If you thought that trunking was something to do with elephants, then you probably haven’t had a great deal to do with air conditioning systems. Installed air con usually involves a fair amount of pipework which can look unsightly, so enclosing it in trunking can help improve the visual impression as well as protect the pipes and allow for insulation if they run outside.
Air conditioning used to be the preserve of large office buildings, hotels, factories or data centres. Today, installations are increasingly common in smaller businesses like shops and restaurants, small offices and even in private homes. Part of the reason for this is the desire for a comfortable environment, but it’s also because our houses and workplaces are increasingly home to computers and other devices that generate heat while they’re in use.
Air conditioning systems in houses or offices consist of two parts: a fan unit inside the room and a condenser and compressor mounted outside. These two parts are joined by copper pipework which allows liquid to circulate between the two units. Fluid warmed by the heat from the room is carried out to the condenser, where it is persuaded to give up its heat to the atmosphere. Cool liquid is then returned inside, where the fan unit uses it to cool the air being blown into the room.
When installing air conditioning, it’s important to have a neat and tidy finish, as we don’t want to sacrifice the look of our rooms to unsightly pipework. If the pipes joining the parts of the air-con units are hidden – above suspended ceilings, for example – then there’s no problem. If, however, they run through exposed areas, the use of air conditioning trunking is essential, as it helps to disguise them and keep things looking tidy.
Most commonly, pipework for air-con systems needs to run down or through walls. While you can just clip copper pipes to the brickwork, this is unsightly, especially in areas where the public are present or in domestic environments. The use of air conditioning trunking is a simple low-cost solution which provides a much neater finish by hiding the pipes. It also covers the places where the pipes pass through walls.
If the pipes need to run on external walls, the use of trunking has added benefits. It can protect the pipes from the elements and stop them from corroding. It can also house insulation to protect the pipes from freezing in the winter months.
Trunking comes in straight runs, usually in one- or two-metre lengths. There are also a number of different extras, including elbow joints for where pipes change direction and outlet covers and wall plates for a neat and tidy finish in places where they pass through walls.
Joints, both straight and tee-shaped, are used to join the trunking in places where pipes diverge or a run exceeds the length of the standard trunking sections.