I’m sure choosing an Air Conditioner is not a foreign thing not heard of to you. Or if so, welcome to the club of tropical climate, where there exists only one season – Summer. And gone are the days where the Air Conditioning system is as old as some of you and you are still harping on to the system that had accompanied you through your childhood, or to some, the most memorable period of your lives that you’ve shared with your growing families.
There will ultimately be a time, where this taunting decision of choosing a ‘right’ Air Conditioning system is yours to make. Be it when you’ve just found a significant other and just gotten yourselves a roof over your head, or replacing the trusty old companion that had been with you through the most arduous time in life (the hottest seasons), you will have to make that decision again.
That’s why this has been compiled; from my personal daunting experience towards ensuring that decade-long (at least) investment is the correct one, as well as the wonderful guides out there.
Types of Air-Conditioners
First and foremost, a simplified table on the main types of Air-Conditioners available in the market. Split-Units would be the most commonly sought-after version as they not only free up ground spaces to our ever-shrinking homes, but also ensure that we keep our sight of beautiful sceneries out of that window that we picked the unit specifically for.
EER & BTU
Next, you would need to first, understand what these two abbreviations stand for, in order to make the right choice.
- EER – EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. The legal minimum rating is 10 for all and an air conditioner with an EER would have at least a rating of 10.7.
TIP: An increase by a point in the rating would have saved you roughly 10% of the energy bill in long run.
- BTU – BTU, also British Thermal Units in short, is a form of measurement whereby you may use to gauge the level of air conditioning system you require for your home/rooms in order to balance between proper cooling of room(s) without sacrificing too much on the electrical bills.
Check out this BTU Calculator that saves you heaps of time: http://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html
And to remember the following factors as well:
- If you have a shady room, deduct the calculated sum by 10%
- If you happen to be in a sunny room, raise the calculated sum by 10%
- If that’s the kitchen, add 4,000 BTU to the calculated sum
- And if there are more than 2 persons in this particular room on regular basis, add 600 BTU per person to the calculated sum
Piping & Insulation
After understanding all about what EER & BTU stand for, and how they affect your choices made, this next category helps you just as much in making the right decision as the above pointers.
The standard size piping would usually be the same, but some promotion packages would tie in free upgrades as opposed to the rest.
A standard sized pipe would usually be ¼” in diameter. However, this may be the reason towards the choking of pipes in long-run, resulting in air-con leakage. Therefore, a request for a wider pipe (usually ¼”, do check with your Sales Personnel) is suggestable, not because we like to be more kiasu, but rather if you are most probably hiding these pipes behind built-in wardrobes or they are going to be hidden off plain sight, it would be suggestable to decrease the chances of pipe leakages and change of piping.
TIP: If you are looking at ‘upgrading’ your package for pipes of wider diameter, do remember to inform beforehand or upfront to allow sufficient time for the supplier(s) to prepare; and also to avoid probabilities like delayed installation, and reasons along that line.
TIP: If you know that changing of pipes would be next to impossible, or you would rather do without that, do take note on piping quality and invest on the best possible quality you can lay your hands on, or where your budget allows.
Prior to fixing the pipes on the walls/behind the cornices or wardrobes, the pipes would be inserted into a layer of insulation. A good insulation would minimize the chances of energy loss (through leakage of cold air, and better absorption of moisture), and result in a lesser usage of electricity.
There exist many products in the market, you would be able to choose one that suits your needs, your budgets and requirements. This would be good note to take for light sleepers, that there are available models out there producing lesser noise than others. While a few decibels might not raise an eyebrow to most, light sleepers would be very glad with this small improvement made.
This again, is subjective, and some may find this useful while others would gladly dice the condition of their air-conditioning system with luck. But leakage and problems would show themselves within the first to third year. So warranties within this range would be useful.
Remote Control – This is useful for lazy bugs, as well as units that are installed on unreachable heights
Programmable Functions – Subjective, some might find this useful.
Air Direction – This is particularly important, if you have sensitive noses. Do pick units that have programmable air direction and ensure that the air is not blowing towards your face when you are asleep.
Temperature Range, Temperature Increments, Fan Speed Setting – Particularly useful during hot periods between May – August, however, a lower temperature during hotter months would mean a higher electricity bill.
Sleep/Energy Saver Setting – Subjective to individuals
Slide-out Filters – This is a very useful feature to have in periodic cleaning of the air-conditioning units.
I do hope this comprehensive, albeit lengthy, guide would be of help to all the air-con lookers out there! Stay tuned for more articles, and do visit our friendly Air-Conditioning specialist – Best Tech for periodic promotions and enquiries that you might have.