Until a few years ago during summer time, the heat was mainly fought by using fans, whose blades brought some cool air to those who lied in front of them. Today, most people instead, opt for the much more practical air conditioners, which allow cooling the air around the room where they are installed.
If the first air conditioners for apartments were very expensive from an energetic point of view, noisy and not always practical to use, today the AC represents the best solution to combat the heat of summer in an inexpensive way.
Naturally, to combine good cooling and savings is essential to choose among the newest air conditioners, featuring a high energy efficiency.
The doubt now is whether it is better to opt for a fixed or portable air conditioner.
Portable air conditioners versus fixed air conditioners: both models have their pros and cons that must be carefully evaluated to ensure the best use of these appliances.
Fixed air conditioners
Image credits: angolodegliacquisti
A problem of space can dictate whether to opt for a fixed or portable air conditioner.
A fixed air conditioner requires a clear wall for installing it. If you wish to have more than one air conditioner in every room, it is necessary to have larger spaces available on the walls.
Moreover, as it will be discussed later in this article, you will also need some extra space for the outdoor unit.
There aren’t any problems if the installation takes place in a new apartment before it has been furnished. You still have plenty of space available to plan where to place the furniture and the air conditioners.
It occurs very often that, when you decide to buy an air conditioner, that the house has already been furnished. Therefore, you must manage the space available to find the best place where to install the conditioner.
It is always a good idea to remember, when purchasing a new air conditioner, that the installation costs will need to be added to the final price.
Choosing a fixed AC is not only dictated by money. The choice may be influenced by the way you would like to use the AC. If your lifestyle allows you to spend long time at home, even for studying and working, having a cool place during the whole day is fundamental to better perform.
In this specific situation, a fixed AC is highly recommended. Not only it offers a better performance, but it’s quieter compared to portable air conditioners, allowing to gain a better attention while working.
For this same reason, even when there is a house/room that gets really heated during the day and does not allow to rest peacefully due to its high temperatures and lack of air, a fixed AC turns out to be the best solution as it is much quieter than a portable AC.
Portable air conditioners
Image credits: angolodegliacquisti
These air conditioners may be a most suitable solution for those who cannot, for a matter of space, install a fixed AC.
Thanks to their stylish design, modern portable air conditioners become part of the home decor, without being too aggressive for the eye.
As they are portable, they are very versatile and can be easily moved from one room to another. They are the perfect solution for those who do not need to cool the entire apartment at the same time but only need to cool down one room at the time.
As regards the costs, portable ACs are certainly cheaper, even if they are not as powerful as fixed air conditioners. However, you will be saving the installation costs. To securely install a fixed AC you will always need to contact a skilled worker able to fix the AC to the wall and to connect it properly to the electrical grid.
However, we must remember that we are still dealing with an air conditioner and not with a fan: for this reason, even in the case of portable models, an exchange with the external environment is necessary.
To generate cold air, an air conditioner requires to discharge the hot air outside: for this reason, the most cost effective solution is to place the heat exchange tube out of the window.
Therefore, there will be a greater inflow of warm air from the outside, i.e. a lower thermal insulation.
Another solution is to drill a small hole in the window glass that you should cover when the AC is not running. Doing so, you would cut the dispersion of fresh air or the inflow into the house of hot air from the outside. Finally, as already mentioned, portable air conditioners require more electricity. They are less energy-efficient compared to fixed ones. That’s why they are recommended to be used for short periods of time.
The greatest advantage of portable air conditioners is that they don’t need an outdoor unit, that is to say the engine, which represents the bulkiest part of the system.
Even though it’s heavy and noisy, the outdoor unit is essential when installing a fixed AC system. This can be avoided when installing a single conditioner.
Installing an outdoor unit is not only a matter of space, but it needs to abide by a specific law, which requires the outdoor unit to be positioned in an open space and far from flammable sources.
What you should be taking into consideration…
Finally, regardless of the model – fixed or portable – in order to properly use the AC and ensure the respect of the environment, the choice of the refrigerant liquid you will use is essential. The best conditioners use eco-friendly gas refrigerants such as the R407C, the R424A, the R434A and especially the R410A.
The latter is among the less harmful products to the environment and is highly indicated for domestic air conditioners.
Insights on refrigerant gases: http://www.legambiente.it/sites/default/files/docs/i_gas_refrigeranti_in_italia_.pdf
Insights on regulations for the installation of air conditioners in multi-property building: Https://www.danea.it/blog/condizionatori-condominio-legge/and