Adding a conservatory extension to your home can provide a whole host of benefits, whether you wish to erect a conservatory for growing plants, soaking up the sun or simply relaxing after a hard day's work. However, the intense Australian sunshine that can make a new conservatory such a pleasant place to be can also make a conservatory uncomfortably hot, particularly during the summer months.
Consequently, many conservatory extensions are fitted with air conditioners to provide much-needed cooling, but the demands of conservatory cooling are quite different from those required to control the climate in the main sections of your home. For example, under-ceiling and cassette unit air conditioners are unsuitable for most conservatories, since they lack the recessed ceilings required to install them. As such, you should weigh the pros and cons of individual air conditioner types before installing them in your conservatory to ensure that they are well suited to the task in hand.
Extending your existing ducted air conditioning
If you are lucky enough to have a centralised, ducted air conditioning system already fitted in your home, it can be extended to service your new conservatory too. By routing a new duct to your conservatory, you can cool your new extension with the same systems used to cool the rest of your home, which can be a tremendous boon to efficiency and eliminates the need to install a dedicated system just for your conservatory.
However, if you choose this option, you should make sure your existing ducted system is capable of handling the extra cooling requirements of a new conservatory. If your ducted system does not have enough power to service the new room, its efficiency can be reduced in the other rooms of your home, and the air conditioner's motor can become overworked and more prone to mechanical failure.
Window-mounted air conditioners
These simple and inexpensive air conditioners are mounted in one of the window frames of your new conservatory, partially or completely replacing the glass that would normally be fitted there. Powerful yet relatively inexpensive to run, these systems are more than capable of cooling all but the largest conservatory extensions and can be fitted quickly and easily to provide immediate cooling.
If you opt for a window-mounted air conditioner, location is all-important. Ideally, your conditioner should be mounted in an area free of large physical obstructions that can impinge air flow. You should also avoid placing a window-mounted conditioner in a window that usually faces prevailing winds, as this can cause hot exhaust gases to blow back into your conservatory. You should also bear in mind that a window-mounted conditioner will partially or completely block sunlight through one of your windows, and it may cast unacceptable levels of shade in smaller extensions.
Wall-mounted air conditioners
These disarmingly simple air conditioners are mounted on a solid wall, which in a conservatory generally means mounting them to the exterior wall between your conservatory and your home proper. In such a high, unobstructed location, wall-mounted air conditioners can provide superb cooling power and efficiency. Their simplicity makes them easy to maintain and fairly resistant to physical damage, and their refrigerant and exhaust gas pipes can be hidden within wall cavities for a clean, crisp look.
However, mounting a wall-mounted air conditioner on a brick or stone exterior wall is more difficult than installing one on a plaster or fibreboard interior wall, and you may have to make significant modifications to the wall for a conditioner to be successfully mounted. Routing your pipes through tough exterior walls can also be difficult. Bringing in professional air conditioner installation services to tackle this problem will ensure successful installation and quality results.