Choosing an air conditioner for the attic: how to do without air conditioning

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residential attic floor

Usu­al­ly, the own­ers of coun­try hous­es in the sum­mer need addi­tion­al liv­ing quar­ters. If the house is equipped with a pitched roof, then the attic after a small recon­struc­tion becomes an attic. Cozy rooms, locat­ed under the very roof of the build­ing, have one draw­back that does not allow you to live there com­fort­ably enough.

In the warm sea­son, these rooms become unbear­ably hot. Although, when arrang­ing an attic on the top floor of the house, its own­ers pay suf­fi­cient atten­tion to the qual­i­ty of the ther­mal insu­la­tion of its walls and roof, it is not pos­si­ble to get rid of the heat char­ac­ter­is­tic of these premis­es only in this way. The instal­la­tion of an air con­di­tion­er helps to solve this prob­lem.

Benefits of an attic air conditioner

Increas­ing­ly, the own­ers of coun­try hous­es pro­vide for the instal­la­tion of air con­di­tion­ers on the attic floors, which can quick­ly cool the air in the premis­es to a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture. At the same time, they relieve the attic of excess mois­ture, which can quick­ly ren­der the wood­en struc­tures of the build­ing unus­able.floor air conditioner in the attic

  • The high tem­per­a­ture that occurs in the attic in the sum­mer, becomes not only a cause of dis­com­fort for the inhab­i­tants of this room, but also spoils its inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion.
  • No less harm is caused by sum­mer rains, which can sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase the humid­i­ty in the room. High humid­i­ty in the absence of ven­ti­la­tion caus­es con­den­sa­tion.

The com­bi­na­tion of these fac­tors caus­es the appear­ance of mold and fun­gal spores on the wood­en ele­ments, grad­u­al­ly turn­ing the attic into a room unsuit­able for liv­ing.

You can quick­ly fix the sit­u­a­tion only by installing an air con­di­tion­er. With its help, humid­i­ty and air tem­per­a­ture are opti­mized in the attic, which will pre­serve the qual­i­ty of build­ing and fin­ish­ing mate­ri­als in the room.

The sit­u­a­tion can be par­tial­ly cor­rect­ed by the instal­la­tion of win­dows equipped with ven­ti­la­tion valves and blinds that pro­tect the room from sun­light.

Attic cooling without air conditioning

Own­ers of hous­es where an attic is pro­vid­ed are often inter­est­ed in the ques­tion of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of its oper­a­tion with­out using an air con­di­tion­er. It is quite pos­si­ble to do with­out air con­di­tion­ing in the attic, but it is bet­ter to take care of this at the stage of build­ing con­struc­tion. To do this, it is nec­es­sary to ensure prop­er ven­ti­la­tion of the roof­ing sys­tem.

Roof ven­ti­la­tion, per­formed in com­pli­ance with all the rules, will pro­vide suf­fi­cient air exchange, which will become a reli­able pro­tec­tion of the roof from over­heat­ing, and will not allow mois­ture to enter the insu­la­tion. A good ven­ti­la­tion device will pre­vent the for­ma­tion of con­den­sate, which grad­u­al­ly destroys the roof, and also pre­vents the for­ma­tion of ici­cles on the roof eaves.

proper roof ventilation

To ensure high-qual­i­ty ven­ti­la­tion between the lay­ers of the roof struc­ture, a cer­tain order of their loca­tion should be observed:

  • the roof­ing pie begins with fas­ten­ing on the rafters (from the side of the room) a vapor bar­ri­er film or a min­i­mum per­me­abil­i­ty mem­brane;
  • then a heater is laid between the rafters;
  • on top of the insu­la­tion on the rafters, a crate and a counter-crate are mount­ed;
  • a lay­er of water­proof­ing is attached over the counter-lat­tice;
  • the cre­ation of a roof with a roof cov­er­ing is com­plet­ed.

With this order of arrange­ment of the lay­ers of the roof struc­ture, two ven­ti­la­tion gaps are formed. One of them will be locat­ed between the insu­la­tion and water­proof­ing, the sec­ond is formed between the water­proof­ing film and the roof­ing mate­r­i­al.



roof insulation scheme

Nat­u­ral­ly, it must be ensured that air enters from below, in places inac­ces­si­ble for clog­ging them with snow, as well as its exit from above with the help of a ven­ti­la­tion ridge or the instal­la­tion of aer­a­tors in dif­fer­ent places of the roof. Aer­a­tors should be pro­tect­ed from snow and rain get­ting into them with “umbrel­las.

If the roof­ing pie is not arranged cor­rect­ly, then you will have to remove its upper part and cor­rect the mis­takes made. If this work is not yet pos­si­ble, then you will have to pur­chase and install an air con­di­tion­er.

To choose the most suit­able unit, you should know what types of devices are offered on the HVAC mar­ket.

If the size of the rafters does not pro­vide suf­fi­cient clear­ance, then addi­tion­al bars are stuffed onto them.

Types of air conditioners

Before you choose an air con­di­tion­er for the attic, you need to decide on its type, find out what func­tions the unit design is equipped with, and what vol­ume of the room it is designed for. For many home­own­ers, ease of instal­la­tion is impor­tant, so the deter­min­ing fac­tor when buy­ing is the abil­i­ty to install the air con­di­tion­er your­self.

There are cas­es when the instal­la­tion of a sta­tion­ary device is not pos­si­ble. This may be liv­ing in a rental prop­er­ty or in a build­ing whose façade is of archi­tec­tur­al val­ue.

Mobile or floor monoblock

floor air conditioner for home

A mobile device is often the only pur­chase option that pro­vides com­fort on hot days. This device is more often called a floor air con­di­tion­er for the home, since it is placed on the floor sur­face.

The most com­mon design of such a unit is a monoblock, in the body of which a con­denser and an evap­o­ra­tor are placed simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, ele­ments that are essen­tial com­po­nents of any cli­mate con­trol sys­tem. The mois­ture obtained as a result of air cool­ing is col­lect­ed in a spe­cial con­tain­er, from where it should be peri­od­i­cal­ly removed.

Although this device is called mobile, it requires cer­tain actions to start it. The air duct, which is equipped with a monoblock, must be brought out into the street through a sealed hole, spe­cial­ly arranged in a win­dow or wall of the build­ing.

  1. Among the dis­ad­van­tages of this device, con­sumers note noise dur­ing oper­a­tion and a decrease in the use­ful area of ​​u200bu200bthe room.
  2. The advan­tage of the mobile unit is its low cost and quick instal­la­tion.

Split system

A split sys­tem in attic rooms is usu­al­ly used when divid­ing a large attic area into sev­er­al rooms. Struc­tural­ly, the split sys­tem includes at least two blocks:

  • exter­nal;
  • inte­ri­or.

home split systemThe out­door unit con­tains the com­pres­sor, fan and con­denser. This design is mount­ed out­side the build­ing — on the wall, bal­cony, and some­times even on the roof.

The indoor unit of the sys­tem is installed indoors, while one out­door unit can serve sev­er­al indoor devices, each of which is con­nect­ed to the out­side of the split sys­tem with two thin cop­per pipes with a heat-insu­lat­ing lay­er. Indoor units can be used not only to cool the air, but also to heat it.

An air con­di­tion­ing sys­tem that includes sev­er­al indoor units is called mul­ti-split sys­tems. The sys­tem is con­trolled by a con­trol pan­el mount­ed on the wall of one of the rooms.

Indoor units in res­i­den­tial premis­es are most often installed on the walls. How­ev­er, if the ceil­ing height in the room exceeds three meters, then it is bet­ter to install cas­sette air con­di­tion­ers.

Their dimen­sions require at least 0.5 meters of free space behind the false ceil­ing to be placed, but their appear­ance fits per­fect­ly into any inte­ri­or, rep­re­sent­ing a neat lat­tice from the out­side.

Duct air conditioners

installation of a duct system in the attic

For large premis­es, both res­i­den­tial and indus­tri­al, duct cool­ing sys­tems are used.

A fea­ture of chan­nel devices is the place­ment of their indoor units in a hid­den way. They are mount­ed in air ducts hid­den behind the ceil­ing or in the wall. Only ven­ti­la­tion grilles will be vis­i­ble on the walls or ceil­ing.

What is the difference between an inverter air conditioner and a non-inverter air conditioner?

two types of air conditioners

Many con­sumers who are faced with the need to pur­chase cli­mate equip­ment for the first time do not know how an invert­er air con­di­tion­er dif­fers from a non-invert­er type of mod­el. Even by the time the invert­er unit appeared on the home appli­ance mar­ket (1980), it is obvi­ous that this is a more mod­ern ver­sion.

If you get acquaint­ed with its capa­bil­i­ties, it becomes clear how man­u­fac­tur­ers have improved this type of device. Pre­vi­ous­ly, the unit could only turn off at a cer­tain tem­per­a­ture and turn on when it ris­es.

  • invert­er device does not turn off at the right time, but starts to work with less pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Due to this prop­er­ty of the device, there are no sud­den tem­per­a­ture changes in the room, and although it works almost con­stant­ly, due to a change in its per­for­mance, elec­tric­i­ty is used much more eco­nom­i­cal­ly.
  • Life­time invert­er mod­els are about 5 years longer than con­ven­tion­al mod­els.
  • Price high­er, but the num­ber of modes in which they can oper­ate can sig­nif­i­cant­ly save on elec­tric­i­ty.

It can be not­ed that when choos­ing an invert­er air con­di­tion­er for the attic, the most pop­u­lar are mod­els man­u­fac­tured by com­pa­nies Toshi­ba and LG. Their pur­chase will cost about 20% more than con­ven­tion­al and will be from 25 0 to 300$depend­ing on the avail­able func­tions.

Calculation of the power of the air conditioner — how to choose the right model

The main cri­te­ri­on for choos­ing an air con­di­tion­er for an attic is its con­fig­u­ra­tion.

  • If this is a sin­gle room, then you can pur­chase a bud­get option that does not have spe­cial addi­tion­al func­tions. It is bet­ter if it is of the invert­er type, since it will allow you to get a con­stant tem­per­a­ture in the attic at min­i­mal ener­gy costs.
  • If the attic space is divid­ed into sep­a­rate rooms, then it is bet­ter to install a mul­ti-split sys­tem that allows you to ensure com­fort­able liv­ing in each of them. Next, you need to deter­mine the pow­er of the device. When get­ting to know the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the device, its cool­ing capac­i­ty is most impor­tant.

Most devices have a cool­ing capac­i­ty three times less than the pow­er of the engine itself. That is, the cool­ing capac­i­ty of an air con­di­tion­er equipped with a 3 kW motor will be 1 kW.

The pow­er cal­cu­la­tion per­formed by pro­fes­sion­als takes into account many para­me­ters of the room.

cooling capacity table

How­ev­er, in prac­tice there is a sim­pler cal­cu­la­tion option:

  • For every 10 sq. meters of the room should account for 1 kW of cool­ing pow­er.
  • If direct rays of the sun enter the room for at least half a day, then it is bet­ter to add about 25% to the result­ing fig­ure.
  • This will be the opti­mal val­ue of the cool­ing pow­er.

It is worth recall­ing that it is bet­ter to entrust the instal­la­tion of a split sys­tem and its main­te­nance to pro­fes­sion­als. With self-instal­la­tion, dif­fi­cul­ties may arise, the elim­i­na­tion of which will still require the ser­vices of a pro­fes­sion­al mas­ter.

Since the main func­tions of all mod­ern cool­ing sys­tems are sim­i­lar, you should not pay atten­tion to the “addi­tion­al fea­tures” offered by man­u­fac­tur­ers. They sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase the cost of the mod­el, while not hav­ing prac­ti­cal val­ue.


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