How to Air Condition an Apartment

Air conditioning refers to removing heat and controlling temperature, ventilation, and humidity in an enclosed area to maintain a cool atmosphere.

In addition to maintaining the right temperature and moisture level, air conditioning units help improve air quality, typically to make the interior environment more comfortable.

Air Conditioning Systems

An Air Conditioning System is an electric device that you install in an apartment or house, or any enclosed space.

The machine removes the heat and moisture in an enclosed space. 

An air conditioning device, or air conditioner, works through refrigeration cycles and evaporation of the moisture in an area. It also contains chemicals that absorb moisture from the air.

Roles of Air Conditioning System

  • It makes the air cooler (plus, most can also be used for heating)
  • It helps in controlling the apartment’s humidity
  • It cools the temperature of electric devices in an apartment
  • It enhances the comfortability of the apartment for humans

Types of Air Conditioner Systems

Different types of air conditioners are designed for different reasons, spaces, and seasons.

For example, certain devices are designed for summer, while others are made to fit the wintry air.

All-season air conditioners have both cooling and heating effects depending on the season.

Mini-split and Multi-Split Systems

A mini-split system works by distributing the air to several rooms of an apartment.

You will set the general temperature, and that temperature will be the same for all rooms. 

On the other hand, a multi-split system allows you to air condition up to eight rooms independently.

This means that you can set up a different temperature for each of the rooms. Each room has an indoor system with a single outdoor unit. 

Both these systems are ductless; in other words, it’s only composed of the indoor unit and the outdoor unit, connected via a single tube and wires. They are also called window ACs.

Ducted Central Systems

Ducted central systems have two parts, namely the condenser and evaporator. A piped refrigerant connects these parts.

The condenser releases the heat into the environment. The evaporator is connected to the apartment to be cooled by ventilation ducts.

The main difference between ducted (also called “traditional”) and AC systems is that, as the name indicates, traditional cooling systems require the installation of large ducts.

This makes them more expensive (though cheaper to install) because they spend more energy. The ducts can also be a less attractive choice aesthetically.

Additionally, the system heats or cools the air in a central unit or plant, and then the air gets distributed to the whole house or apartment.

Conversely, in ductless units, this process happens in every one of these units, so the air only travels through the indoor and outdoor parts of the equipment, and not around the home.

Portable Units

Portable air conditioners have an indoor and outdoor unit, having flexible pipes which link them.

In addition, a portable system has air ducts that vent the monoblock or air to air systems. 

The water is collected in the buckets by monoblock and stops once it is full. The air to air re-evaporates the water and discharges it via a ducted hose.

Portable units draw indoor air and drive it out through a single duct.

All in all, they are similar to window units, but as they are meant to be moved around, they sit on the floor. Once they are in the desired room, they are very easy to install.

Also read: How To Vent A Portable Air Conditioner Without A Window?

Self-Contained Units

The self-contained air conditioner has a central system that integrates into a single housing component of a split central system.

Some buildings also use these, as a single unit can deliver cooled or heated air to all floors.

They vary in the model: indoor and outdoor. The outdoor units are majorly air-cooled, while indoor units are liquid-cooled.

Methods of Dehumidifying an Apartment

Dehumidification is the process of air conditioning an apartment by removing moisture when the apartment is too humid.

Dehumidifying aids for a more comfortable and healthier environment. 

Most modern AC units, especially ductless ones, come with this feature, so you can actually use your air conditioner to dehumidify your home.

Let’s take a look at some other options, though, in case you need them.

Chemical dehumidification

In chemical dehumidification, you use desiccant materials to dry the air.

Once you introduce the desiccant material in the apartment’s airstream, the material absorbs moisture and brings a warming result, especially during cold, humid weather.

Many people prefer chemical desiccants to other dehumidification methods because they are ideal for low and high humidity levels.

The desiccant method of controlling humidity is versatile, does not have cycle changes, and does not require high energy levels.

Examples of chemical dehumidifiers include silica gel and common salt.

Mechanical dehumidification

This method involves cooling the air to condense the water vapor. Mechanical dehumidifiers feature a fan, compressor, coils, and refrigerant.

The dehumidifier draws air through the fan, absorbs the moisture by cooling, and reheats the air.

A dehumidifier extracts the moisture and collects it in a bucket. Mechanical dehumidification is most effective when controlling humidity in a large apartment.

This dehumidification may include a heat pump dehumidifier and dehumidifying ventilator.

Other methods of enhancing dehumidification

Removing of plants from the house

Plants increase moisture in the house through transpiration. To reduce humidity in the apartment, be sure to place your plants outside the room.

You can also consider using alternative methods like synthetic plants in your apartment.

Have shorter showers

Showers increase indoor humidity in most homes. In essence, when you spend a long time in the bathroom, relative humidity increases.

This is evident through condensation on the mirrors and surfaces in your home. Therefore, consider spending less time in the bathroom to reduce the humidity in your home.

Ensure you fix the leakages

Water leakages may also increase humidity in your home. Therefore, it would be best if you closely monitor your plumbing systems.

Once you notice any watermark or rings on your wall, find a plumber immediately because there is a high possibility of leakages.

Line your clothes outside the apartment

If your apartment has poor ventilation, lining wet clothes in the room is such a bad idea.

This is because lining the clothes in the room increases the humidity level.

Given that water escapes from the clothes to the air, make sure that you line clothes outdoors.

Also read: 6 Easy Ways to Air Dry Clothes in Apartment (& 7 Air Drying Alternatives)

Replace your rug

Rugs collect moisture in the apartment if the room has high humidity.

So when your rug becomes dump, take it outside, clean it, and dry it.

Use the kitchen exhaust fans.

Cooking also increases humidity in your home.  So, be sure to cover your food when cooking to retain the moisture.

Then, turn on the kitchen exhaust fans to expel excess moisture.

How to Enhance Air Conditioning in an Apartment?

Below are some of the ways to enhance air conditioning in an apartment.

Ensure you block the sun against your house during the hottest days

The sun is strongest in the afternoon. That said, identifying the parts of the apartment that receives a lot of heat during these times is essential.

Blocking of the sun in an apartment is achieved by using black curtains or light-colored curtains.

Light-colored curtains reflect away the sun’s rays. Later, when the sun goes down, you can open the curtains to allow the heat to escape.

Enhance the flow of the air in the apartment

Constant circulation of the air in an apartment is very vital. It serves well in regulating the temperatures in the room.

During the hotter times, ensure that the doors of rooms in use are open while rooms that are not in use are closed.

The use of fans can also optimize airflow in the apartment.

You can switch on the machine when the apartment is hot to bring the cooling effect and keep it off when it is cold.

There is a need to make considerations before positioning the fan; one should give close attention to the rooms in use.

Avoid excessive use of heat-making appliances

Certain Appliances such as ovens, iron boxes, stoves produce a lot of heat when used.

During hot days, one will not like anything that raises the house temperatures. Therefore, alternative methods of performing these duties are supposed to be employed.

You can shift activities that involve heat-producing machines to other times of the day when the temperature is cool.

Use insulation and weather stripping

Insulation can be just as helpful in summer as it is in the winter seasons. They keep the heat during the winter and keep the apartment cool during the summer.

In addition, weather-stripping on the doors and windows prevents leakage of cool air in the apartment.

There are various methods of insulating apartment windows.

And they include; use of window insulation film, which creates a hurdle between the inside of the apartment and windows, installing removable magnetic window insulation-which is very effective.

You can also add thermal curtains to your windows.

Paint the apartment in light colors

Light colors, such as white, do not absorb heat as compared to darker colors. They are unique in reflecting the light.

In areas that experience extended and frequent hot periods, this is the best option to cool the inside of your apartment.

Light paints not only bring a cooling effect but also beautifies your apartment.

Creating an aluminum solar reflector

You will need cardboard and aluminum foil. Cut the cardboard to the exact measurement of the window.

Then, you cover your cardboard on one side with aluminum foil. Finally, place the cardboard on the window frame, with an aluminum-covered side facing outside.

This is such an effective air cooling method for areas experiencing high temperatures.

Use of evaporative cooling

Evaporating cooling involves removing latent heat from a surface and is usually used to cool the air in industrial and domestic interiors.

Ultimately, evaporating cooling is like sweating, where heat is removed from the surface through which this process is taking place.

Bear in mind, though, that most of the systems that use this method will make the air more humid.

This will make it a great tool for dry weather, but it will add an extra issue if you’re trying to dehumidify.

Use of cool bed accessories

Technology advancement has resulted in so many ways of controlling temperature levels in your home.

For example, temperature-controlled cooling mattresses ensure you have a comfortable sleep despite hot climates. 

Effects of Poor Air-Conditioned Apartment

Hot weather can have several effects on humans. These include heat stroke, hyperthermia, and dehydration due to excessive perspiration.

Cold weather can cause constriction of blood vessels, breathing problems, and thickening of the blood.

Moreover, it can lead to a state of body shock, which causes a heart attack. This is because when exposed to a cold environment, the heart tries to overwork to keep the body warm.

High humidity in an apartment can lead to allergic reactions, mold and mildew growth, foul odors, peeling off the wall paints, stains on the wall and ceilings, and warping wood floors.

Conclusion

Air conditioning in an apartment is a necessity. It helps in maintaining a clean and safe atmosphere in your apartment.

There are comprehensive methods of achieving conducive air in your apartment, so make sure to explore and choose the best options for you.

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