Have you ever wondered why some air-conditioned rooms gives you a chilling effect while some of them are just comfortable for you? A temperature maintained by an AC depends on many factors like the capacity of the AC, the size of the room, the location of the room, openings in the room, the location of an AC unit in the room, the thickness of the walls, etc.
Well, you cannot change the location of your room or change the wall thickness but deciding the best AC unit location and capacity is in your hands! So let us understand how positioning your home AC units can make your AC most effective and thereby cost effective too!
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It is obvious that you will locate your home AC units where you will be the most comfortable in experiencing the air flow. Perhaps you may not be knowing, that the location of best AC unit not only provides an ambient temperature but also affects the power consumption.
No matter, either your home AC units is a window AC or a Split AC, locate it, considering the following factors and feel the difference:
Height of the ACs:
For any space, anthropometry of the human body dominates the height of AC units. A human body experiences a comfortable temperature when the above part of the body or the torso perceives the airflow. So, according to the anthropometry, we experience the air which is at height 3ft to 5ft from ground. Therefore, we place the AC to achieve the cooling at this height.
We know the fact that, the cool air tends to settle down while the hot air tends to go up. So, we place the AC at a higher elevation to achieve this natural air cycle of air flow.
We install a window AC in the window openings. Usually, the sill of the window is at height 3-4ft from the floor. The AC air diffuser of window AC unit are at the centre of the unit. So, there is a straight flow of air from the AC unit. Therefore, the ideal height to fix a window AC is at 3ft – 4ft (0.9 -1.2m) from floor level.
The indoor AC unit of split AC projects out from the wall surface in the room. So, we recommend installing the AC unit at a height more than a human height to avoid any obstruction. But, we need cool air at a lower level than the human height. Thus, the designers of AC have designed the split AC air diffuser in the bottom of the unit, giving us the optimal air throw in a downward direction.
So, for any room height, fix the indoor AC unit of a split AC at height 7ft – 8ft (2.1m – 2.4m) from the floor. Leave a minimum 4 inches (100mm) height from the false ceiling or the slab above to allow the return air to penetrate into AC.
Now, understanding the airflow diagram for a split AC, cool air from an AC unit flows down and creates a comfort zone in the space below. The hot air being the lighter one travels up in the top of the AC unit. The circulation keeps on going, while the AC is working.
Planning it in your Space:
We recommend you to place an AC unit in the centre of room maintaining the symmetry of your room, which is technically also correct, as it diffuses uniformly distributed air.
In some exceptional spaces, we recommend placing home AC units according to the window openings and furniture layout of the room. For example, for a layout having an asymmetrical sitting arrangement, we recommend planning home AC unit in the centre of the sitting arrangement. Also see that it does not throw cool flow directly to the person sitting next to it!
Relation with Outdoor AC Unit: Distance of Outdoor AC Unit from Indoor Unit:
Outdoor AC units are sometimes noisy and generate vibrations. So, place the outdoor AC units in exteriors connected to the indoor AC units through copper piping, which carries cooling gas. To reduce the cooling loss from these pipes, keep the distance minimum. Well, we recommend that the distance between the two units should not exceed 50ft (15m) to achieve efficient cooling.
Relation with Water Drain:
The condensed water drains out from the indoor AC unit while it is working. So locate the indoor AC unit such that routing the drained water is less cumbersome.
For achieving a proper cooling effect, it is mandatory for your technician, to install the AC as mentioned above. However, the location of AC unit varies from room to room depending upon the layout of a room, the openings in a room and receiving direct/ indirect flow from AC. There are other technical factors to guide you to select an ideal location for an AC for your space.
It is necessary to consider all the aspects before locating an AC unit. After all, air conditioners are not portable like water coolers. Your decision will save your money as well as give you the best comfort.
And before you take leave, don’t forget to watch below video which will summarise the above tips:
Urnit Kaur – Urnit Kaur is an Architect based in Ahmedabad. She loves Design challenges and it helps her client’s to bring their thoughts into reality. She has been passionately involved in Architecture from designing projects to managing them on site since 2014. She has been part of Ahmedabad Heritage Dossier project, designing ISRO Bopal campus and currently working on other varied scale projects with Aakruti Architects. With her rich experience in field work, she shares tips and facts in her blogs about Architecture, Interior and MEP services. She believes learning should never stop, so she has developed a hobby of creating colorful home décor items by experimenting different materials and aesthetics.