The latent heat of vaporization

Thursday, November 30th, 2023 at 08:48pm

After my recent posts about the cost of natural gas and how I want to heat and cool my home I got a couple of quotes on installing split system air conditioners in my bedroom and study, the paid the deposit for one which was scheduled to be installed on 20 December, just before Christmas.

Yesterday I got a phone call in the early afternoon saying that they had had some schedule changes and could they start the installation that day with it being completed the next morning. I said yes and long story short I now have air conditioning.

The cheapest way to install a split system is “back to back” which is where the outdoor unit is on the immediate other side of the wall to the indoor unit. This was ok for my bedroom because the outdoor unit would be in the gap between my house and garage, but not ok for my study as that would put the outdoor unit on the north facing wall leading to my front door. I was happy to pay the bit extra for the longer lines and labour to put that outdoor unit over next to the other one.

It is getting quite busy over that side of my house, there is the (now unused) central heating, the two new air conditioner units and soon there will be a new hot water tank and heater.

There is nothing special to say about the units I got, they are Fujitsu with decent energy ratings. I opted to not get any wifi interface as I planned to use an integration with Home Assistant that would send IR commands, in particular the ESPHome IR Remote Climate component.

While I could build and IR receiver/transmitter out of parts, the easier and quicker option was to order a couple of IR Controller Shields, they arrived last week and I started playing around with general IR control (that is another post about replacing the universal remote for my TV/etc) and specifically what ESPHome is like to use. Unsurprisingly it was pretty easy if you are familiar with Linux, Arduino and Home Assistant.

Now onto the hard part which is working out how I want things automated. With the central heating it was a simple thing of “make the whole house this target temperature”, but now the heating or cooling will be set for a specific room. Do I want to take the chill off my bedroom for when I get up, then turn off the bedroom unit while I am working in my study, then finally turning the bedroom back on for when I go to bed? Or just leave the bedroom unit off entirely, only using it on the really hot days?

It is also a convenient week to get it installed as despite tomorrow being the “start of summer” the weather has been below 20°C for the last couple and new few days, then jumping to 33°C mid next week. So I get to experience a range of temperatures and how the systems behave.

One other side effect was due to the layout of my study:

Study in Panorama (June 2023)

While they said they could possibly work over the desk if I cleared a space, I decided that a deep clean behind my desk was overdue so I moved all the NASA LEGO, the printer, the drawers and the desk extensions out so I could pull the desk away from the wall. Giving them room to install the unit and giving me access to clean out the dust and spiderwebs…

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