Air conditioners might have the same basic function, but they still have their unique traits. To know which air conditioner best suits your needs, remember the following tips.
Know your air conditioner types
There are tons of air conditioner options out there, but they typically belong to five common groups:
- Window and through-the-wall units are the most common type for home use. They’re quite easy to install and are a great fit for small rooms, but they can be a bit bulky and unattractive. Through-the-wall ACs are larger and heavier than window units and require more amperage and voltage.
- Split system air conditioners provide better cooling and look sleeker compared to window or through-the-wall units. They are great for bigger rooms or open-plan areas. However, they are pricier than window ACs, and they definitely require professional installation.
- Multi split systems are great for cooling up to nine rooms. They’re mostly used for commercial spaces, but more homes, especially those with many rooms, are making use of them. It’s a bit difficult to check their energy efficiency, so they are not required to carry an energy rating label.
- Central ducted air conditioners are for those who want keep their entire home cool. These ACs are the pricies, and are usually installed with a complete HVAC system. Just as with split system and multi split system ACs, central ducted ACs should be installed by an expert.
- Portable air conditioners are great for those who don’t need the cooling power of split system ACs but want to be able to cool different rooms. They can be moved from room to room and are much cheaper than the other ACs, but don’t expect them to keep big spaces cool.
Know how much cooling you need
How much cooling you need is the first thing to keep in mind when looking for an air conditioner. To determine this, you should know the size of the room you want to keep cool, the number of people who frequently use the room, the quality of insulation, the number of windows, and the other appliances that are being used in the room.
There are a couple of handy calculators on the Internet such as this one from FairAir.com.au to help you out with this task. If you really want a solid opinion, you can also try consulting an AC expert.
Know the energy efficiency rating
Your cooling needs also play a great role in keeping your air conditioning system efficient. Don’t choose one that is too weak or too powerful for the room it’s cooling. Once you know the kilowatt (kW) capacity you need, you can start looking at the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). Check the labels of the units you’re eyeing, and go for one with the lowest kW capacity that meets your cooling requirements and the highest EER. Keep in mind that some AC units such as multi split systems, portable ACs, and those that are purely for commercial use are not required to carry an energy rating label.
Know when to buy
Buying an air conditioner during the hottest months is probably not the best idea, since the demand of ACs then would be high and prices would be soaring. It would be best to buy during the colder months when the AC prices are much lower. Get an air conditioner expert to help you with all your needs now.