With the ever-changing climate, air conditioning is becoming a popular addition to new homes and renovations. So, can air conditioning affect the performance of your timber flooring?
The short answer is - It depends.
Usually in residential spaces, air conditioning is not used consistently throughout the year. When used like this, no concerns from air conditioning generally arise. Even if a dwelling uses air conditioning on a more consistent basis, it is the average in-service moisture content throughout the year that must be considered. Strive to achieve an average relative humidity level of between 40-70% and an average indoor temperature between 18-25 degrees Celsius, not exceeding 35 degrees Celsius.
In spaces where more extreme and prolonged use of air conditioning occurs, this can result in either overly dry or overly humid conditions*. In these cases, in addition to the natural seasonal changes, air conditioning can either moderate or create more severe conditions. Therefore, with intermittent use of air conditioning, the effects are generally relatively small, and floors perform well.
The degree of movement (shrinkage or swelling) in floor boards, can differ depending on which product is used. Solid wood flooring is generally more sensitive to adverse climatic conditions whereas, engineered flooring is designed and constructed to reduce any potential expansion or shrinkage movement between boards. (The base layers being engineered in a cross-grained arrangement.)
Tip: The temperature conditions that we feel most comfortable in, are usually the conditions in which your floor will best perform.
* Depending on the use of either refrigerated or evaporative air conditioning systems.
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