problems with air conditioning

Aerothermal is a new air conditioning technology, which allows great energy savings compared to traditional systems. However, not everything is good, there are a number of drawbacks associated with the use of aerothermal energy that must be taken into account before carrying out the installation.

Despite the investment that some manufacturers have made to advertise this system, many of us do not know for sure what aerothermal energy is, so it is good to build a clear and easy-to-understand concept first. It is an alternative to conventional heating systems, in which the energy that exists in the ambient air is used to heat or cool a home, through a thermodynamic cycle in which a refrigerant gas is used to extract heat from the air. outside and transfer it inside the house, thus providing heating, cooling and domestic hot water (DHW).

In this sense, heat pumps (if you click here, you have several purchase options) air-water and air-air, in essence, work with aerothermal energy, since they can capture heat from one place and transfer it to another, as inverter air conditioner. However, the aerothermal system in theory provides such high efficiency that it can be considered as a renewable energy. In addition to this, studies carried out by manufacturers indicate that it is 25% cheaper than heating with natural gas and saves 50% of energy compared to diesel boilers. In terms of profitability, this technology promises savings of up to 75% on electricity bills. 

What are the disadvantages of the aerothermal system? 

The drawbacks of aerothermal energy have to do above all with practical limitations, which are often overlooked when selecting a domestic air conditioning system. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that most manufacturers do not show that the efficiency of their products is only possible under specific conditions that cannot always be met. 

  1. Efficiency decreases in very cold places

Although this system has proven to be efficient in temperate climates, the same cannot be said of places where the temperature is below 10 °C, since in these cases the heat pump can hardly supply water at more than 40 °C, compromising thus heating systems that need higher temperatures to function properly. For this reason, it is advisable to use aerothermal energy with low-temperature radiators. 

Energy efficiency can worsen in places where the temperature drops below 0 °C, since the system begins to have frost problems , for which the electrical resistance is automatically activated, which serves as an auxiliary in the DHW tank and protects the system in extreme conditions, but in a cold climate this would happen too often, incurring a significant energy drain. In other words, we would have installed an aerothermal system with a heat pump to end up heating the water with an electrical resistance. 

In addition, in some cases the pump itself reverses its normal operation, injecting water at a lower temperature than that taken from the heating circuit, in order to prevent the formation of frost. As a consequence, the heater cools down and takes a considerable time to provide sufficient heat again.

  1. Technical support is scarce

Another drawback that some users have found when installing aerothermal heating systems is the lack of technical support. After investigating in this sense, we can infer that the technical knowledge centers specialized in heat pumps are usually located outside of Spain, therefore, local distributors and installers have very basic information, aimed at solving specific faults in the operation of equipment, but they may not have enough knowledge or experience to answer questions about malfunctions in certain installations. Let us remember that there are many variables that these technicians could find in each region with different climates. In this sense, only the learning method based on trial and error remains,

  1. The investment is considerably high

The installation of a Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Toshiba or any other brand aerothermal system requires a higher initial investment if we compare it with other air conditioning technologies such as electric radiators. In addition, maintenance costs must be taken into account, which can be higher than 30% of the installation costs, even when it comes to small breakdowns.

On the other hand, it is of great importance to mention that many families have had to increase the contracted electrical power, which means an increase in the fixed part of the electricity bill . This is due to the fact that in certain cases the Power Control Switch (ICP) begins to trip due to the high consumption of the aerothermal machine. 

Is it worth installing an aerothermal system? 

Aerothermal is a very interesting solution and many experts consider that we are facing the air conditioning of the future. However, we must understand that energy and money savings are in the medium and long term, while the initial investment is high and maintenance is expensive; Especially since it is a relatively new technology.

If you are making a comparison of air conditioning systems, the most important thing is that you thoroughly evaluate each option, taking into account how aerothermal works today and if it suits you according to the installation and the equipment you have at home. It is not a question of stigmatizing this new technology, since it has proven to be one of the most respectful with the environment , but it is also not good to blindly trust the theoretical data provided by the manufacturers.

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