Tips For Buying An Air Conditioner
Are you planning to buy an air conditioner? A reverse cycle split system air-conditioner is the best option for most smart homes. Here is a quick breakdown of what it means.
Air Conditioner – Types and Costs
Split System – This type of unit has to parts including an indoor unit as well as an outdoor unit. Both these units are connected with the help of pipes that contain refrigerant gas. It is the most common type of air conditioner in Australia. These provide sufficient cooling for an open plan area or a room up to 60 square meter. You can expect to spend anywhere from $600 – $5500 for these.
Multi-Split Systems – As the name suggests, these have multiple indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit. These are designed for use in multiple rooms (2 or 3) that are reasonably close, especially in situations where it’s not possible to install a ducted system or a split system. These cost similar to equivalent numbers of split systems.
Ducted Systems – The system consists of a discrete central unit which is typically located on the roof and it connects via air ducts to sensors and air outlets in each room in the house. These are an excellent choice for heating and cooling a whole house. Click here to check our ducted air conditioner buying guide. You can expect to spend more than $5000 for these units though the price can easily cross $10,000.
Windows/Wall System – It’s a system where everything is packed inside a single box and it is typically installed through an external wall or in a window. It offers enough cooling for an open plan area or room of up to 50 square meter. Regular power point typically suffice for smaller units but additional wiring might be needed for bigger ones. These are not as effective and efficient as split systems but are available at a lower price. These are a good option in case you can’t install a split system (if you are renting). You can expect to spend anywhere from $400 – $1100 for this type of AC.
Portable AC – This type of unit is designed to be portable and can be carried from one room to another though moving it is not that easy. Most of these units come with a flexible hose that needs to be attached to a window to carry the hot air outside. This type of AC is designed for use in households where it’s not feasible to install a built-in unit (if you are renting). These are less efficient as compared to split systems. Click here to check our portable air conditioner reviews. You can expect to spend anywhere from $300 – $1300 for one unit.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Air Conditioner
Energy Star Rating
Energy Star rated air-conditioners have better insulating materials. Usu
ally these units also have clearer instructions allow you to ensure a good seal around the AC unit which minimizes leaks and helps in saving energy.
In our noise tests, a few models scored very good or excellent. These are extremely quiet and you will only hear the fan running. Those that scored fair in our tests are units that might disturb light sleepers on low setting and will distract everyone when running on high setting.
Location of Window
If you’re buying a window air conditioner, you need to understand that they blow air in one direction and that could be a problem when the window isn’t located centrally on the wall. The air needs to be directed to the center for uniform cooling of a room. Therefore, you need to figure out whether the air needs to be blown to the right or to the left for uniform cooling. There are models that have swiveling fan arms.
An AC needs to be properly installed for best efficiency. Most AC units are designed for double hung windows. If your room has casement windows, it is recommended to buy a through the wall air conditioner unit. Check the leveling of the window unit to ensure correct drainage. Also, no heat generating appliances such as a lamp or TV should be kept near the unit.
You will need to clean the filter frequently in order to keep your AC unit in top condition. Make sure it is easily accessible.
Today, you can buy air-conditioners with smart controls which allow you to make adjustments from your smart phone. It is also possible to interconnect multiple smart cooling units in your home.
Check the Warranty
You get longer warranties on some brands than others. So, don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s website whenever you are purchasing a new air-conditioner. Also, check the warranty details with the retailer for the model and brand you’re planning to buy.