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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

How Much Will it Cost to Run Air Conditioning in a Conservatory? In the UK

Some people are alarmed at the prospect of installing air con because they think it will be so expensive to run.  This raises the question of why much of the rest of the world think nothing of having air con in their comfortable homes but for the English it is like dabbling in black magic.  We would rather linger in an air conditioned shop and suffer the heat, humidity at home than get a unit installed.

The short answer to the question based on monitoring the running cost of an inverter heat pump/ air con unit in my home through July is less than £0.60p per day and far less than £100 per year.  This is considerably cheaper than the running costs of many pond-pump systems and cheaper than an electric heater.  The calculation is based on Ovo Energy's tariff of £0.1102 per unit but I can't tell you how many hours per day I didn't monitor it that closely.  I can tell you we go for comfort so it could be on between 8 to 12 hours per day on those very hot days and perhaps on the maximum setting.  The one unit brings the whole ground floor down to a reasonable temperature if we leave the doors open.

Note, I am talking about a permanently installed split-system inverter unit, this may cost around £1,000 fulling installed and is not the same as the big, noisy portable air-con units.

What about your conservatory?  If you have a sweltering, all glass, south facing conservatory (which I do not) then I am not sure that just one air con unit will be enough.  I would guess you need something to block some of that sun light : blinds, special glass, or the glass coating that can be applied to standard glass.  Our house faces South and we keep our curtains closed through these hot days to minimise solar gain.