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Old 07.10.2020, 13:19
CheshireCa CheshireCa is offline
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Re: Split unit AC - Freienbach

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My 2p/5Rp, from a fellow heat-hater living in Ausserschwyz:

I manage to keep the house under 18 degrees most of the year. It's only in the worst of summer that I need air conditioning. Some summers I don't need it at all, but it's nice to know that it's there, even if unused, to stave of panic at the thought of rising temps.

In the 16 years I have lived on this side of the lake I have installed the portable split unit maybe half the time. And even then I use the unit sporadically, maybe a day or two at a time, likely not more than a few weeks altogether for the season.

So running costs are minimal. And you'll be laughing in winter - if you like temps cool you likely only need to heat a couple months of the year, a huge savings.

Our portable compressor unit is about 18 years old now so I'd hope that newer technology has brought improvements in efficiency and cost effectiveness, as well as noise.

First things first:

It sounds as if you haven't found your house yet. If that is the case, choose with keeping cool in mind. Are you committed to Freienbach? I ask because Schindellegi, Feusisberg and the 'upper' bits of Wollerau might be options where you could find more shaded properties with bit of green around them. These are still Bezirk Höfe, so tax friendly.

Olygirl is spot-on - Freienbach, and all of Ausserscwhyz, is not rural. The area is now a Zürich suburb, most properties are crowded together as it is more efficient building to share infrastructure. If you come from a 'green and leafy' sort of place, you might be in for a bit of cultural shock. Heidiland this sure ain't.

The key is to look for a place that is not a concrete jungle... which is getting ever more difficult to find in this part of Switzerland. Ausserschwyz is built up, there isn't ll that much green space left, and for some reason that remains a mystery to me even after all these years many people here hate trees, are bent on cutting every last one down.

Shade is the best cooling system - so look for a property with mature trees if you can find one, or at least look for a property with grass and plantings rather than rock gardens. The popular no-fuss rock garden is a heat sink, as are the concrete and dark granite paving that seems to be ubitiquous here.

Look for a property that is not floor to ceiling windows. In the summer these become literal hot houses. Yes, the view of the lake is lovely... but the price of that view is heat.

Fortunately you are looking on the dark side of the lake. It really is a degre or three cooler on this side - nicknamed the 'sniffle coast' for a good reason.

If the only place you can find has room-spanning windows, invest in the film mentioned upthread, invest in outside shutters as well as indoor blinds.

As you are looking at properties, assuming you will install some sort of compressor unit, look for a place where placement of the compressor away from direct neighbors is possible.

If you are renting the easiest thing to do is to buy a second door or window with a custom panel cut to allow for the cable. Then just put the original back in when you leave.

You mention buying. While I always prefer to buy rather than rent, I would nonetheless counsel renting for a year to get to know the area first. There is very little on the market at any one time, and mistakes when buying can be painful.

---

As said, we have a portable unit with compressor. We can't put the unit in the most sensible place due to noise that would disturb the neighbor, but found an alternative. The unit would be visible to passers-by, which you don't want because of... all the usual for-de-rol. So we simply planted around that area, no one can see or hear the compressor, so no one is bothered.

---

Unless you enjoy DIY, you will likely want to consult a company specializing in air conditioning. There are several in the area, a quick google of 'Freienbach _ Klimaanlage; brings up these folks:
https://steimen.ch

I do not have personal experience, so consider this info only, not a recommendation, due diligence required and all that. There are other firms in the area, several don't seem to have websites.

Do you speak German? In Ausserschwyz you can't count on finding a tradesperson willing to speak English. You may get lucky, but should assume that some level of German is needed.

If you have complex housing needs and do not speak German and if cost is not a factor, I would suggest hiring a relocation firm who can do the legwork for you.


Good luck with the move.

tl;dr:

Look on the bright side - there isn't all much bright on this side o' the lake. Inveterate photophobe and heat-hater that I am, even I find myself longing for a bit more warmth and sun during the long stretches of grey and rain.
Thank you, this is extremely useful, and contains a lot of into.
I am only starting to learn German, but I do have help from a relocation firm.

It is good to hear from a fellow sun and heat hater that solutions exist. I have lived my live in places where I was able to sleep during the day and work in the night, as well as used parasole when going outside during the day. I have yet to reach the point of missing the rays of sun, and the heat, even when I manage to completely avoid them for months on end

The portable AC you have - I assume it's the regular unified condenser unit? I used to have long ago a portable split AC, that comes with 2 units and a flexible copper cable. But these are not sold anymore I think. It was much stronger than the unified one, and did not leak air from outsdie, as the units were separate.
It was also more energy efficient than the regular portables. A shame they stopped making them.

The idea of a double door / window and the condenser between them is genious. I can certainly use something like that to insolate noise, while separating heat.

I saw some ads of houses in Freienbach. I am not married to that town specifically though, and can look around.
It is also a fair point that renting for a while might be better. Especially with the second door idea that can allow me to install an AC without major modification of the property.

The portable split unit you used - is it still in sale today? Did you ever install a mounted one? Any applications or legal permits you had to get? Or do I just:
1. Agree with the landlord.
2. Find a fitting company.
3. Buy a unit.
4. Profit
?

And yes, the lack of trees is unfortunate. I will probably plan a few of my own if I end up buying, but that's of course a long term goal, and not a feasible temperature solution. I do like green around the house in general.
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