Author Topic: Home air conditioning in the UK  (Read 2668 times)

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2020, 08:52:19 am »
Quote
mikeselectricstuff: Well done for doing it yourself :). To be honest, I'd still like to try and do it myself, but at the moment, this would be too big/expensive to screw up, so I think its safer to have a professional do it.
There's really very little to screw up. If you use a pre-flared pipe set, it's literally just a case of screwing everything together, some wiring, vacuuming and opening the valves in the right order.
May be different now but last time I had any dealings with professional AC installers, they were somewhat of a "closed shop" and charged a lot - as domestic AC is fairly rare in the UK they mostly do business installs with fat budgets.

Maybe an option would to be to mount the units and run the pipework yourself and get someone in to commission it.

The only "rookie error" I made was to not have a steep enough fall in the condensate drain pipe immediately where it comes out of the indoor unit, and continuous fall all the way to the drain so the water  backed up and leaked.
   
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2020, 12:20:39 pm »
Split units heating and cooling is pretty much standard, it is rare to find cooling only, as the extra cost of adding in the valve and the extra wire is minimal, especially as almost all of the units will be expected to do heat pump duty at least part of the time, so having 2 separate but near identical models is silly. Only difference will be the programming of the controller, and the valve, along with the 2 direction cap tube needed to allow the switching. After all, if you want cooling only it is easy to simply select that on the remote, instead of leaving it in auto mode, where it will cool or heat as appropriate.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2020, 12:51:29 pm »
Split units heating and cooling is pretty much standard, it is rare to find cooling only, as the extra cost of adding in the valve and the extra wire is minimal, especially as almost all of the units will be expected to do heat pump duty at least part of the time, so having 2 separate but near identical models is silly. Only difference will be the programming of the controller, and the valve, along with the 2 direction cap tube needed to allow the switching. After all, if you want cooling only it is easy to simply select that on the remote, instead of leaving it in auto mode, where it will cool or heat as appropriate.
You need to get out more. Globally cooling only air cons outsell heat and cool by orders of magnitude. Heat and cool adds about 50% to the cost of a cool only model from the same manufacturer, and the external unit is considerably larger.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2020, 01:16:53 pm »
You need to get out more. Globally cooling only air cons outsell heat and cool by orders of magnitude. Heat and cool adds about 50% to the cost of a cool only model from the same manufacturer, and the external unit is considerably larger.
That's likely to be true in areas where gas heating is common. In areas where it is not but heating is needed a significant part of the year, heat pumps are very common.
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Offline coppice

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2020, 01:18:47 pm »
You need to get out more. Globally cooling only air cons outsell heat and cool by orders of magnitude. Heat and cool adds about 50% to the cost of a cool only model from the same manufacturer, and the external unit is considerably larger.
That's likely to be true in areas where gas heating is common. In areas where it is not but heating is needed a significant part of the year, heat pumps are very common.
Its obviously market based. Remember that hot places are also the hot markets for air cons, and many of those places never really get cold enough for people to worry about heating.
 

Offline steve30

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2020, 11:06:30 pm »
We've done a load more umming and arring, and decided that the 3x single splits might be best, especially since it is considerably cheaper than the multi-split.

I've added a couple of pictures of the proposed locations for the outdoor units. The one for the front bedroom can go up on the wall in the first photo, and the two units for the rear bedroom and kitchen can be hidden behind the gate in the second photo (where the barbecue is).
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2020, 12:25:50 am »
I'm surprised that three separate singles are cheaper than one multi system, I guess there must be that much more volume of singles sold? The multi ought to get by with two fewer compressors and outdoor fans, less control gear, less sheetmetal, etc.
 

Offline steve30

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2020, 10:55:43 pm »
I'm surprised that three separate singles are cheaper than one multi system, I guess there must be that much more volume of singles sold? The multi ought to get by with two fewer compressors and outdoor fans, less control gear, less sheetmetal, etc.

I'd have thought that too. If you look at Fujitsu's price list, the high end 3x singles and the 3-way multi are about the same price. I'd guess the installation is more complex.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #58 on: April 14, 2020, 04:07:55 am »
They do require copper lines to be run from each air handler back to the outdoor unit, that could get expensive. Do check on the energy cost though, I don't know if the multi-unit is more efficient than multiple singles or not but if it is that long term cost should not be overlooked.
 

Offline steve30

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2020, 07:48:56 pm »
Time for an update. I eventually got an AC system installed! We went for the three separate systems. My bedroom and the kitchen have the more 'standard' type, and my Mum's bedroom has a fancy silver model.

Here's a picture of the three outdoor units. The two for the rear of the house fit in nicely behind the gate, so are really only visible from our garden. The one for the front bedroom is mounted up on the wall. It is noticeable, but not too noticeable.

Its only been in a couple of days, but so far, the performance has been very good. The outdoor units are audible, but the noise is mostly that of the airflow. You can hardly hear the compressor or fan motor.

Total cost came to about £4300 including 5% VAT.

I'll post some more pictures later.

 

Offline steve30

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2020, 12:57:40 pm »
Here's some more pictures. In order: The fancy silver unit in my mother's bedroom, the silver one's corresponding outdoor unit mounted up on the wall, the unit in my lab-cum-bedroom, and the unit in the kitchen.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 01:00:34 pm by steve30 »
 

Offline tkamiya

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US only! Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #61 on: May 26, 2020, 07:21:19 pm »
I'm glad they are working for you so well!

Just a reminder for US folks.  I spoke with an owner of A/C guys that I use about self-installs few months ago.  I was considering doing one myself for lab.  It gets awfully hot in there.  Amazon is full of self-install kits.  I am strictly speaking about split systems where piping is involved, and US only.

One gotcha for self-installing a split system is, if something should go wrong at install time or future, you have very little recourse.  Reputable service companies do not even come near customer self-installed systems.  So you are all on your own or rely on questionable sources.  If you look at review on Amazon, it shows many good stories and few bad ones, and bad ones are usually about getting it serviced.  I never had an A/C system that didn't lose coolant gas at one time or another.  So take that into consideration.

He couldn't tell me about legality of self-installs as his company never get themselves involved.

As technical and meticulous as most users on this forum is, I have no doubt it is possible to get it done.  But I wouldn't personally do that for above reasons.  I have a bad experience with "hacks" (they call fly by night installers hacks in A/C industry).  I do not want them involved either.  (for servicing later) 
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2020, 09:15:05 pm »
You get better airflow having those outdoor units further away from the walls, as indicated in all the installation paperwork, but most are installed practically on the wall, so lose out on airflow efficiency there. Just remember to wash down the outdoor coils every few months with a regular garden hose, not a high pressure jet, just a heavy fine spray, to get the dirt out.

Just did mine last month, and while I was there the other 2 units as well, they were running out black sludge for a few minutes just from dust accumulated in those coils. Not that those are mine, but only an extra 2 minutes of work.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: US only! Re: Home air conditioning in the UK
« Reply #63 on: Yesterday at 02:03:50 pm »
He couldn't tell me about legality of self-installs as his company never get themselves involved.
You'll need to get section 608 type 1 certification, unless you use something like Panasonic Aquarea or Chilltrix (hydronic systems). Of course screwing up plumbing has bigger direct risks than screwing up with refrigerant.
 


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