|Keep your cool in the summer heat|
|Thursday, 14 April 2011 09:16|
Brought to you by Scotiabank
Air conditioning is the Turks and Caicos is a hot topic, especially when it comes to the operating costs.
In the hot summer months, many choose to have some form of air conditioning to keep their families cool, but the increasing energy prices are turning this necessity into a luxury.Most modern buildings are built with central air conditioning systems installed throughout the home. Ducts are placed in the ceilings reaching each and every room. This certainly has the advantage of keeping a constant temperature throughout the whole home, but is this really necessary and is it the most efficient way to cool your home?
For decades the Japanese have used ductless split-systems which have many advantages over central air conditioners, one of the most important of which in the TCI is the lower running cost.
The main advantages of mini splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning or cooling individual rooms, only the ones that your are actually using at a certain time.
Many models can have as many as four indoor air handling units (for four zones or rooms) connected to one outdoor unit. The number depends on how much cooling is required for the building or each zone (which in turn is affected by how well the building is insulated).
Since each of the zones will have its own thermostat, only the rooms that are occupied need to be cooled. Therefore, operating costs can be significantly lower than those of central systems that cool every room equally, whether it is in use or not.
The split systems also eliminate the loss of cool air as it passes through the ductwork. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.
Several split models are even Energy Star qualified, meaning they operate at high efficiency rates, saving you even more on monthly electricity bills.
Mini-splits are also a good option if you are in an older home, apartment or office where central air is not available. Unlike window mounted air conditioners of yesterday, the ductless mini split air conditioners are mounted high up on walls, not in windows, preserving your outdoor views.
Split-systems can also help to keep your home safer since there is only a small hole in the wall. Through-the-wall and window mounted room air-conditioners can provide an easy entrance for intruders.
Mini-splits win over the window mounted units thanks to their quiet nature. Like central systems, mini splits have two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units, leaving the noisy compressor far outside the comforts of your home.
Finding the right balance between comfort and quality of life is certainly a challenge in today’s economy. But there are always options for building a better life for your family at a cost you can afford.
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