Australian summers can be harsh. To beat the heat, an air conditioning unit is your best. But, with so many options, choosing the right brand and model can be difficult. It’s not uncommon for people to not do enough legwork before picking the right make and model. Result? They wind up with an inadequate and inefficiently functioning unit that fails to meet their cooling needs.
But, don’t worry! In this post, we share the most valuable considerations to factor in before selecting an AC for your house.
Types of ACs
Traditionally you get two choices – window vs. split. Although there are many other options, for now, let’s focus only on these two. Window ACs happen to be relatively cheaper and easier to install. But, on the flip side, they tend to be noisy compared to split ACs. Split air conditioners offer better air circulation. They are aesthetically appealing and they achieve comparatively faster cooling/heating.
What’s more, split ACs offer better efficiency and performance. While you can only install window ACs with a room with a window, that’s not the case with their split counterpart. You can install the latter even in a windowless room.
Size of Your Room
An air conditioner too big for a room may achieve desired cooling and heart results quickly. However, it won’t be able to manage moisture and humidity levels in the air. At the same time, a unit too small for the house would struggle to provide efficient heating and cooling. It would need to work harder to produce desired results.
The key is to find a match between the unit’s tonnage and your room size. It’s necessary not only for a comfortable environment but to also cut back on energy costs. By picking the right-sized unit, you can avoid unnecessary future repairs while also cutting back on energy bills.
- If you have a large room, you would need a bigger unit for efficient cooling. Accordingly, it will cost you more. Smaller units cost less.
- An AC with more modern and advanced features will fetch a higher price.
- Air conditioner installation cost for window-mounted units is less compared to wall/split ACs.
- Portable units are a lot cheaper than traditional units but they may fail to provide effective cooling.
- If you want to cool multiple rooms, you may go for mini-split ACs. Although their installation is considerably high than window-mounted or wall ACs, in the long run, they are most cost-effective.
Regardless of which AC you choose, you must not ignore the air quality aspect of it. Make sure the unit comes with a filter to trap unpleasant odor, smoke, and other impurities. If the unit comes with a dehumidifying unit, that’s a bonus. Humidity control is excellent for creating a comfortable living environment; particularly during monsoons when humidity is high.
All air conditioners come with energy efficiency star ratings; better known as EER. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency or BEE gives this rating. Never for a unit that doesn’t have an energy rating label. The more stars you see, the better energy efficiency you can expect.
High star units consume less energy.
All ACs create some level of noise. So, if you’re very particular about living in peaceful surroundings, be sure to consider noise control. Ideally, you should stick with noise levels below 50dB. An excessively noisy unit could make it difficult to fall asleep. It could also make you more irritable.
Maintenance and Installation
Poor installation could cause a lot of issues such as vibration and inefficient cooling. Therefore, it’s crucial to only go for AC installation from an authorized dealer. While Window ACs are mounted on a window, split ACs come with an outdoor compressor unit.
After installation is done, be sure to regularly clean the unit. Listen to your dealer’s instructions carefully. Regularly clean the filters and go for timely AC service.
Here are some added features to look for while shopping –
- Dry Mode – The dry mode feature is particularly good for people living in humid areas. Dry mode manages the humidity levels by locking away excess moisture.
- Heat Mode – Some (not all) ACs come with a heating option as well. If you plan on using the HVAC during winter, go for one with a heat mode. Opt for a heat pump or a reversible AC so you can use it in both winter and summer.
- Freeze Protection Mode – In FP mode, the air conditioner will circulate warm air. This option is good if you live in a moderately cold climate where cooling is easily achieved.
- Energy Saving or Eco Mode – Eco mode helps cut back on energy costs without compromising on the comfort level. It turns the fan on and off periodically so the unit doesn’t consume too much energy.
- Self-Clean Mode – This mode keeps the harmful germs and bacteria growth at bay by managing moisture levels. You can continue to breathe pollutant-free, healthy air.
- Follow-me Mode – This mode directs the flow of air towards you thus ensuring your comfort at all times.
A brand’s history, after sales service, and service quality are all important factors to think about. An AC is a complex machine that demands regular seasonal cleaning by professionals. If the AC brand doesn’t come with a promising service network and has poor after-sale service, keep looking for other options.