Understanding Houghton Air-Conditioners

You know as well as I do how variable our climate is – especially down south. Summer is a scorcher, winter is as comfortable as a wet blanket. Sometimes, it’s as though the weather gods are holding a grudge against our sunburnt country.

Here at GoRV, we often take a closer look at the everyday, but crucial, components of our caravans, from 12V fans to the batteries that power them. After all, it’s never a bad idea to have in-depth knowledge of the equipment we’ve paid thousands for. This time, we’re turning our attention to the new Houghton H2800V and H3600V range of caravan reverse-cycle inverter air-conditioners, both of which are frequently offered as standard equipment in new RVs.


Houghton has been in Australian since 2015, with its range of mobile AC units sold worldwide. But what sets them apart from some of the other RV air-cons available? 

To start with, both the H2800V and H3600V come with what’s known as an ‘inverter compressor’. In simple terms, this means that the unit’s compressor can run at variable speeds, from 28 per cent of capacity to even 110 per cent of capacity. AC units that have simple single-speed compressor are either on or off, with no variation of speed available.

The H2800V fitted to a new Golf Grand Tourer.

Why is this a good thing? First, it means the compressor can be started smoothly and gradually for a genuine ‘soft start’. No more bump noises when the compressor fires up, or sudden in-rush of power when the compressor starts. It’s therefore ideal for battery-fed power systems and generators.

When a single-speed compressor AC fires up, there’s typically a large spike in current, which can upset generators and battery-fed inverters. When the H2800V and H3600V are started, the current flow is much more gradual. This is what is known as a soft start.

Both models come with Eco 1 and 2 modes, which restrict compressor speed to 70 or 40 per cent of maximum, reducing input power requirements while still delivering cooling. Because the Eco mode requires less power, you’ll be able to more easily use other appliances at the same time, whether you’re running the AC unit off an inverter or mains power.

According to Houghton, the variability offered by the compressors of the H2800V and H3600V have the potential to “radically improve temperature control inside the living space” – the variable-speed compressor improves temperature control by allowing the compressor speed to match the conditions.

Both the Houghton H2800V and H3600V come with a remote control.

One way to think about it is to picture driving a car. Off the lights, you would smoothly accelerate to get up to speed. To maintain your speed, you would make subtle changes to the accelerator, a little bit more when you go up a hill and backing off when going down. These inverters offer optimised temperature control because they can make continuous, smooth adjustments to their compressor speed in order to maintain the preferred temperature.

Both the H2800V and H3600V come with four fan speeds and, according to Houghton, each offer weight savings of up to 13kg on comparable-capacity units.

Ultimately, they appear to be an excellent choice for caravanners who value energy efficiency, or for whom battery power or generator capacity is limited.

More information: http://www.houghtonleisure.com

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Source: https://www.gorv.com.au/understanding-houghton-air-conditioners/