A wide variety of existing climate systems creates certain difficulties with the correct selection of equipment. This is especially true for devices such as fancoils and air conditioners. They look very similar, and they are sold in the same departments of stores. In order to make the right choice, you need to know the features of their work and what are their fundamental differences.
What do air conditioners and fan coils have in common?
Externally, it is almost impossible to distinguish between a fan coil (fan coil, fan coil) and an air conditioner. They are designed to perform the same air handling functions and have a similar principle of operation. Common features for both types of devices are:
- External execution of the case and stylish modern design, approximately the same dimensions and weight.
- Structure consisting of a heat exchanger, a fan, supply pipes and adjustable shutters.
- Fan coil installation assumes the same installation methods: wall-mountedfloor, ceiling, built-in devices.
- The range of both types of devices includes cassette and canalcased and unframed models.
- Most of the functions they perform are also common: cooling, heating, humidification, dehumidification and air purification.
- A closed piping system that circulates the coolant.
- Identical control system — built-in panels, display or remote control.
What is the difference between a fan coil unit and an air conditioner
The main difference between these two climatic devices is that instead of freon, which is used in air conditioners, fan coil units use chilled water or an aqueous solution as a cold carrier. This provides certain advantages, but also somewhat complicates installation and increases initial costs.
The main differences between fan coil units and indoor units of split systems:
- Fan coil installation in conjunction with a chiller, it requires much more additional equipment than freon air conditioning: pumps, storage tanks, shut-off and control valves, mixing units.
- Installation work on connecting fan coil units is more time-consuming and labor-intensive than a simple installation of an air conditioner. However, VRV (VRF) multi-zone systems are approximately identical to the chiller-fan coil complex in terms of the complexity of such work.
- In multi-split systems, the number of indoor units and the length of freon routes are limited, and an unlimited number of fan coil units can be connected to one chiller, the distances between which depend only on the capacity of the chiller.
- Air cooling by fan coils can be adjusted individually in each separate room, and, when using a heat pump or connected to a heating boiler, the equipment can work simultaneously for air conditioning and heating.
- Air conditioners are effective in small spaces and are intended mainly for air conditioning apartments, offices, shops with a maximum area of up to 2000 m2.
- Chillers and fan coil units are equipment for large buildings with a large number of rooms, which preserves their architectural appearance and does not clutter up the facades. It is in such building structures that they provide a high-quality microclimate with minimal operating costs.
- Air conditioners use only the internal air of the room, their operation in most cases occurs separately from ventilation. Fancoils are much easier to connect to the air handling unit and in many buildings they are often installed in the ventilation ducts.
- Laying water pipes is much cheaper than expensive freon lines, which to some extent reduces the cost of equipment. In addition, it is much easier and cheaper to identify and eliminate a water leak than freon.
- The chiller-fan coil system is designed and installed during the construction phase, and air conditioners can be installed in an already operated building without complex construction work.
Quite often recently, the answer to the question of what to choose a fan coil unit or an air conditioner is done in favor of a more environmentally friendly and efficient fan coil unit. Taking into account all the features of the design and operation of both types of equipment, it is possible to create a modern microclimate system that is best suited for each specific facility. Its reliability, efficiency and durability will largely depend on the correct engineering calculations and qualified installation.