How do you choose an AC?
Begin by defining what you need practically, technologically, financially and aesthetically.
1. Choose the type of AC that suits you best
There are 3 main types of ACs: window, split and central.
Window and split ACs are suitable to install in homes and medium-sized spaces, while central ACs are best used for vast spaces like companies, entire buildings, and the like.
There are also portable ACs which can be suitable for summer vacations, albeit they are less common.
The most commonly used ACs nowadays are split. They consist of 2 units; one is placed inside the room while the other (compressor) is placed outside the house. These two units are connected together with gas pipes.
You can find models that provide:
- basic cooling only
- both cooling and heating
- cooling with plasma technology
- cooling and heating with plasma technology
Advantages of Split ACs over Window ACs
- They look and perform much better
- Installation is less complicated
- Quieter, although noise levels vary according to brand and model.
Window ACs (now considered to be old) require special installation preparations. A window AC is composed of a unit that needs to be installed through a wall. A special space has to be designed for it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of window ACs compared to Split ACs
- Because they have gone old now, they are much cheaper
- Not as efficient as compared to split ACs
- Very noisy and loud
- Harder to clean and repair
2. Choose AC Horsepower
AC cooling capacity is measured in horsepower. An AC with a strong horsepower has a large cooling capacity and vice versa. A spacious room needs powerful horsepower than a small room for effective and strong cooling.
Horsepower ranges from a minimum of 1.5 to a maximum of 8 to accommodate for different sized rooms. Prices vary accordingly, as expected, high cooling capacity ACs have higher prices than small ones.
Your choice of AC horsepower has to be calculated and selected carefully. Choose the proper power for your room size to save on money (consumption cost, capital cost and running cost).
Why is selecting your AC horsepower so important? Why does it matter that much?
You may think that you are saving up by buying an AC with a small horsepower. While that may be true for your initial purchase price; however, in the long run, it may turn out to be the exact opposite.
If your AC is too small compared to your room size, then you are exhausting your AC beyond its capacity, working continuously without rest. When you don’t allow your AC to rest in between your AC is likely to break down and you are severely damaging its life span.
In fact, in the medium term, your AC will consume a lot of energy to compensate for the large space and unsuitably small horsepower. You will receive expensive electric bills for an AC that is barely cooling your room.
So, in reality, you did not save up by going with the seemingly cheaper choice because you paid more in the running cost.
Similarly, yet more obviously, purchasing a higher than needed horsepower for your room increases your purchase price unjustifiably. And because you are using a lot of power, then your electric bill will be extremely high.
Selecting a suitable horsepower
You need to ensure a perfect match between AC’s cooling capacity and room size. To help you do this easily we are providing you with a simple table that summarizes the best AC horsepower corresponding to room size.
3. Consider varying AC Power according to floor/apartment
While the above guide is helpful for most apartments, these estimations differ for hot apartments like last floor apartments which are intensely exposed to the sunlight. Put simply, to compensate for the excess heat in those apartments, the cooling capacity has to be larger.
For example, assume that you made a selection based on the space size for a regular room and arrived at the conclusion that 1.5 power horse is suitable. If your apartment is intensely exposed to the sunlight your room will need 2.25 horsepower instead.
4. Understand different features: Plasma and Inverter ACs
It is recommended that you go for a split AC for your home but what are the latest technologies for split ACs?
You will hear a lot about plasma and inverter ACs. Should you get a plasma and inverter AC?
Well, that depends on your needs. Let’s go through what each means and what benefits do you get out of them.
Regular ACs offer basic cooling, while plasma technology purifies the air for you in the room. It gets rid of the dust, dirt, and pollen which may cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions. An electric filter with an electric field kills the bacteria and microbes. Additionally, it purifies the air from cigarette smoke, so you can breathe fresh and clean air.
This feature simply makes your AC more efficient. So what? It gives you better cooling performance while saving your energy consumption. So you will enjoy quicker cooling and save on your money.
5. Factors to consider when choosing- General tips:
Plenty of maintenance options
Opt for ACs that have known brands with plenty of supply for spare parts, technicians, maintenance centers as well. You don’t want to buy an AC that is difficult to fix.
Consider energy star ratings. High star ratings guarantee low electric usage which is great for your bill. How much is enough? Three stars are enough if you plan to use AC for only a few hours; while 5 stars are best if you plan to run the AC above 8 hours.
Warranty and Aftersales Service
Besides price consideration and expected electric consumption, don’t forget to ask about the years of warranty and aftersales service. Companies typically offer 5 years of warranty wherein if your AC needs any fix, repair or replacement they are responsible to do so. Of course the longer the warranty years the better, but they are likely to be more expensive as well.
Weigh Benefits to Cost
Salesmen can talk you into buying an expensive AC because of new features that they launched. Some of those features are really worth the extra money when they are weighed against the price premium; while at other times these features won’t add much value. Carefully asses the practical benefit you would get and evaluate if the cost to benefit is worth it. Get you value for money otherwise, don’t buy.
Inquire about Installation
Get installation preparations done in advance and ask questions. Check for the different alternatives that you can use to get your AC properly installed with minimal inconvenience or damage to your spaces.
6. Useful ways to maintain your AC longer
Close the Area to be Cooled
When your AC is on, close the area’s doors and windows. This way you are preserving the cool air longer in the room; saving AC’s effort because room temperature is under control.
On the other hand, having the window or door open increases the area to cool and you have less control over room temperature. That means your AC will exert a lot of effort to just reach the desired temperature. Unfortunately, your electric consumption is going to be higher because your AC is not resting.
During the day use curtains or window shades to prevent direct sunlight from excessively heating your room. This way you will ensure a quicker and more effective cooling.
Regular Checkup and cleaning
Request a regular checkup and cleaning of your AC filters to avoid the accumulation of dust and dirt, which prevent proper cooling and affect the cooling effectiveness.
Set to moderate temperature
It is advisable to avoid setting it below 19 degrees. Preferably keep your AC temperature between 21 to 23 degrees, for low electric consumption and to avoid internal units’ damage due to cold temperatures.
Use Trusted Service
Avoid maintaining your AC at random and unknown places, you may end up wasting a lot of money and it goes broke again. Get in touch with certified maintenance centers for a trusted service