The location of your air conditioner plays a vital role in achieving energy efficiency in your home. Make a poor decision in this regard, and you might wind up with expensive electricity bills. So, it begs the question, “What are the best locations for air conditioners in your home?”
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Note that the best location might be relative to the type of air conditioner you have or planning to own. So, check out the following types of air conditioners and the best possible locations to install these units:
Central Air Conditioning System
Central air conditioning systems are ideal for medium- to large-sized homes. Although relatively expensive, this can provide long-term savings as it only requires little maintenance.
This system works by delivering cold air from a cooling compressor, which is a component usually located outside of the house. The fan in the compressor blows the cold air through ducts located around the house.
Moreover, the compressor pulls warm air out of the house through the exhaust. Household members can control this process through individual panels spread across the property.
The best location? Ensure that the compressor for the central air conditioning system is at an area where the elements can do the least amount of damage. For example, the compressor might be in an area with the least risk of getting heat from the sun or wetness from the rain.
Thinking about the location of the compressor might be relatively straightforward for many households, but it might take you more time to think for the location of the vents and panels.
One guideline you can follow is to place these components in rooms where you sit or sleep. Rooms like the bedroom and living space are ideal in this regard. It’s because you and other household members can feel the cooling effect quickly as you spend time in these areas.
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Portable Air Conditioner
The main advantage of using portable air conditioners is that you can easily transfer these units to different rooms. But, the cooling power emitted by these systems tends to be lesser than their larger cousins.
Nonetheless, portable cooling systems are ideal for delivering cold, comfortable air in small- to medium-sized spaces. Some models will even have wheels to make moving easy.
On the one hand, portable air conditioners tend to share a common problem: excessive condensation. Hence, portable systems may require frequent maintenance to preserve their efficiency.
The best location? Portable air conditioners offer utmost flexibility and versatility when it comes to areas where you can place them. Still, you need to follow certain guidelines to make the most out of using these relatively compact cooling systems.
First, place the portable air conditioner near an electric socket. This machine still needs electricity to run, so it won’t make sense if you set it far from a wall outlet. Even if you have an extension cord, placing the device near an electric socket reduces the risk of people accidentally tripping over wires.
Second, consider placing the portable air conditioner near the windows. Many portable cooling solutions have hoses attached to their dehumidifiers. You can place these hoses through windows and utilize outdoor air in maintaining desirable temperature levels in the room.
Last, ensure that the area where you place the portable air conditioning unit isn’t prone to excessive moisture or leaks. Unnecessary dampness near the cooling unit may cause the device to malfunction. Furthermore, this scenario increases the risks of incidents, like house fires.
Ductless Split Air Conditioners
Some residences might have restrictions that prevent household members from enjoying central air conditioning systems. An excellent alternative would be to opt for ductless split systems.
The idea of delivering cold air throughout the house is similar to central cooling systems. But, instead of ducts, ductless air conditioners move air through pipes. Moreover, the installation process isn’t the same as installing central air conditioning systems.
The best location? Like central air conditioners, you first need to consider the location of the outdoor condenser for the ductless system.
The condensing unit needs to be in an area behind the house. Moreover, place it away from any shrubbery or vegetation as these may interfere with airflow. One option is to set up the condenser with mounting brackets to an outside wall.
After finding the ideal location for the condenser, it's time to consider the location of the split units or air handlers. Target areas in the house where you usually spend time for comfort and rest, such as the bedroom and living area. You can place an air handler in the kitchen, but the cold air might interfere with some cooking practices.
Window Unit Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are ideal for small spaces, but these units may not be the best long-term solution. It’s because these systems tend to leak condensation, which can cause mold and water damage over time.
Also, central or ductless air systems might be better options if you’re looking to provide cold and comfortable air to an entire house. Nonetheless, many window air conditioners tend to have easy-to-use controls, which are ideal for users who don’t want additional “bells and whistles”.
The best location? Securing a window opening for this particular air conditioner is the first step to a proper installation. Note that any window opening can suffice for the installation, but consider installing the air conditioner in places where the family usually seeks comfort, like the bedroom or family room.
Like other air conditioning systems, window units need a secure location. Otherwise, these models will be at risk of falling, which can lead to costly repairs.
Installing a window air conditioner needs careful placement techniques, especially in positioning the unit to its openings. Ensure that the machine is parallel to the floor to avoid an unnecessary buildup of weight to one side. Also, expand the accordion panels into place. In turn, these components should reach the edges of the window so you can screw the unit into place.
Moreover, consider adding extra weatherproofing and insulation to the window opening. It’s because window air conditioners tend to leave small gaps between two glass panels. Seal this gap with foam weather stripping, which usually comes with the kit.
Geothermal Air Conditioners
If you want to save money for the long-term while keeping your house comfortable, consider buying and using a geothermal air conditioner. This particular unit gathers and stores energy from the ground to help keep the house cool.
Note that the earth accumulates heat naturally. The geothermal system will store this heat below the frost line. Then, the machine will extract the heat using a heat pump and pipe loop system. These components absorb the heat from the ground before carrying it to a mixture of antifreeze and water.
The geothermal air conditioner will, then, transform that heat into comfortable temperatures using looped parts. This system eliminates the use of fossil fuels, allowing it to become an eco-friendly solution to keeping your home cool and comfy.
The best location? Ensure to inspect your property before deciding to install a geothermal air conditioner. It’s because several components of the system, particularly the loops, are relatively large. Hence, not every home can enjoy this eco-friendly cooling solution.
Consider yourself (and other household members) lucky if you can install this air conditioning system in your property. Take note of the layout of the land, the landscaping, and the location of sprinkler systems and other underground utilities. Ensure that the loops and other components won’t hinder the respective functions of these different systems.
Choosing the best location to install an air conditioner in your home can depend on your chosen cooling system. Still, you can follow some general guidelines to help you with the installation.
Here are some quick tips to help you in this regard:
- Provide shade for compressors. If shade isn’t readily available for outdoor compressors, consider making or buying one. Sunlight and excess moisture from the rain can damage outdoor units. Also, shielding the units from harsh elements may help improve efficiency while reducing energy costs.
- Avoid installing indoor units near heat sources. Appliances, such as heaters and ovens, release heat inside the home, making the air conditioner operate harder than intended. If the thermometer inside the air conditioner senses this extra heat, it attempts to release extra cold air into the vicinity. In turn, this setup can affect efficiency and temperature control negatively.
- Place the outdoor condenser at a high location. Note that cold air tends to have a higher density than hot air. Hence, achieving sufficient cooling from the air conditioning unit requires the condenser to capture cold air from the outside. If the condenser is near the ground, it might not produce sufficient results.
Start thinking about the best location to install an air conditioner by considering the type of unit you want for your home. Note that different air conditioning systems have different installation requirements. Also, remember to maintain your chosen unit frequently. Otherwise, the location won’t matter as the cooling system won’t be able to work efficiently.