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AIR CONDITIONING BUYING GUIDE

Types of air-conditioners we supply

There are two basic types of air conditioners which meet nearly all requirements, and they are portable or mobile air conditioners, and split air conditioners.

Portable / mobile air conditioning

Portable or mobile air conditioners are best for home or small office use, as they just plug into the mains socket. They are mobile so can be moved easily from one place to another, and are usually sitting on castors. You would need to ensure the hot air is extracted, by attaching the hose provided out of a door, window, or through a small hole in the wall.

In the short term, however, you can direct the hose through the window or door. These air conditioners do not require an outdoor unit or professional installation as they just plug in and are therefore an attractive option for their ease of use and the flexibility of moving them from room to room. You can also just unplug it and place the unit in storage when you no longer need it.

It is easy to control the temperature indoors with a portable air conditioner, and we have a great selection of portable air conditioners at amazing sale prices. Ideal for applications where you need to keep certain areas of your home, office or factory cool, whilst also providing a dehumidifying function.

Use a portable air conditioner to keep one room at a time cool, either your lounge or bedroom, computer room or loft, wherever you may be sitting. These units also offer good energy efficiency and can cost as little as 9p per hour to run, a small price to pay for a good night’s sleep!

How to choose the correct air conditioner for you

The air conditioner you require is determined by the size of the room you require it in. Air conditioning power is determined by BTU of the unit. Below we have created a table based on room sizes on what BTU powered air conditioners we recommend. If you would like a more accurate reading according to the exact size of your room, please use our Air Conditioning BTU calculator found on each product page.

 

Split air conditioning systems

The split air conditioning systems consist of an indoor, remote controlled unit, and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is fixed to the wall and is connected to the outdoor unit by means of a pipe and the unit cannot be easily moved.

The outdoor unit or compressor is either installed on the ground outside, or is fixed to the wall using wall brackets. For this reason split air conditioners are often called fixed air conditioners and they are not mobile.

How do air conditioners generally work?

Air conditioners work in a similar way to refrigerators and freezers, but whilst refrigerators cool small areas inside the unit, air conditioners work to cool large areas like rooms, offices, factories, etc.

Air conditioners move warm air from inside your home or office to outside. Most Portable Air Conditioners are mobile units which are often on wheels and can be moved to any room. They usually come with an exhaust hose which blows hot air extracted from inside the room, to outside the room.

The exhaust hose would need to be placed outside the room, through a window, into an adjacent room or hallway, or through a hole in the wall. The length of the exhaust hose is often around 1 metre -1.5 metres, and this should not be extended, as it would cause heat to back up inside the air conditioner.

Explained very basically, an air conditioner has three parts, a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator. The compressor draws hot air from the room into the unit, and passes the air through the condenser and over the evaporator which contains a very low pressure and very cold refrigerant.

This then cools the air and connected to the evaporator is a fan that circulates the air around the room. The heat is expelled through either the exhaust hose or through the external unit of a split system and the cool air is blown into the room.This process continues until the room reaches the temperature the thermostat is set to, and then the unit switches off. When the temperature in the room rises again, the thermostat senses this and switches the air conditioner on again until the room cools again to the required temperature.

Advantages of air conditioning?

Most air conditioners contain thermostats so you can set the room’s temperature as desired. The unit will switch itself on or off depending on whether the temperature rises or falls in the room. Whilst cooling your room, all air conditioners also act as dehumidifiers, and some come with internal water tanks so they can be used as just dehumidifiers without the cooling function.

Portable air conditioners are very easy to install with all necessary fittings included so you can run the exhaust pipe through a door, window or wall. They run off a standard 3-pin plug with a standard 13amp fuse.
Some models feature temperature readouts and adjustable timers to switch the units on or off, whilst others combine standard fans and air purifiers within the units.

Do portable air conditioners need to be vented outside

Yes. All portable air conditioners come with an exhaust hose to remove excess heat from the room your are cooling. Portable Air Conditioners remove heat from the room your are cooling, this needs to be vented elsewhere. We also supply a range of window kits that make it easy to remove the hot air from your room and vent straight outside for more efficient cooling performance.

British Thermal Units (BTUs)

For those unfamiliar with the term BTU it is a unit of measurement of the power used by air conditioning units in the UK, and stands for British Thermal Units, which is a measure of the amount of heat needed to raise the of temperature of one pound of liquid water by one degree from 60° to 61° Fahrenheit ,whilst maintaining a constant pressure.

The number of BTUs required from an air conditioner should take into account two key factors, the size of the room and the amount of heat being produced by people and machines within the room in question.

These are both major elements in working out the correct cooling capacity needed from your air conditioner; however another thing to consider is window size and the direction in which the window faces. The light received into a room is a major factor in the temperature the room maintains.

As a general rule it is advisable to purchase an air conditioner with a minimum output 7000 BTUs this would be the minimum BTUs required to cool a small room (18m2) on a hot day. Medium rooms (24m2) need around 10,000 BTUs and larger rooms and office spaces (36m2) require at least 15000 BTUs.

Various factors must be taken into account when fitting air conditioning units, including the location of the units.

 

Office air conditioning

Offices are usually larger than rooms in an average home, and air conditioners would probably be in use more frequently than in the average home. It is often worth considering a more expensive, higher quality unit. These units usually have more features and can provide a wider range of choice, eg heating, cooling, fan or dehumidify. A reasonably quiet unit will be probably be required within an office space and many quality units can be set on a low decibel limit between 25 and 40 decibels.

Home air conditioning

Around the home the air conditioner you require can vary in price. There is a large selection of units that can be employed, depending on budget and requirement. It is more costly to employ a totally concealed unit but this is still possible with a ducted system or cassette air conditioning unit.

Bedroom Air conditioning once again requires different factors to be taken into account. Possibly the most important factor here is that they need to be quiet so as not to affect the rooms ambience. Many better quality units will come with a “whisper quiet” facility, when the noise levels are not raised above 25 decibels.

 

Conservatory air conditioning

Conservatory Air Conditioners are very popular and one of the most commonly employed because of the heat retention in conservatories in the hotter months, and heat loss experienced in the winter.

The summer months can see the temperature raised substantially in a conservatory, which can in effect become like a sauna, and as well as the cooling capacity of the air conditioner, it is also important to take into consideration dehumidifying and heating for the winter months.

If you are thinking about air conditioning for the conservatory it all depends where you can site it. A low wall mounted unit can be fitted on a dwarf wall of 600mm. The low wall mounted units we supply comprise two elements - an internal and an external unit.

The internal unit is fitted onto the Dwarf Wall in the conservatory whilst the external unit is situated outside the building.

Types of dehumidifiers - Green banner

DEHUMIDIFIER BUYING GUIDE

Why do you need a dehumidifier?

We all require optimal, healthy levels of moisture in our homes and office spaces. Too much moisture in the air will typically cause condensation on windows and damp.

Excess water vapour can also permeate through walls, furnishings and clothes - creating expensive damage associated with mould, rot and peeling wallpaper and paint.
Harmful dust mites thrive in high humidity. As do some bacteria.

Ideal moisture levels are around 45%. Much over 60% and you may benefit from the use of a dehumidifier to create a comfortable and safe environment.

There are two basic types of air conditioners which meet nearly all requirements, and they are portable or mobile air conditioners, and split air conditioners.

 

 

 

Image result for compressor vs desiccant comparison chart

 

Desiccant dehumidifiers out-perform compressor dehumidifiers even at low temperatures

 

 

 

Choosing the right dehumidifier

The first thing to think about when buying a dehumidifiers the size of the space where you want to reduce humidity:

To help you, we’ve conveniently organised our dehumidifiers in to Categories:

 

Dehumidifiers for a wide range of environments:

  • Swimming pool dehumidifiers
  • Home dehumidifiers
  • Commercial dehumidifiers
  • Boat & caravan dehumidifiers

 

This is a great starting point. However, the capacity of a dehumidifier denotes the amount of moisture it can extract from your environment in a 24 hour period.

Small homes and flats will usually require a capacity of between eight and 12 litres. A larger family home with up to four bedrooms will require a capacity of up to 16 litres. Twenty litre dehumidifiers will cope with the largest homes and reasonable-sized environments such as large garages and outbuildings.

Owners of small offices and commercial premises often choose a robust domestic dehumidifier. These work well unless you are drying out a very wet area or using the dehumidifier for specialist applications, such as drying wet plaster or rectifying flood damage.

 

Other things to consider when buying a dehumidifier:

 

Product size

  • Assess whether you want the dehumidifier to be portable and, if so, whether you can lift it comfortably.

Tank size

  • This will influence the amount of water that can be removed every day. Very large or very moist environments will require a larger tank.
  • Also, think about how often you will need to empty the tank. Many dehumidifiers will have options for continuous drainage, meaning that there is no need to worry about emptying tanks.

Humidistat

  • This enables you to set a desired humidity level and the dehumidifier only operates when it is needed - saving you money.

Efficiency

  • Be sure to evaluate the energy efficiency of your dehumidifier.
  • Old dehumidifiers can be expensive to run and upgrading to one of our new models could actually save you money through reducing your energy bills. Energy saving features to look for include: coated coils (which make the water extraction faster), rotary compressors and intelligent control systems.

Bacterial filters

  • Many dehumidifiers offer bacterial filters. Consider this option when your dehumidifier will be sued in an environment where the health of children, allergy sufferers, or the elderly is important

Noise

  • Consider where you will be using the dehumidifier. In a sitting room or bedroom a quiet dehumidifier will be preferable.

At activeaircontrol.co.uk we list these key facts on each of our products - so you can make the most informed purchasing decisions. If you would like further assistance, our friendly technical customer service advisers will be happy to help. Please call them free on 0800 090 3780

 

 

Our consumer champion says

“Look at the Key Facts attached to every dehumidifier we sell. This will help you make the best decision about which dehumidifier is right for you.”

 

 

Desiccant dehumidifiers vs Compressor dehumidifiers?

 

 

Image result for compressor vs desiccant comparison chart

 

 

Compressor dehumidifiers

Compressor dehumidifiers work by drawing air from the
room across a filter and into contact with a cold metal surface made up of
hundreds of fins.

As the surface is cold the excess moisture present in the air will condense and water droplets will be seen on the metal fins. These droplets will slide down the metal plates and collect in the dehumidifier's internal water collector.

All of this warming and cooling of the coils is controlled by a compressor that warms and cools refrigerant that cycles through the pipes.

 

Desiccant dehumidifiers

Desiccant Dehumidifiers were once used only in commercial applications, but are now also available for home environments.

The desiccant is a type of gel called zeolite. Moist air is drawn over a filter and into the zeolite desiccant which is housed in a wheel that rotates slowly. The desiccant absorbs the excess moisture from the air.

At the bottom of the wheel’s rotation are a small heater and a second fan. This regeneration fan uses the warmth from the heater to dry the wheel making it ready to absorb
moisture again. The now warm, damp air hits a metal plate which causes condensation to form and the water then drips down into a collecting tray and from there drains into an internal container.

Whereas a compressor dehumidifier warms the room air by 1-2°C, the air exiting a desiccant dehumidifier will be about 10-12°C warmer than the air it draws in. This makes
desiccant dehumidifiers very useful for warming up spaces like cold hallways.

Typical uses include flats and apartment where the low noise level and the ability to dry washing is popular and low temperature applications over winter, for example keeping a boat, caravan, bike, car or holiday home dry whilst not in use.

 

 

Air conditioning specialists in the UK

At activeaircontrol.co.uk we pride ourselves on providing a quality range of dehumidifiers that from the best manufacturers at only the best prices. If you're unsure as to which Dehumidifier is right for you, you can use our Live Chat or speak to an expert, or if you prefer to speak to someone.

Our friendly Customer Support Team are on hand between Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 8:00pm to assist. Call us on 0800 0903780.

HEATER BUYING GUIDE

TYpes of heaters banner

Choosing the right heater

Heating your home in the winter can be a struggle for many. Portable heaters allow you to heat a chosen room much quicker than you would be able to when solely relying on your central heating.

Electric heating is a popular choice by many homeowners as it’s easy for you to keep bills manageable whilst allowing you to quickly and effectively heat any room in your home just the way you like it. Electric Heaters are also very important in reducing your carbon footprint due to lower energy costs.

Staying warm in the winter is a struggle we all must deal with and if your central heating, as is often the case, just doesn’t cut it then an electric heater could be just what your home needs. Whether it’s a burst of warmth in the morning or sustained heat in the evening, our range of Electric Home Heaters are exceptional value for money!

 

 

Air conditioning specialists in the UK

At activeaircontrol.co.uk we pride ourselves on providing a quality range of dehumidifiers that from the best manufacturers at only the best prices. If you're unsure as to which Dehumidifier is right for you, you can use our Live Chat or speak to an expert, or if you prefer to speak to someone.

Our friendly Customer Support Team are on hand between Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 8:00pm to assist. Call us on 0800 0903780.

We Install Split Air-Conditioning Systems Too!

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