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Air Conditioner Buying Guide

on May 30, 2012

Aparelho de ar condicionado

Planning to buy an air conditioner? Not sure how to get started?

Read on to discover how…..

There are two main types of air conditioners to choose from:

    1. Split air conditioners: A split air conditioner is useful for temperature control throughout the year i.e. both through winter and the summer months. It can be installed and used all round the year. The benefit of a split AC is that it can be used to cool a room in the hot summers as well as to heat a room in the chilling winters. Split air conditioners are not simply a seasonal investment. The size of the air conditioning unit is small in comparison to the other traditional air conditioners.
    1. Window air conditioners: Window air conditioner is efficient in cooling small spaces. It is useful in cooling the room temperatures. Unlike the split air conditioners, it cannot heat the rooms in winters. As the name suggests, it is installed in the window of the room. The main criterion before purchasing a window air conditioner is to match the size of your window to the size of the air conditioner.

Key factors to consider before purchasing an air conditioner:

Size: The size of the room is an important factor to determine the size of the air conditioner you should purchase. The dimensions of the air conditioner should be those that suit and fit your room. In case of a window air conditioner the size has to match that of the window.

The distance of the room from the kitchen is again an important factor that decides the size of the unit. A lot of heat is emitted from the kitchen when you cook. The smaller the distance between the room and the kitchen, the larger should be the cooling capacity of the AC.

Cooling Capacity: The higher the BTU (British Thermal Units) count of the air conditioner the better will be the cooling capacity of the air conditioner. The cooling capacity is the ability to keep the room cool. A unit with high BTU can keep you cool even in extreme heat.

Noise: Generally indoor units that do not produce much noise are preferred. In case of outdoor unit care should be taken to ensure that it is well packed so that it does not create a racket with its loose vibrating covers.

Energy Efficiency Rating: The ratio of air conditioner’s cooling capacity to its power consumption is the unit’s (EER). A system with higher unit is better for both you and your environment. Though these models are expensive, they save money in the long run by consuming less energy.

Filters: The filters in split air conditioners make the air passing through it clean and fresh. They prevent the bacteria and allergens from entering into the room. However filters have to be maintained properly to keep performing well. Therefore you should choose unit with indicators that indicates when it is time to change the filter.

Thermostat: This is considered in the case of window ac. This is responsible for the temperature of the air coming out of the unit. This is programmable or manual. AC units with remote controls are better since they offer more comfort and other controls like auto timer, digital display, etc.

Fan: A variable speed fan is preferred since that gives better cooling. Units with louvers that adjust up/down and right/left are more user friendly and helps give uniform cooling.

Chassis: The chassis in window air conditioners are available in fixed and slide out types. Small units that are light in weight have fixed chassis, since it is easy to move them for winterization. Larger, heavier models have slide out chassis, this makes the unit slide out easily for maintenance.

Price: Without going by the popular belief that the higher the price, the better is the product, customers should take care to narrow down on the appropriate air conditioner by looking at the product design, quality and its performance. You need to take into consideration, the features and the size. Finally you should also take into consideration the cost of installation.

Warranty: Warranty of the air conditioner is an important factor to be considered before making a purchase.

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