mounted unit can cool the average sized room but, if you are looking to cool a large open plan area, you may need more than one unit. In addition, if you have multiple areas that require cooling like in a large open plan office for example, you should consider ceiling cassette units as they feature 4-way air flow.
If you are looking to cool multiple rooms in your home or commercial building, you will need a unit for each room. With multi-split systems you can add up to five units to a single condenser.
Use our easy air conditioning size guide and calculator to find the right unit for your space. If you are looking for some additional help, our specialist team of engineers are available for free consultations and site surveys. Get in touch here.
4. Interior Décor/Aesthetic
The visual aesthetic you are looking to maintain in your home or commercial property will have an impact of the type of unit you opt for. Some units are more discreet that others. For example, ducted units are almost entirely hidden. Installed in a suspended ceiling, the only visible element are small vent grilles. Although more expensive, they are the most aesthetically pleasing option. Wall mounted units are more visible but also more versatile. Available in different colours and size, they are easy to tailor to you interior décor.
5. Construction Type
The construction type of your wall and ceilings play a significant role in the installation process. Wall mounted units are usually quick and easy to retrofit on a typical internal wall. Ducted and ceiling cassette units on the other hand, require a false or suspended ceiling for the installation. If you don’t have a false ceiling you can either choose a different type of air conditioner or you can take on additional building works, which will be much more costly.
6. Number & Size of Windows
Windows play a crucial factor when it comes to the cooling requirement of your space. The more natural sunlight a room gets, the hotter it will be. So, the more windows there are and the bigger they are, the more powerful your AC will need to be. It is also important to note that you should always position your air conditioner away from direct sunlight. See our list of best practices and examples on where to place your air conditioner.
7. Preferred Method of Delivery
There are two main types of delivery methods, ducted and split units. The option most suited to your space will depend on a couple of factors including, the construction type of your walls and ceilings and the visual aesthetic you are looking to maintain. Split units consist of an internal fan unit (such as wall mounted or ceiling cassette) and a condenser.
Your budget is essential to consider. Some types of units are more expensive than others. Knowing what you can spend will help eliminate options that are out of your price range. It is also important to note that water cooled units are more expensive to install than traditional air conditioners.
9. Maintenance Plans
Maintaining your air conditioning system is key to get the most out of your investment. We suggest that you maintain your AC at least once to twice a year. This is to avoid unnecessary breakdowns and any future problems from arising. It will also keep your air conditioner running at full capacity, maximising efficiency. In addition, it will save you money on energy bills and repairs costs. To keep things easy, it is best to get a maintenance package with your installation company. AT ACS, our comprehensive water cooled air conditioning maintenance plans are competitively priced!
10. Find an AC installation company you can trust
Out of our 10 things to consider before installing internal water cooled air conditioning, hiring a reliable and experienced company is one of the most important. You need to make sure that you choose a company that offers excellent customer service, product warranty and responds to issues promptly. Air conditioners are a worthwhile investment but can quickly become a nightmare if not installed and maintained by professionals.
At ACS, we have over 30 years experience installing and maintaining air conditioning systems for residential and commercial properties. Unlike other companies, we believe in transparency when it comes to the units we install. We source our water cooled units from our marketing leading Italian partner, Parkair.
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