It’s tricky to imagine a world without air conditioning. It’s ability to nullify humidity, quash scorching temperatures or provide heat in freezing conditions doesn’t just make us feel better, it can be essential to our health. And yet it can be uncomfortable on occasion – annoyingly so. Why is this and what can you do to ensure you have comfortable aircon?
We went to experts in the AC industry to find out why some aircon causes discomfort instead of comfortable AC and also to discover the solutions. Some of the answers proved surprising.
1. Don’t install aircon that’s too large
If an air conditioning unit is too large, it will use a huge amount of power to quickly lower the temperature and ten turn off. Running short, intense cycles like this doesn’t just use an unnecessarily huge amount of (expensive) power and shorten the life of your aircon, it will fail to remove humidity – leading to discomfort. To get comfortable aircon, cycles need to run for longer. So, if you’re installing new AC, check with the installer that your model isn’t too big. - CoolToday, Florida.
2. Check whether your AC unit is too small?
There are warning signs that an AC unit is too small and some can affect your comfort. You may notice that it runs in cycles that are longer than 30 minutes and that your power bills are always very high. However, the surest sign that you’ve undersized AC is that your house never gets cold. A correct-sized unit should reach its target temperature and achieve comfortable aircon in a single cycle. If this isn’t you then it’s time to get an expert in. It could save you money as well as discomfort. – EnergyAir, Florida.
3. Take windows into account when installing AC
The number of windows you have, their glazing, their upkeep status, their method of shading and their orientation all factor into how you can experience comfortable aircon. Old and rundown windows will struggle to stop heat getting in or keep cold from escaping. If the windows are oriented so that the sun shines right on the AC unit – or the place where you’re sitting – the solar radiance will create disparity between the expected conditions and what’s achievable. Strong curtains and shutters may help but flimsy ones will not. - Energy Rating, Australia
4. Look for gaps in your insulation
Many premises in many locations suffer poor insulation from the wear-and-tear and deterioration that comes from getting old. Meanwhile, some old houses purposely used gaps to promote a natural, cooling airflow in the days before aircon. However, gaps are to aircon efficiency what holes are to buckets of water and this can dramatically affect your comfort (and power bill). Fortunately, it’s an easy fix thanks to draft excluders for doors and various (expanding) caulks and fillers for floors, walls, floorboards and windows. Double glazing can help and so can sealing any ducts. – ActronAir, Australia
5. Use a smart air conditioner controller
A smart air conditioner controller can take away all the hassles associated with AC and deliver you comfortable aircon. Units with A.I. can learn your preferences according to different times of day, different weather and different times of year leading you to achieving your desired temperature and humidity levels without you having to think about it. Controllers can be added to practically all old aircon units and can function autonomously or via a phone app. – Ambi Climate, Global
6. Periodically service your air conditioner
Air conditioners are designed to run 24/7. Anything mechanical that works this hard will naturally require periodic servicing. Scheduling yearly maintenance from a professional will squeeze more life out of your air conditioner while maximising its efficiency. If you do hear rattling noises, or see anything out of the ordinary, fix it as soon as possible, to avoid any costly repairs and extended periods without comfortable aircon. – Ambi Climate, Global
7. Clean your air conditioner’s filters
If you keep your aircon on all day or sleep with it all night, you should be worried about dust particles in the air. AC units are designed to eliminate dust, but if you don’t clean the filters regularly, you can spread even more dust around and this can cause breathing problems and discomfort. You can clean your filters yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. – Patrick Holmes, Home Air Quality Guides
For most people the simplest way to get comfortable aircon is to buy a smart air conditioner controller. As it states above, this will take into account external factors like time of year, local weather, time of day and even solar radiance along with internal temperature and humidity measurements and factor in your own personal preferences to learn what you want without you having to think about it.
If this sounds attractive, check out Ambi Climate’s smart AC controllers. They work with almost every existing aircon unit and, in addition to giving you comfortable aircon, will reduce your power consumption and lower your electricity bills. Check them out, here.