Dwell Well > Pros and Cons of Adding Air Conditioning to Your Home

Pros and Cons of Adding Air Conditioning to Your Home

With the summer months growing increasingly hotter, domestic air conditioning has become a ‘must-have’ for more homeowners. Temperatures in the UK reached 40.3°C in 2022, so it’s no wonder why many people are investing in smart air conditioning units or fully-integrated systems. 

Coping with such high temperatures is not something that many UK residents are used to unless on holiday or on a foreign excursion. It’s especially concerning for many residents conisidering the fact that nearly all UK homes are built primarily to retain heat, rather than expel it. Furthermore, the now established hybrid working patterns mean we are far more likely to be based at home for larger proportions of time, and will increase the demand for reliable domestic air conditioning and cooling systems. 

So to make the high summer temperatures more bearable, investing in a home air conditioning solution can be a wise move to keep you and your home cooler and free from humidity. Before you rush into buying one, it’s important to consider the types on the market, as well as the long-term pros and cons of making this purchase. 

Types of Residential Air Conditioning 

When considering what air conditioning product to choose, you need it to be right for you. The best air con system for your home will depend on your needs, and some may be better suited to your home than others. Below are some examples:

Central Air Conditioning 

These are typically found in newbuilds or newer properties, which will often have ducts installed throughout the walls. 

If you have an older home, installing an integrated air conditioning system would require taking apart your existing walls, along with installing an outdoor compressor. 

This is usually a time-consuming and expensive job, however, the long-term energy efficiency is high. This would be best suited to homeowners that are renovating their properties or buying a newbuild.

Portable Air Conditioning Units

Portable air conditioners are simple yet effective. These units give you plenty of flexibility in where you place the unit, which is handy if you tend to move around regularly. 

While they’re not as efficient as a central air-con system, portable A/Cs are very easy to manage and transport, and also don’t come with such high upfront costs. 

This type of unit would also be ideal for renters or frequent home movers that will likely find it more cost-effective than renovating with built-in air conditioning. 

Split Air Conditioning Systems

Split system air conditioning involves placing connecting units both indoors and outdoors. These have the distinction of being straightforward to install, compared to a central air conditioning system, only requiring a small hole through a wall to connect the two units. 

Homeowners also have the same freedom of room temperature and heating controls. The downside is that the unit does often eat up sizable wall space, and may not be possible to install in leasehold properties. 

Brands of Air Conditioning Systems

It’s common to find a wide range of portable, central or split air-con systems from brands such as:

  • Fujitsu

  • Samsung

  • Panasonic

  • Mitsubishi

  • Hitachi

  • Daikin

  • LG

Do Air Conditioning Systems Have Any Other Features?

Contemporary air conditioning systems often come with a few extra quirks or nuances. These often include:

  • WiFi access

  • Smart controls

  • Heating controls

  • Dehumidifying functions

As the adage goes: you get what you pay for. Many modern air-con systems can be controlled through home automation solutions. Therefore, if you’re upgrading your home to a smart home, this might weigh on your choice of air conditioning solution. 

There are several things to bear in mind to ensure you get the most out of your system, and so that it fits your home comfortably. Do you think you’ll move house in a few years? If so, you may find a temporary investment the best decision for now. If not, and you have plans to renovate, perhaps now is a good time to think of something more permanent and long-lasting.

The most effective way of determining the best system for you is to research what is feasible within your property. Take on board the installation time, costs and hassle, and factor these into your decision-making. If in doubt, seek recommendations from your friends, or peers, or read online reviews.

Benefits of Home Air Conditioning

In retrospect, buying an air conditioner is often viewed as an investment in your home and lifestyle. Therefore, it’s wise to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of getting one installed for your home. 

Firstly, the benefits:

  • Improved air quality in the home

  • Removal of allergens from the atmosphere

  • Regulated, consistent temperatures

  • Prevention of overheating

  • Better concentration and comfort while working from home

  • Reduction of illnesses related to heat

  • Low-maintenance models available

  • Flexibility with portable units

  • Deters insects and parasites from entering the home

  • Can integrate with home automation controls

  • Can improve the value of a home

  • Not as detrimental to the environment as many people think

Considerations of Air Conditioning

In the interests of fairness, it would be unwise to ignore some concerns people often have about installing a home air conditioning system. 

  • Higher energy bills

  • Wall-mounted units can detract from home decor

  • Sometimes can cause skin dryness

  • Mould and mildew can develop

  • Split units often require an experienced engineer to install

  • Central unit installations are costly and time-consuming

  • Some units come with high upfront costs

  • You must factor in servicing, breakdown cover and maintenance, which can become costly with the wrong provider

Choosing the Right AC System for Your Home

Hopefully, from this, you’ll be able to comfortably and assuredly decide on your next air conditioning purchase. However, if not, and you need to consider a few more aspects, perhaps the below might be useful.

To get the most out of your system, look at:

  • Your room sizes, and how much a new AC unit would impose on the space within these rooms

  • Fan speed settings and whether they are adjustable 

  • The noise of the units

  • The energy rating of the device you’ll be investing in.

  • Whether the unit contains remote or smart thermostats

  • How often the unit is likely to need maintenance

It’s clear to see how beneficial an air conditioning system can be for the home. It can turn a hot, humid and stuffy environment into a comfortable and consistent space with plenty of regulated, clean air. Just make sure you factor in all associated costs and long-term benefits before you decide which one is right for you.

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