How To Choose The Most Suitable AC For Your Home?

Types of Air Conditioners building brown windows

How To Choose The Most Suitable AC For Your Home?

Air conditioners have become an essential part of homes nowadays. They help provide much-needed comfort, especially during the summer. Choosing the most suitable air conditioner for a home can be a huge dilemma.

Knowing the suitable type of AC for your home would involve considering things such as the types of air conditioners on the market.

Types of Air Conditioners

So, what are the types of air conditioners we have on the market?

Window Air Conditioner

As its name implies, window air-conditioners are single, standalone units usually installed by the windows. They were a common occurrence in homes back in the day (with a split wall-mounted system taking over in popularity) and are still popular till now.

Air-conditioning mounted by the window is still the best suited for homes that have a small area, and therefore cannot accommodate the design of a Split Air Conditioning system.

Pros

• It is cheaper to install than other AC units
• It is best for homes with small spaces due to its all-in-one build
• It is easy to maintain and clean.

Cons

• It takes up a huge chunk of the space by your window
• You will need to make space for it in the wall or window area to fit the unit.
• It’s noisy because it has an in-built compressor.

Installation, Cost, Maintenance and Repair

You only need to follow the installation manual that comes with the package, and you can also watch a YouTube demo on it.

A window AC unit costs between $400 – $625 on the average, and it’s effortless to maintain and install. The window AC unit should be periodically maintained and cleaned. For repairs, you should check whether you have the prerequisite knowledge to undertake repairs, and if you don’t, its best to get the services of a competent technician.

Split Air Conditioning system

This is usually the choice of many local apartments these days, the sleek body of split air-conditioning systems are definitely more attractive and a welcome improvement from the bulky, unsophisticated window or central air-conditioners.

This split AC system comprises of an indoor and an outdoor feature – the main compressor – which supports and carries air that has been cooled to the several units indoors. As a result, split systems are commonly classified in ‘Systems’ which show the ratio of indoor units to one main outdoor unit.

So, if you see a system, three categorized split AC – that means three indoor units (usually three bedrooms) to one main compressor.

Pros

• Beautiful design for indoor units
• Each air-conditioning unit can be controlled individually, despite sharing a main outdoor compressor
• They are usually quieter than window air-conditioners because the compressor is usually away from the unit

Cons

• They are much more expensive to purchase, install and maintain
• The outdoor compressor unit has to be housed by an outdoor frame, which means an outdoor frame must be installed
• Additional Wiring and plumbing work has to be done to connect the satellite ACs in each room to the main AC

Installation, Cost, Maintenance and Repair

It would be best to get competent hands to help you with the installation unless you have the prerequisite needed to carry it out. Split air conditioning systems cost between $1300 -$4500, averaging at about $2000 per unit.

The outdoor and indoor components of the AC should be cleaned regularly. If faulty, it’s best to get the services of a competent technician to help with repairs.

Central Air Conditioning system

Central Air Conditioning systems are great for cooling big buildings, office complexes, and homes with large space, simply due to its structure. It features a separate, bigger compressor usually installed outdoors and a connected indoor furnace with pipes that transport and pushes cold air through vents.

The central Air Conditioning system can cool down a large area evenly, rather than specific areas, which are what window or split air-conditioners does. It has a main thermostat that controls the temperatures.

Pros

• It makes sure temperatures are consistent throughout a space
• It is more cost-efficient for larger buildings rather than individual split or window AC units
• It is well hidden – uses vents instead of bulky systems which may take up space

Cons

• It’s still costly in terms of energy consumption
• It usually requires extensive renovation works to install
• It requires regular maintenance with heavy usage

Installation, Cost, Maintenance and Repair

You would need a team of technicians and probably, plumbers and bricklayers, if an extensive renovation is to be done for installation.

A new central AC unit costs between $3,350 – $5,912 to install. You would also need to get a technician to help you with maintenance and repairs. Maintenance depends on usage, but you should be done regularly.

Portable Air Conditioner

If you don’t want the long-term commitment and hassle of installation, a portable air-conditioner might just be the answer. It works similarly to a window air conditioner, the only difference being that it can be moved around.

Portable Air conditioners will usually come with a window kit (window slider and exhaust hose) to help transport hot air out of the room.

Pros

• It can be moved around – usually comes with wheels attached
• Its energy consumption is lower than other built-in systems like central air-conditioning
• Installation and usage is effortless

Cons

• It is only effective in small areas
• It takes more time to cool a place than other types of ACs
• It is not as energy efficient

Installation, Cost, Maintenance and Repair

It’s effortless to install and use. You don’t need a technician and only need to follow the instructions.

The cost of a new unit ranges from $250 to $700. It’s also pretty easy to maintain. For repairs, its best you contact a technician.

Three Things To Look Out For When Buying An Air Conditioner?

These are the three things to know when looking out for an air conditioner.

BTU (British Thermal Unit) / Capacity

This gives an indication of the amount of heat that can be removed by your air conditioner from a given area, per hour.
A bigger BTU/capacity means faster and better cooling; Larger BTUs are usually used for bigger spaces that have more surface area to cool.

EER (Energy Efficiency Rating)

The number of BTUs per hour used up for every watt of energy. It is used to show the efficiency of an air-conditioner at cooling.

dB (Decibels)

The level of sound your air-conditioner makes. An average AC will usually emit around 60 decibels – which is as loud as a face to face conversation.

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