Retrofit air conditioner: different types at a glance

Hot summer days are fast approaching and many people want a cool home. Especially if you live in the attic, you have to fight with the heat. Or you drive an older used car without air conditioning and wish nothing more.

There are many ways to provide cooling, but also as much to consider. We have collected useful information for you here.

We would like to explain to you what to consider when retrofitting an air conditioning system and give you useful hints and tips on what to know about it.

The most important facts in brief

  • Retrofitting air conditioning in the car is very expensive, because the installation must be done by a specialist.
  • With permanently installed air conditioners, the outdoor units are often very noisy. Here you should pay attention and take into account the neighbors.
  • Roof air conditioners for campers are the easiest way to retrofit an air conditioner, because you can simply install them in the existing roof hatch.

Definition: what is an air conditioner?

The hot summer days are in the starting blocks and we have already enjoyed a few brief forerunners.

But the temperatures can quickly exceed 30 degrees and make a restful sleep at home, the drive to work in the car or working in the office a torture.

Retrofit air conditioner: different types at a glance

Exactly in such moments one wishes oneself eagerly a fresh breeze, only a few degrees less on the thermometer. Exactly there comes, then the air conditioning system into play.

As early as 1845, the american doctor john gorrie researched how best to air-condition rooms.

After giving up his profession as a doctor, he invented the first working ice machine in 1851.

As early as 1906, engineer willis haviland carrier filed a patent for his machine. nowadays air conditioners have much more use than just cooling down the room.

First of all, we distinguish between these three types. Pure ventilation systems, partial air conditioning systems and full air conditioning systems.

ventilation systems are only used for air exchange; partial air conditioning systems can also humidify and dehumidify the room and full air conditioning systems can cool, heat, dehumidify and dry the room.

Also interesting

background: what you should know about retrofitting an air conditioner

Which model or type is best suited to my project?. what are the costs and much more. So that you know exactly what you need to consider, we have summarized some useful tips and background information for you.

How does an air conditioner work?

So wouldn’t it be okay if I just open the fridge in my apartment??

A very clear no, because the principle of the air conditioner works only if the interior remains closed. the refrigerator wastes pure energy if the door is left open uselessly.

inside the air conditioner there is a surface called evaporator. The air conditioner now sucks in the warm air from the room and flows past the evaporator, which contains a refrigerant. the refrigerant now becomes gaseous and flows into the compressor.

In the compressor sits a compressor, which compresses and heats the refrigerant with high pressure. The warm gaseous refrigerant flows on to the air conditioner’s outdoor unit, in which the so-called heat exchanger is installed.

The outdoor unit now releases the heat back into the ambient air and this release causes the gaseous refrigerant to liquefy.

A valve takes the pressure, the refrigerant flows back into the inner part and the cycle starts all over again.

Where can I retrofit an air conditioner everywhere?

Location type description
rental apartment mobile air conditioner monobloc or split units possible.
Rental apartment fixed air conditioner only possible after consultation with the landlord. Often too expensive for a rental apartment.
condo/house mobile air conditioner see rental apartment. Monobloc and split units are possible.
Condominium/house permanently installed air conditioner in case of owner-occupied apartments only after consultation with other owners and in case of a house without any restriction.
Car air conditioning worthwhile only for valuable oldtimers, because the installation is very expensive.
boat/camper mobile you should make sure that the air conditioner is not too big, because space is limited.
boat/camper storage box air conditioner the storage box air conditioner can be stowed away practically like a piece of luggage.
Boat/camper roof air conditioner the roof air conditioner can be installed in the existing roof hatch in the camper.

Can I retrofit an air conditioner myself??

However, if it is a centralized or decentralized air conditioning system that is permanently installed on the building, there is no way around a specialist.

It is important to know how large the area to be cooled is. In addition, a number of other factors play a role in the selection of your perfect air conditioner. So that you don’t have to do all the planning yourself, some manufacturers offer service packages that suggest different options for you to consider. Every now and then, an installation is also included in the package, so you only have to worry about a minimum and still start the summer well chilled.

And in the case of a rental or owner-occupied apartment, you also need the consent of the landlord or the other owners, since structural changes are being made.

Only homeowners can make these changes without further ado.

mobile air conditioners do not require landlord or property owner approvals, nor do they require handyman skills. Mobile air conditioners you can just buy, put and plug in.

Why should I retrofit an air conditioning system??

Air conditioning can provide a remedy. If this is not available in the apartment, car or office, you may be able to retrofit an air conditioning system.

If you want to retrofit an air conditioning system, there are many possibilities. And in an apartment or a house, retrofitting is much easier and more worthwhile than in a car.

A cool bedroom increases restful sleep in high temperatures and restful sleep is essential to start the day rested and fit. The body is more concentrated and productive throughout the day.

What to look for when retrofitting an air conditioning system?

That such a decision must be borne by all owners is shown by a decision of the district court in essen.

In the case at hand, the owners wanted air conditioning retrofitted to each apartment. The air conditioners should be placed on the terraces.

Two years passed and at another owners meeting they decided that everything could be ordered.

Without any further specifications, the air conditioning units were actually mounted on the gable wall between the first floor and the first upper floor.

An owner filed a complaint because, first, the air conditioner was installed near his bedroom window, so he couldn’t sleep because of the noise, and second, he thought the unit disfigured the building there.

The district court of essen ruled (AZ: 196 C 288/16) and the air conditioning system had to be removed again. the court objected to the fact that at the last owners’ meeting it was not specified exactly what type of air conditioning system should be installed and how.

The installation of an air conditioning system in a car should rather be left to a professional. But since this can run into the small four-digit range, you should think carefully about whether this is worthwhile.

What is BTU for air conditioners??

This is the unit of measurement of the heat energy required to heat one British pound of water to one degree fahrenheit.

1.000 BTU correspond exactly to 293,071 watt.

The larger the room to be cooled, the greater the cooling capacity (BTU/h) must be. The unit of measurement is used for heat pumps and air conditioners.

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Christina Cherry
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