Air Conditioner Buying Tips Air Conditioner Buying Tips

The purpose of an air conditioner is to cool the air in a small, confined area that is bound by four walls or partitions. When the air conditioner unit is switched on, the condenser sucks the refrigerant gas and applies pressure, stepping up the gas temperature. The hot high-pressure gas passes to the condenser coils on the outside unit where fins dispense the gathered heat. The gas is cooled and then converts into liquid after condensation. This liquid moves inwards to the evaporator coils to absorb the heat from the room. There is a fan inside which ejects the cooled air into the room by moving the air through the unit.

Efficiency Ratings

The performance of room air conditioners are determined by energy efficiency ratings accorded by EnergyStar.gov which is a service provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). Air conditioners with a high BTU count will keep the room cool even in extreme heat.

The Noise Factor

Another important factor is determining the quality of air conditioners is lack of noise. A window air conditioner – particularly the ones installed in a bedroom - should be quiet so that it does not disturb the sleep of the room occupants. The air conditioners have to be well insulated to minimize rattling noise when the fan is running. A good quality window air conditioner can also break if it is not installed properly.

Size of Room

The size of the room and total volume of the space to be cooled must be taken into consideration when buying an air conditioner for any room. Be sure it is the right size. When the insulation in the building is low or the air conditioner sits in a hot sun-facing window, it is advisable to opt for a unit with higher BTU.

Different Types of Air Conditioning Systems

  • Portable air conditioners are economically-priced and can be shifted from one room to another. They are portable with the use of an exhaust tube that has to be fixed to the ledge of a window. The purpose of this tube is to disperse the condensed air outside. Some portable air conditioners instead have an internal bucket or a pan to collect the condensed air. Please know some portable air conditioners come fitted with caster wheels to make shifting even more trouble-free.
  • There are split system air conditioners, which are quite popular because they look very elegant and can be mounted at any place of the owner’s choice. The size of the room and the likely number of persons occupying the room are the two deciding factors when buying a split air conditioner. The split air conditioner is more expensive than the portable models but can cool larger areas when compared to portable air conditioners. Most split system air conditioners come with features like timers, auto sleep mode, auto restart and remote control. Split system air conditioners are offered in different mounting styles, such as: wall-mounted, floor-mounted and ceiling-mounted.

Four Important Rules

When buying a new air conditioner, the four important factors to remember are:

  • Buy the right size air conditioner based on the dimensions of the room.
    • Buy an energy-efficient model
    • Make sure that the unit is installed properly
    • Buy from a reputed dealer who can provide reliable after-sale service

Also take into consideration the filters that are used for the air conditioners and their price, the warranty offered, cooling capacity and any additional features like dehumidification. Lastly, analyze the air conditioner cost versus size parameter as the cost increases with the size of the air conditioner since additional equipments or hardware are utilized to make an AC bigger.

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