Air conditioning is a no-brainer during the hot summer months. Homeowners spend hours selecting an air conditioning system or unit to ensure the best cooling solution for their home. But, there’s one consideration that is often overlooked during this process: the importance of insulation.
Insulation plays a vital role in enhancing the efficiency, performance, and longevity of your air conditioning system. However, retailers often fail to mention this at the point of purchase, leading to higher-than-expected running costs or unexpected additional costs during installation.
At PenAir, we’re here to make sure you understand all the ins and outs of air conditioning systems. So, if you’ve been asking yourself questions like ‘what exactly is aircon insulation’, or ‘is insulation good for air conditioning’, keep reading.
What Is Insulation In Air Conditioning?
Insulation is the process of creating a barrier that prevents heat transfer between an air conditioner and its surroundings. This process essentially protects the cooling system from being impacted by external elements which could reduce its performance or efficiency.
Air conditioner insulation can be done using a variety of materials, with the most common being foam or fibreglass. However, other methods, such as using reflective films, can also effectively minimise energy loss, maintain desired indoor temperatures, and improve overall system performance.
Why is AC Insulation Important?
Properly insulating your room when installing an air conditioner is important for two main reasons:
Firstly, because insulation prevents hot air from infiltrating your living space and keeps the cooled air inside, your air conditioning unit doesn’t have to work as hard. This means that the system operates more efficiently, consumes less energy, and is able to effectively maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature within your home.
Secondly, because insulation minimises the strain on your air conditioning system, the unit can reach and maintain the desired temperature more quickly. This prevents excessive wear and tear and extends the lifespan of the air conditioning unit, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.
How To Properly Insulate For Air Conditioning
Depending on your home, there are a few methods for ensuring ideal air conditioning and insulation efficiency:
- Seal air leaks: Inspect your home for gaps, cracks, and leaks around windows, doors, and other openings. Once located, seal each one using weatherstripping or caulk. This will help to prevent warm air from entering and cool air from escaping.
- Insulate ductwork: To minimise heat transfer through ducts, wrap them with appropriate insulation material or use insulation sleeves. This will help to maintain the desired temperature throughout the distribution system.
- Add insulation in the attic: Since hot air rises, a significant amount of heat can accumulate in the attic. Proper insulation in the attic can reduce heat transfer, allowing your air conditioning system to work more efficiently.
- Insulating around a window air conditioner: Knowing how to insulate around a window air conditioner is critical, as gaps can be common between the unit and the window frame. If you have a window air conditioner, ensure proper insulation by using foam weatherstripping or insulation panels to prevent air leakage and improve efficiency.
What’s the impact of no insulation with air conditioning?
Without proper insulation, your air conditioning system will have to work harder to cool your room, office or home. A lack of insulation, or poorly insulated ductwork , allows cool air produced by the air conditioning system to escape through gaps and cracks, resulting in inefficient cooling, inconsistent temperatures, and increased energy consumption. Eventually, the constant strain on the system can also lead to higher utility bills and potential breakdowns, requiring frequent maintenance or costly repairs.
Poor insulation can also lead to condensation forming around the air conditioning unit. Over time, the build up of moisture can lead to mould growth, water damage, and reduced indoor air quality, which may pose potential health risks to those living in your home.
Proper insulation is a critical component of a well-functioning air conditioning system. Whether you choose to install a split system, multi-split system or ducted air conditioning system, insulation ensures efficient cooling, reduces energy consumption and extends the lifespan of the unit.