Information About Air Conditioning


Air conditioning can be divided into two main types - portable units and fixed systems.


As the name implies, portable systems can be easily moved and are ideal for temporary or mobile cooling. They are readily available for hire. For information on where to hire portable air conditioners in your local area, have a look at our directory.


Portables air conditioners in turn, can be broken down into two main types - monoblocks and split systems.


Monoblocks are freestanding and offer an instant solution to your air conditioning needs. They can be connected to a standard 13 amp socket, while an exhaust for hot air is often achieved by simply passing a pipe through an open window. For a more permanent exhaust, a vent similar to a tumble-dryer outlet can be installed through an outside wall. This also allows the unit to be relocated easily and neatly where temporary cooling is needed.

       KCD25Y Portable Monoblock

 KCD25Y Portable 


Split portable systems comprise two parts - a main evaporator unit inside the building, which is connected to an external condenser box via refrigerant lines. These lines are usually fitted with gas-tight connectors, allowing them to be uncoupled and passed through a small hole, drilled through an external wall. The condenser box on the outside of the building is usually suspended on brackets for wall hanging, or can be placed on the ground or a flat roof.


The alternative to a portable is a fixed air conditioning system. These offer a greater cooling capacity and tend to be more efficient, pound for pound, than portable units.


There are two main types of fixed system to consider - a split system and a through the window or wall system. Given the more complex nature of fixed units, and regulations over handelling refrigerant gases, installation of these systems should be carried out by an air conditioning expert.

External Condenser Unit           

Fixed split systems are similar to the split portables described above, with refrigerant lines and cables coupling the external condenser to one or more internal evaporator units.


The fixed systems offer greater cooling capacity, while the greater distance from the external condenser reduces noise inside the building.

 Hitachi Condenser


Through the window or wall systems are simple and relatively cheap to install. They offer the reduced internal noise of a split system, as the condenser is outside the window/wall, at a substantially lower cost.


Your local air conditioning installer will be able to explain these options in greater detail and recommend a suitable system for your requirements.


As a guide to the cooling capacity required in British Thermal Units (BTU's), calculate the volume of your room ie length x width x height (in feet). As a general rule of thumb, each cubic foot of space requires 5 BTU's of cooling capacity, so you need to multiply the volume by 5.


In addition, you need to add in the heat gain from other sources. These include people (400 BTU's each if there are more than two in the room) as well as computers and photocopiers (400 BTU's each).


For example, a room 10ft x 20ft x 8ft = 1600 x 5 = 8000 BTU's. With three people in the room, add 1 x 400 = 8400 BTU's. Add three PC's, 3 x 400 = 9600 BTU's total.


It is important to remember that these figures are for guidance only. For an accurate calculation of your cooling requirements, please contact your local installer.


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Air Conditioning Installers
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