What you need to know before installing home air conditioning
With temperatures rising and increasing concerns about air quality, more and more people are turning to air conditioning to provide healthy indoor air at home. Allergies and viruses, including Coronavirus, have led increasing numbers of people to install home air conditioning in order to improve indoor air quality and provide energy-efficient climates in the home all year round.
There's never been a better time to install domestic air conditioning because from 1st April 2022 there is 0% VAT on all domestic energy-saving solutions, including air conditioning. Home air conditioning typically comprises single or multiple indoor units and one outdoor unit. This is known as split air conditioning. These systems can deliver heating and cooling very efficiently, and offer a range of benefits including advanced technology that is designed to filter out pollutants and eliminate bacteria.
Do you need planning permission to install home air conditioning?
It is always advisable to check with your local authority before installing air conditioning but typically planning permission is not needed. Most modern domestic air conditioning outdoor units are compact and quiet, however if you are installing a larger air conditioning unit then noise could be an issue for neighbours so it’s best to check before installing.
If you rent or lease your property then you will need to seek permission from the owner or landlord for all types of domestic properties. If you own a flat with a leasehold then you should check your leaseholder agreement first and then seek the relevant permission. If you own a freehold flat there are likely to be rules that apply to all owners of flats in the building. In this instance, it is worth seeking advice from your local authority, particularly if your outdoor unit is placed on a balcony that is adjacent to your neighbours.
If you own a listed building or a property that is close to a listed building, you will need to apply for planning permission.
Why do you need an air conditioning survey?
To assess the type of air conditioning system that can be installed in your property, you will need to contact a qualified air conditioning engineer to carry out a survey. In most cases these are free – Loop Air Conditioning provides free home surveys and written quotations.
The engineer will calculate your room sizes, type of structure, consider where pipework will need to run, check where indoor units can be fitted and check the space outside of your property to ensure the outdoor unit can be installed in a suitable place. They will then advise you on the types of air conditioning systems that are suitable for your property and outline the works that will be required.
Who should install your home air conditioning?
Air conditioning systems can only be installed by qualified air conditioning engineers. This applies even if you purchase a system yourself. This is because they are handling potentially dangerous gases. Air conditioning installers must hold F Gas certification – it’s illegal to install air conditioning without it.
If you contact a local air conditioning engineer, you should ensure that the individual and the company each hold F-Gas certification by asking to see copies. You can then authenticate them through the issuing company such as F Gas or Refcom.
By law all gas engineers must also be on the Gas Safe Register, which is a licensing body. Before registration is granted, checks are made to ensure that those applying for, and holding, registration are appropriately qualified as gas safety competent.
Having checked the certificates, you may want to ask for references. Any reputable company will be more than happy to provide these. You should also expect to see a full written quotation which details the cost of the new system, installation costs and related warranty. You can also ask for a quotation for serving for future reference.
Click to see more questions to ask any potential air conditioning installer.
Loop Air Conditioning engineers are all fully qualified and hold all relevant certifications. For more information, or to book a survey, please get in touch.