Air Conditioner Buying Guide

 Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Air Conditioner is an inherent part of an household with summers getting hotter. You should consider your needs and do your research before finalizing the one you want to buy.

Size / Capacity

The size of your airconditioner is very important. You need to think about whether you are cooling a single room, a selection of rooms or the entire house. If the airconditioner is too small you won't cool down and you'll waste electricity running it on high all the time. If, on the other hand, you choose an airconditioner that's too large for your needs you'll have to switch it off regularly when you become too cold. Switching it on and off all the time will also waste energy.

The Ton of air conditioning indicates the cooling capacity of the air conditioner. 

One ton of air conditioning is 12,000 British Thermal Unit or BTU. It is the amount of heat that raises or lowers the temperature of one pound of water by 10 degree Fahreheit. The actual capacity is not fixed and changes based on outdoor or indoor temperature. 

For a 12-14 feet high room based on the size of the room you should decide the capacity or tonnange of the air conditioner. 

Area in square feet
Tonnage of AC
Less than 90
Greater than 180

You can also check AC Tonnage Calculator from LG
Energy efficiency

Check the energy rating of the airconditioner you are considering. All airconditioners should have an energy-rating label which uses stars to rate the efficiency. The more stars the better. Also on the label will be an energy consumption box. The lower the number, the less it will cost to run.

The airconditioner should circulate the cool air around the room instead of one place. The AC now come with many options in airflow settings and swing as well.
Noise level

Noise is a very important point to consider when buying an AC. An AC with a lot of noise can ruin your sleep as well as your neighbours' sleep.

A timer lets you switch your airconditioner at certain times even when you are not at home. This works well to cool the house down an hour or so before you arrive home.

Ionisers can emit a stream of clean, fresh, negatively charged air. This reduces airborne odours by producing traces of ozone that can reenergize the enironment.

Sensors which can monitior room temperature can be located in the air conditioner unit and also the remote control unit.

You should consider what the airconditioner will look like attached to your wall. Try to choose one that blends in with your decor. 


Portable Air Conditioners

Portable Air Conditioner
Portable airconditioners can be moved from room to room and use the same heat-exchange principles as built-in models. This means they can cool and dehumidify the air.
Can be moved from room to room
Can be plugged into a normal powerpoint - no need for professional installation
Some are only suitable as personal coolers rather than room coolers
Wall or window model Air Conditioners

Window Air Conditioner
Wall or window models can be installed in a window or an external wall.
Can cool single rooms well
Smaller units can be plugged into existing power points
Single Unit
Require lesser upfront cost as installation is simple
Noisy from the outside
Not suitable for larger rooms
Aesthetically not as impressive as Split ACs

Also see, Window AC buying guide
Split system Air Conditioners

Split Air Conditioner
Split systems are generally used to cool one or more rooms, or an open-plan area. A compressor unit is installed outside and then one or two outlets are positioned indoors.
Offers more flexibility on where to locate the outside component than wall models
Can cool open-plan areas well
Very quiet operation
Attractive and aesthetic designs
Good air distribution for ACs of same size
Won't cool more than a couple of rooms or a single open-plan area
More expensive than portable or window units.
Has separate internal and external units which need to be joined, this requires drilling and permanent fixing.

Also see, Split AC buying guide
Ducted Air Conditioners

Ducted Air Conditioner Ducted airconditioners can be installed in the roof or on the ground outside. The air is then ducted through the house via various outlets.
Can be designed with multiple zones so you can cool all of the home or just specific areas
Energy efficient
Offers flexibility as to where noise-generating equipment is located
Must be professionally installed.
Can't be bought 'off the shelf' - the airconditioner must be custom-made to the house.
Doesn't work as well in very humid areas
More expensive than split systems and wall systems
Reverse-cycle Air Conditioners

Reverse-cycle air-conditioners are available in any of the above types.
One system for heating and cooling
Cheapest form of heating system
Creates the least amount of carbon dioxide
More expensive than cooling-only models

You can check the LG Energy consumption calculator to get a sense of power or energy consumption and cost.

You should take care to narrow down on the appropriate AC by looking at the product design, quality and its performance. Also, consider the installation cost, running costs like power and maintenance while buying your AC. 

Split ACs cost more than Window ACs and might use slightly less power than Window ACs. 

You can check the price and feature comparison and AC brands websites listed above for an idea of the price and features of various ACs available.

These are related to starting voltage of stabilizer and can be used as an indicative of the voltage stabilizer to be used: 

Serial #

Capacity of AC (ton)

Stabilizer (KVA)

1 0.5~0.8 ton 2 KVA
2 1.0~1.2 ton 3 KVA
3 1.2~1.6 ton 4 KVA
4 2.0 ~2.5 ton 5 KVA
5 3 ton 6 KVA

Source: Samsung

Check Air Conditioner Installation Guide

Inverter based air conditioners offer considerable reduction in power consumption by adjusting compressor's running speed and controlling voltage and current frequency. These are catching up in the AC market.

The trend is shifting from R-22 refrigerant to others like R-410a, R-290 with use of microchannel PFC. This is coming as demand for energy-efficient, environment friendly ACs are on rise.

source - Home tips India


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