Buying an air conditioner, a person thinks about their own comfort. He imagines how he will enjoy the cool indoor atmosphere on a hot summer day. He will not be tormented by stuffiness and dense hot air. Here are just few people thought that such a unit needs individual protection. Of course, in the thoughts of extremely thrifty people, questions arose about the safety of the outdoor unit, but as soon as the purchased device appeared before their eyes, such thoughts disappeared.
In principle, this is understandable, it makes no sense to steal the external unit of the air conditioner. Each split system is designed for a specific brand of air conditioner. And removing the block is actually not so easy. And if vandals attempt to attack him, it is highly likely that they will fail. But if you think about it, the outdoor units are not only threatened by petty dirty tricks. Banal icicles that accumulate on the edges of the roofs of houses, having torn off, can cause irreparable damage to the split system.
What is it and why are they needed?
Most people are sure that a split system or compressor block is originally designed for installation from the outside of the building. Accordingly, the body is made of durable metal, the surface of which is coated with special compounds that protect the internal filling of the apparatus from various disasters. In principle, this judgment is correct, but such protection does not help in all situations.
Atmospheric phenomena pose a huge danger to outdoor split-systems of air conditioners. Even the metal box of the compressor block can pierce a large icicle flying from top to bottom. Residents of new buildings are not worried about this, the management companies of which in winter regularly send workers to shoot down growing icicles, which cannot be said about old houses.
In such situations, the case, in principle, can withstand, but the pipes of communications will not be able to resist the effects of accumulated ice.
We'll have to carry out restoration work, as well as fill the air conditioner with refrigerant. Unfortunately, such repairs are often very expensive. Further, it is proposed to get acquainted with the common causes of damage to the outdoor unit of the air conditioner.
- The fall of broken branches from trees growing at a close distance to the house.
- Falling massive objects from the upper floors. Most often this happens by accident, in most cases during the repair of window openings.
- Unfair performance of the management company's own duties. In this case, the question concerns roof repair. Often negligent workers, instead of carefully lowering the replaced sheets of metal or slate, throw them to the ground. During the flight, a changeable roof surface can cause irreparable damage to any property protruding beyond the walls of the apartments.
- Icicles gathering at the edges of the roof.
People living on the 1st floor often install split air conditioners just above ground level. On the one hand, it is convenient for installation. But with subsequent operation, a lot of difficulties can arise. First of all, these are vandals who can encroach on other people's property.
The second nuance is curious children. During the operation of the air conditioner, a fan rotates inside the split system.
Children, through their own ignorance, can shove a twig or wire inside the block through the existing holes. Accordingly, the fan blades are stopped. The engine, not understanding what is the reason for the system shutdown, increases the power to restart. If at this moment the fan does not move, the engine will simply burn out. In this case, the power supply may also fail, which will lead to damage to the heat exchanger. Accordingly, the entire air conditioning system will be damaged.
To protect the outdoor unit of an air conditioner installed on the 2nd and higher floor, it is preferable to use special visors. They can be purchased at the point of sale of air conditioning systems or ordered from a workshop, providing specialists with the necessary dimensions. Of course, this protection will require some cash investment. However, in comparison with the air conditioner itself, the amount spent will seem negligible.
The most interesting thing is that even the masters involved in the installation of air conditioning systems have different opinions about the need to install visors. Some require the installation of protective visors for split systems, while others argue that their installation is not at all necessary.
At the same time, they appeal to information about the shortcomings of protective structures.
They assure that dirt will collect under the visor, which impairs the operation of the split system. In addition, if the protective strip is incorrectly installed, it is highly likely that the air flow rate to the heat exchanger will be significantly reduced. Well, the most unpleasant thing for the craftsmen is the difficulty of replacing and repairing the outdoor unit of the air conditioner.
What are they?
When a person hears the word "visor", he represents an unpretentious structure located above the entrance to the staircase of a residential building or other buildings. The visor used to protect the external unit of the air conditioner practically does not differ in characteristics. In both cases, the main function is protection.
The design of the canopies, designed to cover the outdoor units of air conditioners, is a metal sheet fixed on steel corners. Those with experience with metal and welding can make their own visor. If the knowledge of welding and cutting metal sheets is only theoretical, it is recommended to purchase a finished product or order it in a workshop.
If you do not want to pay a large amount, you can go to the nearest garages, where there are self-taught masters. They will make the measurements themselves, prepare the design, cut out the metal base, cover it with the necessary mixtures, and then make the installation. Anti-vandal protection is a more complex design. In this case, the usual visor will not be enough. It is necessary to completely hide the split air conditioner in a steel block. Its side walls should be latticed and welded to the base.
In areas where the crime situation leaves much to be desired, the owners of air conditioners install metal boxes in which the split system is hidden. Ventilation holes are made on the sides of the protective structure. Such a box is put on top of the condensing unit and secured with special latches, complemented by a padlock. The classic version of anti-vandal protection is a construction of metal rods… But since the split system in any case has gaps, a standard visor is installed on top of the decor.
As for the trim of the visor.
Surely everyone remembers the noise that accompanies rain drops on metal. This sound calms some, while annoying others. The ideal option is to cover the surface of the visor with rubber. This material is the best at absorbing such noises. As an analogue, you can use soundproof tape or roofing felt.It is preferable to use silicate glue to fix these materials. Before applying the adhesive mass to a metal surface, it should be degreased with alcohol or white spirit.
The main material used to make metal canopies, - Cink Steel… It has a high level of strength and reliability. As an analogue of galvanized steel, you can use corrugated board. A good solution would be visors made of polycarbonate. This material is able to reduce the noise that occurs when raindrops hit, but it will not be able to withstand a heavy load. Some owners of air conditioning systems installed triplex glass canopies over the outdoor units. This design variation turns out to be very effective.
For the installation of the structure, metal corners are used that can withstand maximum mechanical stress… They are screwed to the wall with anchors, and to the base of the visor with self-tapping screws. In some models of visors, the base is welded to the corners, which increases the strength of the structure. For the manufacture of classic anti-vandal protective systems, metal rods with a maximum thickness of 8 mm are used.
There is no clear dimensional standard for split-system canopies. The dimensions of the structure depend on the length and width of the outdoor unit. The best option is the size 1000x550 mm. In this case, the height of the supports is 25 cm with an inclination of at least 70 degrees. For small split systems, it is preferable to install canopies with dimensions of 900x550 mm. In this case, the height of the supports should not exceed 25-30 cm.
But the degree of inclination changes in a larger direction than that of the presented 1st option.
How to install?
It may seem that installing a protective visor for an outdoor split air conditioner system is not difficult. But it is not so. The surface of the visors, despite the minimum weight, has the property of windage, which only a professional can handle. With medium gusts of wind, the base of the visor can break out of the hands of an amateur, because of which the master himself may be injured.
For those who live on the 1st floor, you will need to stock up on a stepladder and the help of a friend, relative or neighbor. Two working forces or four hands will allow you not only to correctly install the visor. In such conditions, it will be possible to deliver anti-vandal protection. The only difficulty in the work will be the accuracy of the markings for the fasteners. And when screwing in self-tapping screws, it is necessary that a second person holds the structure. Thus, it will be possible to maintain the evenness of the installed protection.
And now it is proposed to get acquainted with the sequence of actions for installing protective visors for split systems
- It is necessary to make the markup.
- Using a puncher, holes are made according to the prepared marking. The anchorage points must be of the same depth as the anchor bolts. For maximum strength, it is recommended to use an anchor with a diameter of 10 mm.
- Anchors are inserted into the prepared holes. Further, the protective structure is equipped with holes for the thread of the fasteners. Then the nuts are tightened.
To keep the visor structure as strong as possible, at least 6 attachment points must be used. Otherwise, in the event of strong gusts of wind, there is a high probability that the visor will be torn off and fly away in an unknown direction.