In this article, we will tell you in detail what a channel air conditioner is, what advantages and disadvantages such an air conditioning system has, and how the device is installed.
Installation of a channel split system is a complex multi-stage process consisting of several stages. And at each stage, it is important to take into account a number of important nuances, so that the system subsequently works properly for many years.
It is for this reason that we do not recommend installing it yourself, if you do not have the proper experience and knowledge. Entrust this task to professionals. Yes, the services for installing channel devices are not cheap. But, if you make mistakes when installing yourself, you will have to pay a lot of money to fix them.
Channel air conditioning is a type of air conditioning system designed for cooling, heating, ventilation and dehumidification of air. Models for both domestic use and intensive operation at industrial enterprises are presented on the market.
The key feature of the channel air conditioner is a well-developed network of air ducts. Hence the name «channel», since such an air conditioning system consists of many channels. They are taken to different rooms, while connecting them to one outdoor unit. Thanks to this feature, you can use a channel air conditioner in several rooms at the same time.
Household duct air conditioners can be mounted in the ceiling, wall or floor. In our reality, ceiling installation is most often found, because after installation, all the unsightly technical part of the air conditioner can be closed with a suspended ceiling, making holes in it for air duct grilles.
In industrial premises, they often refuse the aesthetic installation of a channel air conditioner. The air ducts are attached to the ceiling and are not covered with anything, they remain visible. Competent designers manage to fit such technical «details» even into the interior of restaurants, especially in the loft style.
And channel air conditioners are equipped with a more powerful fan than standard split systems. More air passes through the channels, and a really powerful fan is needed to direct these flows into the room.
Features of channel air conditioners
When choosing a channel air conditioner, it is important to understand what features you will encounter during the installation, operation and maintenance of such a device.
The possibility of using it in several rooms at the same time, which favorably distinguishes the channel air conditioner against the background of a standard split system;
Lower cost of installation and operation compared to a multi-split system;
Hidden installation. Only the neat grilles of the air ducts are visible, all the technical «stuffing» is hidden under the suspended ceiling;
Most channel air conditioners are equipped with a fresh air supply function, which is very convenient in a small apartment.
Installation is possible only in rooms with high ceilings, since air ducts take up a lot of space above your head. Also note that then an additional suspended ceiling is installed, which also takes up useful space;
The channel air conditioner cannot be adjusted to different temperatures depending on the room. If you set +20 degrees, this temperature will be maintained in every room where the air duct is installed. You will not be able to install +20 in one room and +23 in another.
As you can see, there are only two disadvantages. But they can be significant if you plan to install in a standard «Khrushchev» or want to be able to individually control the temperature in each room. By the way, if the latter factor is especially important for you, pay attention to multi-split systems. They are more expensive than channel air conditioners, but they give you an undeniable freedom in setting up the operating mode.
Channel air conditioners work on the same principle as any other type of air conditioning. The device is equipped with a closed circuit, a compressor that makes freon circulate in a circle, and other important components.
Most modern duct devices can redirect freon flows inside the system, so that the device can not only cool, but also heat the air. This is very convenient, because in the off-season, such an air conditioning system can be used as a backup source of heating.
Well, the basics are sorted out. Now let’s talk in detail about how to install a channel device.
Installation of channel air conditioners takes more time than installation of the same split system. The point is in the air ducts: they must not only be fixed to the ceiling and connected to the system, but also calculate the length. We have divided the installation into several stages.
We offer the following installation scheme:
Select the installation location. Ideally, the project should be made by a competent specialist who can take into account both technical and aesthetic features. It is better to install the outdoor unit on the north or west side. If necessary, consider installing a visor for the external unit;
Mount the bracket for the outdoor unit, and then put the air conditioner itself on it. Do not forget to put rubber vibration dampers between the bracket and the device. The unit must be mounted strictly horizontally, without distortions. During installation, use the building level. The distance between the block and the wall is 10-15 cm;
Drill two holes in the outer wall. One is about 8-10 cm in diameter. Communications will be displayed through it. The second hole in diameter should coincide with the diameter of the air duct, which is intended for mixing fresh air;
Install the indoor unit. It is best to mount it directly to the ceiling or wall. Use a strong mounting plate and vibration-damping rubber gaskets;
The main electrical line for powering the air conditioner is laid from the indoor unit. Then an auxiliary (interblock) line is laid from the inner to the outer block. It is not necessary to connect the device to the apartment power grid, it may not withstand the high power of the air conditioner. It is necessary to put an automatic machine and an RCD. This is the key to the safety and comfortable operation of the air conditioning system.
Installation of the freon line
Calculate the length of the freon route and add another 1 meter to this figure. The highway should be with a margin;
Cut the copper tubes according to the calculations. Use a pipe cutter. Do not use a hacksaw in any case! When cutting pipes with a hacksaw, metal chips get inside, which subsequently negatively affects the operation of the system;
Bend the pipes in the right places with a pipe bend. It is not necessary to do this work manually. The bend should be smooth, without creases. This is impossible to achieve if you bend the pipes with your hands;
Put the thermal insulation material on the tubes. Or immediately buy heat-insulated;
Make the ends of the tubes roll out. Use the flanges to connect the tubes to the fittings of the blocks. Tighten the fasteners with sufficient, but not excessive force.
After installation, it is NECESSARY to check the tightness of all connections. For these purposes, a soap solution and a pump are traditionally used. The solution is applied to all connections, after which a pump is connected to one end of the line. When pumping air, observe the connections. if there are bubbles somewhere, then there is a leak.
The final stage
The installation is almost finished. There are a few final tasks left to complete. In particular, it is necessary to mount the air ducts and vacuum the system. We told you about vacuuming in detail earlier. Be sure to read it to understand this issue in more detail.
After vacuuming, the system is filled with freon and tested. Testing takes about an hour. The operating modes are not switched instantly. To completely change the cooling to heating, you need to wait 5-15 minutes. This is why the health check process takes so much time.
Channel air conditioning is an excellent alternative to a multi-split system if you want to use the device in all rooms, but there is no financial opportunity to fork out for a multi-zone.
It is better to entrust the installation of channel air conditioners to experienced specialists. Channel devices consist of many components that need to be put together, and at the same time do not make mistakes at any stage of the installation process. For this reason, we do not recommend performing such work yourself.
Have you ever encountered the installation of a channel air conditioner? Tell us about your experience in the comments. What difficulties did you encounter during the installation process? Share some useful recommendations. We wish you good luck!