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The heat can be oppressive during summer in most countries, which is why many people go all out to find a cooling option for their home or office. One option many people love is an air conditioner, as the appliance can rapidly cool down a heated space and make the environment conducive for working, resting, studying, or sleeping.

Choosing the right type may be confusing with the various available air conditioner options. Ultimately, you may find yourself with an appliance that does not satisfy your needs. This is why you should understand how to choose an air conditioner, even if there are several to choose from in the market.

Are Air Conditioners the Right Choice For Cooling?

While different types of electrical appliances are used at home, air conditioners remain one of the most commonly used worldwide. In Western communities, close to 75% of homes rely on air conditioners for cooling.

The effect of this is seen in electricity consumption. It has been noted that the widespread use of air conditioners contributes to approximately 6% of total electricity usage.

With that said, the high number of people using these appliances shows that it is indeed a good choice and possibly the best for combating heat, whether in the tropical region or during the hot summer of temperate climates.

Choosing an Air Conditioner for Your Space

Choosing an air conditioner for home use calls for careful deliberations before choices are made because large sums of money are needed for their purchase.

The type of air conditioner you eventually buy will affect several things in your home, such as; energy consumption, cooling, and home comfort.

This is one of the reasons you must do due diligence before getting an air conditioner.

With eight main types of air conditioning appliances available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose and kind of space, making an informed decision is essential.

Some popular options on the market include:

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Conditioner

Knowing the varying types of air conditioning systems available is just the first step. To find the best-suited AC system for your home or office, you need to know how to choose the right one. The following are some of the most crucial factors when choosing an air conditioner:

Your budget

If you're looking for an air conditioning system that fits your budget, you may find it helpful to know the ranking of different types based on their cost. The following list shows the air conditioning system types ranked from the most affordable to the most expensive.

  • If you have budgetary restraints, a window or portable air conditioner is the best choice you can make. However, you should not forget that these units are only effective when cooling a single room. 
  • A mini-split system AC or a ductless air conditioner is reckoned as being cost-effective when cooling is needed for just a room or two. If you want to cool your entire home with a single ductless system, you may have to keep it on throughout the day. This will, of course, add to your energy costs in the end, which is not worth the low effectiveness you get in return.
  • There are smart ACs that can be either window, mini-split, or portable. These are more expensive than the more common and usual types. Since they can reduce energy usage, they are not as costly to run. With smart AC controllers, you will be able to enjoy more functionalities of the appliances.
  • A central air conditioning unit is known to be more expensive than the ones already mentioned, although it is also considered more effective. The running cost for this type of air conditioning system is much higher, but it can last longer than window or portable air conditioners.
  • Geothermal heating and cooling is the most expensive option available at this time. When properly used, they can pay for themselves in the course of usage through their energy-saving ability. Most other air conditioners cannot match geothermal units' efficiency and effectiveness. It is even believed generally that investing in one such unit could last you through your entire life.

Energy consumption

Make sure you choose an energy-efficient air conditioning system, which will go a long way in reducing your utility bills. It is, therefore, essential to check an air conditioner's energy efficiency ratio or EER rating before buying it. With a higher EER rating, the system will be more efficient.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is another closely related parameter worth mentioning here. This rating is defined as the cooling output divided by the total electric energy input for a given period. While the SEER rating may sound just like the EER, they differ by how the SEER is determined over an entire cooling season of several months at different temperature points.

The higher the SEER of a unit, the more energy-efficient the appliance will be.

One easy way to reduce your air conditioning costs while you continue to enjoy the comfort of perfect temperature is to look for ways to slash your bills.

Ease of maintenance and space requirements

You should take air conditioning maintenance seriously if you wish to enjoy your AC for many years. In the same vein, consider buying an air conditioner best suited for your home or office space.

Although there are different brands and types of air conditioners in the market, you must never forget that even if you have the budget, you need the space to contain whatever air conditioner you want.

Cooling power

The cooling power of an air conditioner is an essential factor to consider when buying an air conditioner. However, this may not be necessary if your choice is a smart air conditioner.

The cooling power of an air conditioner shows its capacity for cooling or heating, and it is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Air cons that come with higher BTUs have greater cooling or heating power. Most air conditioners are designed with BTU capacities that range from 6,000 to 12,000.

This cooling power range makes them suitable for use in common-sized living rooms. Your choice of air conditioner matters when it comes to optimal energy consumption and cooling or heating performance. This is achievable if your choice of air conditioner matches the size of your room. Doing this can effectively help you to save some money.

Local climate

In Australia, many people live in a reasonably humid climate. Unfortunately, air conditioners will have to work harder under this kind of condition to maintain a cool temperature.

This inevitably increases energy consumption for many households. Apart from their different designs, air conditioners vary in effectiveness, especially in regions with high humidity. An excellent example of this can be seen in how evaporative coolers tend to perform poorly in such areas.

This is even more so when there is excess moisture within the conditioning unit. On the other hand, you can enjoy better cooling with refrigerated systems as you will find them a more suitable option under such circumstances.

The noise of the system

Some air conditioners can generate excessive internal noise, making them unsuitable for noise-sensitive areas like bedrooms or study rooms. Evaporative air conditioners, in particular, produce more noise than refrigerated air conditioners, especially at higher fan speeds.

To minimise noise, it's advisable to opt for a ducted or split system air conditioner, where the operating components are located remotely. This makes them a better choice for achieving a quieter environment.

Consult a Professional About Air Conditioners

From portable to reverse cycle air conditioners and the several factors you should consider before buying one that suits you best, you may become overwhelmed. Do not despair in case you find yourself in this kind of situation. You can contact a professional HVAC technician so that you will be better informed on what other steps you can take to get the best air conditioning system for your home or office.

Stay Warm in Winter and Cool in Summer!

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