The minimum necessity
For tropical nations like India, the summer season brings in mixed feelings for the people. On one side, you get to enjoy the best delicacies of mangoes and ice-cream, whereas, on the other, you have to face the wrath of heat and humidity. And the worst thing is that the summers get stretched beyond the specified period (hello climate change!).
Thus, it is very important to get yourselves equipped properly to bear the brunt of such unbearable times. And what’s a better alternative than Air Conditioner, popularly called as AC. But, it is equally important for you to understand the different types and then go for buying out your preferred model.
In our blog of the day, we would be discussing in detail the buying guide for an air conditioner.
Different Types of AC
In general, ACs fall under the following categories:
As depicted by the name, such ACs are installed near the windows of the room and hence come within the accessible range of the user. The entire block is quite big and requires a minimum of 9-12 inches of wall thickness for proper installation.
Some of the advantages that can be enjoyed by this include faster cooling in a single room, easy installation, and monoblock design to simplify the assembling activity. But, it also has its share of issues, in the forms of higher noise values when compared to the other categories, and the need for greater wall thickness for proper installation.
Split ACs are improvised models over the Window ACs and have two distinguish units- air venting box inside the room and compressor and heat-dissipating box outside of the room. Both of these units need to be installed within 40 meters of each other for perfect cooling.
Some of the advantages include faster cooling due to wider blowers, the capability of performance in the larger rooms, less noisy operation, no requirement of a thick wall for installation, and higher efficiency. But, the share of problems come up in terms of the high cost of buying and increased complexity in maintenance, as the technician has to access the external unit also.
Portable ACs lie as an intermediate between the conventional ACs and air coolers. They are mobile, lightweight, and find their applications majorly within small to medium-sized rooms. If you are conscious of budget and yet want to gain a piece of equipment with significant performance, then this category is the perfect fit for you. However, it requires a specific vent for the setup of the exhaust hose.
Factors to consider before buying AC
Now, let us focus on the factors that need to be considered while buying an AC that fits your requirements and housing infrastructure. Go for the following points:
- Capacity or Tonnage
The capacity of an AC is highly dependent on the room size, within which the cooling effect is to be observed. Some of the additional factors contributing towards it include ambient temperature outside of the room, humidity, ventilation of the room, exposed area to the sun, and several heat sources.
For example, a 1-ton AC fits very well in cooling up room spaces within 150 sq. ft. Therefore, be very cautious on this point. You would not like to buy an oversized AC that charges you heavily on the utilities, or an undersized model that takes up a lot of time for cooling.
- Efficiency and BEE rating
Owing to the recent regulations from different energy boards on owning up energy-efficient devices, it is highly advised to check up the star ratings on the appliance before making up the mind on any brand or category. Higher the star ratings, better would be the cooling efficiency and lesser would be the utility cost.
The Energy Efficiency Ratio can be calculated by dividing the capacity by the power consumed by the unit. Therefore, hit up the perfect balance between the ratings and MRP (since both of these are directly proportional to each other).
Price is a point that is not only observed in ACs but any of the consumer electronics appliances. What was considered a luxury product once, has now become a common household entity.
Therefore, keep practical limitations on your budget requirements. See the current market price range of any particular tonnage of AC and then determine if the same is a perfect fit for your requirements or not.
- Inverter or Non-inverter ACs
Non-inverter ACs or the conventional models worked by converting the AC supply into DC and then back to AC for the compressor motor. It used to happen only in the ON or OFF states of the compressor and provided very limited controls on the overall temperature control dynamics.
The inverter ones turned out to be more dynamic and allow the compressors to run more independently. It gives up the freedom for smart control of temperature, variable power consumption, and higher efficiency compared to the previous. But, it comes up at a hefty price, complex circuits, and tougher maintenance.
Hence, you can plan out the best one as per your budgeting and housing requirements.
- Noise of operation
As per the regulatory board, the AC also needs to be compliant with the allowable decibels of operation. The higher the speed, the greater would be the noise. Therefore, look at the manufacturer’s guide to gain a fair idea of the point before selecting any of the models.
- Additional features
Along with these mandatory factors, you can also aim to look out for the additional features, as mentioned below:
- Anti-microbial filters, to eliminate the dust and other harmful microbes that tend to enter within the rooms.
- Multiple support features can run throughout the year, as a cooling unit in summer, a dehumidifying unit in rains, and a heater in winter.
- Option for timers in the controls of the AC unit, to regulate the temperature and shut off the unit automatically after a certain period.
- Compatibility to smart home appliances of home, for wider and dynamic usage of the device.
- Auto-cleaning feature of the filters and coils to reduce the manual labor dependency.
- Smart modes like sleep mode to reduce power consumption per hour and provide relief on the net utility bills.
Therefore, we conclude on our take of the important and additional factors under the buying guide of an AC. Let us know of your queries and concerns in the comments section and they would be answered as quickly as possible.