Choose an air conditioner for an apartment, private house or office? Or maybe you are looking for an air conditioner for a store, office, gym? Pay attention to the ceiling systems — they are technologically advanced, easy to operate, do not spoil the interior and have long been able to prove their reliability.
Built-in ceiling air conditioners seem to be the only right solution in conditions when it is important to preserve the aesthetic appearance of the room. But is this really the case? In this article, we will talk in detail about this and share our tips on how to properly install a ceiling-type air conditioner.
Ceiling air conditioners are called this way for a reason: their key feature is the presence of very thin internal blocks that can be mounted even in a small inter-ceiling space. In the catalogues of many manufacturers, you can find air conditioners with a block height of no more than 30 cm, and this is really impressive.
In essence, the ceiling air conditioner is a conventional split system, but «packed» in a compact case. This is an excellent solution for rooms where there is simply no place to install the usual wall-mounted air conditioners or if it is important to meet certain aesthetic requirements.
Also, cassette-type ceiling air conditioners are often installed in offices with Armstrong ceilings, since the dimensions of the indoor units coincide with the size of the removable ceiling plates. However, in addition to the cassette, there are also other types of ceiling air conditioners. We’ll talk about this in more detail later.
Advantages and disadvantages
Ceiling air conditioners are aesthetic, compact, work very quietly and allow you to get rid of drafts forever.
High-price models are able not only to cool the air, but also to heat and clean it. You can install in the room the microclimate that will favorably affect your life.
However, despite all the advantages, ceiling air conditioners have their drawbacks. For example, even the most technologically advanced ceiling unit is not able to work efficiently enough in the heating mode, since it is located in the upper part of the room.
Also, the installation of such an air conditioning system involves the presence of a perfectly flat ceiling, so that there are no gaps between the indoor unit and the ceiling.
Types of ceiling air conditioners
Any air conditioner, including ceiling, has a number of characteristics that you need to pay attention to.
You should decide on the power (based on the size of the room), the compressor (it can be an inverter and a conventional one; the first one is more expensive, but more efficient), the presence of additional functions (heating, air purification), as well as the type of air conditioner housing. We offer to dwell in detail on the buildings.
Cassette air conditioner
The cassette air conditioner is installed in the interstitial space, often has a square shape and is used as an aesthetic replacement for the standard wall-mounted air conditioner, which you probably saw in apartments.
A cassette air conditioner consists of one outdoor unit that is mounted outside the room (for example, on the facade of a building), and one or more indoor units that are installed in the room. Cassette air conditioners are characterized by a small body thickness (from 25 cm).
All communications of the cassette machine are hidden under the suspended ceiling. Without a suspended ceiling, the installation of a cassette air conditioner is impossible. The standard size of a square cassette air conditioner is 60×60 cm. This is an ideal choice if your office or other room has «Armstrong» type ceilings, since removable ceiling plates also have a size of 60×60 cm.
For the installation of a ceiling-type cassette split system, it is important that the ceiling height is at least 2.7-3 meters, since most of these air conditioners take up from 30 to 50 cm of usable space. If your ceilings are below 2.7 meters, it is better to choose a different type of air conditioner.
Ducted air conditioner
Ducted air conditioning systems consist of a standard outdoor unit, which is attached to the facade, and internal blocks of elongated shape, which are mounted in the interstitial space.
A ducted air conditioner requires less space than a cassette air conditioner. Look at the image below: the channel air conditioner is installed in a box that practically does not hide the space above your head.
However, it is important to understand that the duct system is rather an improved version of the supply and exhaust ventilation than a full-fledged air conditioner.
Such a system is devoid of the usual heating, but it does an excellent job on hot summer days and is suitable for closed spaces without windows. But keep in mind that in the off-season, the air ducts need to be heated, otherwise cold air flows will enter the room from the street.
Wall-ceiling air conditioner
If the room is plastered or just very low ceilings, you can install a wall-ceiling air conditioner. In appearance, it is similar to the usual wall-mounted device, but has a flat shape. Air ducts are located on one of the faces of the indoor unit of the air conditioner.
Air conditioners of this type perfectly cope with cooling and heating of rooms with an area of up to 80-90 square meters. With a larger area, it is more rational to use cassette or floor-ceiling systems (we will talk about them later).
Floor-ceiling air conditioner
The name seems absurd: how can an air conditioner be both floor and ceiling at the same time? Everything is simple: when installing this system, a bundle of two types of indoor units is used — wall-ceiling (we talked about it earlier) and floor. Take a look at the image below to understand the essence of this system.
A bundle of floor and wall-ceiling units forms a very powerful air conditioning system that can cool large areas. Floor blocks look like modern radiators, so they will perfectly fit into the interior.
Installation of ceiling split systems directly depends on their variety. In the article about cassette air conditioners, we have already talked about the installation, so we will not repeat ourselves.
We will tell you about the key stages of installation that you will encounter, regardless of the type of air conditioner used:
Installing the indoor unit(s)
Installation begins with the installation of the indoor unit of the air conditioner. If there are several of them, then all the indoor units are installed at the same time. The installation is performed strictly according to the level;
Installation of pipelines
The pipeline is installed according to the selected type of air conditioner. For example, when installing cassette systems, the pipeline is mounted in the interstitial space between the draft and the suspended ceiling. After installing the pipes, they can not be immediately connected to the external unit, this procedure should be carried out only after installing the external unit;
Installing the outdoor unit
The outdoor unit is installed on the facade of the building, less often on the roof or in other places. It is recommended to protect the outdoor unit from direct precipitation and sunlight by using a canopy. The unit is mounted on a special frame, which is pre-screwed to the installation site;
Electrical installation works
Use the wiring diagram provided by the manufacturer of the purchased air conditioner. Do not forget about fuses and switches. Make sure that you have a centralized and/or remote control system for the air conditioner in advance.
After carrying out these works, it is possible to carry out the first start — up and adjustment.
A built-in air conditioner in the ceiling can be an excellent choice if not only technical, but also aesthetic qualities are important to you. When choosing a ceiling air conditioner for a house or apartment, we recommend choosing a wall-ceiling option, and when buying a ceiling air conditioner for the office, a cassette machine is perfect.
Ducted air conditioners are good where there is no need for additional heating of the room. And floor-ceiling systems are perfect for very large rooms, in which it is not possible to install cassette machines due to low ceilings.
Have you ever used ceiling air conditioners? Have you ever participated in their installation? Share your experience in the comments below. It will be useful for many readers of our site. Good luck!