Choosing the right air conditioning system

Choosing the right air conditioning system

As summer approaches, you may be considering investing in an air conditioning system. But the options are many and very different from each other. Tips to help you determine which one best meets your needs and make the right choice.

The scorching temperatures that we have known for a few years have convinced many French people to invest in an air conditioning system. But from the small device that you plug in in your living room to the installation of a system that allows you to cool the whole house, difficult to navigate.

Nomadic or fixed, monosplit or mutlisplit, console, wall or duct … There are many air conditioners on the market. What type of devices to turn to, what criteria to take into account, how much does an air conditioning system cost …? Here are the questions to ask yourself before deciding.

Nomadic or fixed air conditioning?

Nomadic air conditioners offer a simple solution. Easy to use (one take is enough), inexpensive (count between 150 and 300 euros to purchase), they are available in supermarkets. But beware! In spite of their apparent practicality, these products accumulate the bad points. Generally energy-intensive, their efficiency is also very localized. They will therefore inflate your electricity bill for performance … questionable.

However, “they remain a solution for tenants who cannot carry out work in their accommodation” underlines Jean-Alexis Brungs, spokesperson at Toshiba. However, considering their average efficiency and power consumption, it may be better to invest in a small air fan.

Reversible mobile air conditioner and air purifier Beko © Beko

The other solution is to install a reversible air conditioning or an air / air type heat pump. His advantages ? It will bring you comfort as much in summer as in winter. “It can produce either hot air or cold air. It draws calories from outside the home and releases them inside via a forced air system” explains Jean-Alexis Brungs.

Concretely, in the engine, a refrigerant will capture the hot air in the room and then reject it outside. Fresh air is then blown into the room from the indoor unit. For an indoor unit, count here at least 500 euros without the installation or the outdoor group.

Monosplit or multisplit air conditioning?

Most air conditioning systems on the market are of the air / air type. Depending on the configuration of your home, its surface area, but also your needs, several indoor units may be necessary here. The external group will be connected to one or more (up to 4 or 5) of these units.

You can choose to set your sights on wall units. Undoubtedly the most democratized solution, it takes the form of a device located at the top of a wall. Ideal for small areas or apartments.

Then comes the monobloc console (count around 1,000 euros). Installed in the lower part, it looks like a radiator, and this is no coincidence! The hot air tends to rise, this product is better suited in winter, to heat more efficiently.

Negative point: these elements remain relatively unsightly, but manufacturers are making efforts to enhance their offer. This is evidenced by looks that are more and more refined, discreet, or even design, sporting various textures and colors. “Consumers are looking for devices that fit better into their interior. For the outdoor unit, on the other hand, the group is not necessarily a very aesthetic element. But there are for example, wooden or aluminum covers to conceal it “indicates Jean-Alexis Brungs.

Qlima monobloc reversible air conditioner © Qlima

For a 100% discreet result, the ducted system is the most appropriate. He is integrated into a false ceiling, or in the attic, and will diffuse the treated fresh air through a network of ducts bringing the air towards ventilation openings.

“The visual impact is therefore minimal, only the grilles are visible” explains Benjamin Vasco, product manager for air / air heat pumps at Daikin. But its advantages are obvious in the opinion of Jean-Alexis Brungs: “Ideal for large houses, it will cool and regulate each room. very uniformly“.

Only downside: its price, several thousand euros. “These are compact systems, which make it possible to air-condition several rooms with a single assembly. In addition, the entire installation of ducts and air outlet vents must be taken into account in the price,” explains Jean-Alexis Brungs. Of course, the price will also depend on the sizing. Note that this solution is better suited to new buildings, where false ceilings are commonplace.

Pay attention to the noise factor!

Another point that should not be overlooked is the sound level of the device. Here again, the nomadic air conditioner does not shine with its performance. The fault with the engine of the system which is directly integrated in the device.

On the contrary, the split allows the motor to be installed outside, or in the attic and false ceilings. However, it is best not to neglect the sound level of the outdoor unit to avoid neighborhood problems. These devices generate 45 to 50 dB on average. Some products even go below 30dB. But above 50dB, beware!

Indoors, the most efficient units rarely exceed 20dB at low speed. Or the rustle of a leaf. “Then, depending on the speeds selected for use, the sound level will increase accordingly” adds Benjamin Vasco.

Connected air conditioning for intelligent airflow

To improve comfort, devices can be embellished with many features. “Sometimes even the Wireless is integrated into the unit. When installed, simply connect to the device via a dedicated application, to perform a programming weekly for example, or turn off your air conditioning if you forget it, or start it a few hours before going home … “A gain in comfort andenergy saving.

Note that “these features are directly integrated into the devices, where they can be added as an option” specifies Benjamin Vasco.

Takao Line Atlantic reversible air conditioner © Atlantic

For fans of new technologies, be aware that some units even embed presence sensors. For example, if a person has been out of the room for a while, the device will automatically trigger a previously defined mode. To avoid the discomfort related to air flow, some devices diffuse indirectly, after having detected a presence. Practice !

Do you want more ? Some air conditioners also have intelligent thermal sensors which will crisscross a room into 64 squares and ensure that the temperature is uniform in each of them.

Ensure the energy performance of the device

For optimal use, it is essential to favor products with good energy performance. Thus, many air conditioners now on the market are relatively energy efficient and display a performance COP greater than 1. This means that it restores more energy than it consumes.

The individual must also look at two other indicators. First, the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). This is the seasonal energy efficiency coefficient of the product. It defines its energy class in cooling mode. Then comes the SCOP (Seasonal Coefficient of Performance). Or the seasonal coefficient of performance which determines the energy class of the heat pump in heating mode.

Due to potentially harmful gases for the environment, present in air conditioning devices, it is imperative to call in an approved installer (type RGE for example).

Air quality.

Certain products also make it possible to improve the quality of the air in your interior by deactivating bad odors, or by filtering allergens.

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