When the weather heats up, thoughts turn to chilling out. If central air conditioning isn’t an option, room air conditioners can be an inexpensive and energy-efficient alternative for cooling one or two rooms.
If you’re ready to beat the heat, you aren’t alone: More than 6.5 million air conditioner window units are sold each year. The average household spends 13 percent of its annual utility bill on cooling, according to Energy Star. So it’s important to choose the right unit. An air conditioner that’s too small won’t do a good job cooling a room. One that’s too big cools so quickly that it doesn’t have time to remove enough moisture, leaving you with a cold, clammy space.
Things To Consider! #First Things First!
The capacity of the air conditioner should be considered depending on the floor size of the room for which the AC is required. A rough measure states that an area in range of 120 ~140 Sq. ft. area will need 1 ton, 150 ~180 Sq. ft. area will need 1.5 ton and 180 ~240 Sq. ft. area will need 2 ton cooling capacity air –conditioner. (measured in tonnes of refrigeration).
Split or window AC:
Another deciding factor is whether you want a window AC or a split model. Though window units are cheaper and easy to install, split ACs are quieter, aesthetically more pleasing and provide better air distribution.
Note the Noise:
Models that scored excellent or very good in our noise tests are so quiet that the only sound you might hear is the fan running. Air conditioners that scored fair for noise could disturb light sleepers when set on low, and are distracting to all when set on high.
Factor in the Window Location:
Window air conditioners generally do a better job blowing air in one direction. That can be a problem if your window isn’t centered on the wall. To uniformly cool a room, you’ll need to direct air to its center, so check whether your A/C needs to blow air to the right or to the left. Some have fan arms that swivel.
Install it Correctly:
To get the most from your window air conditioner it must be properly installed. Most units are intended for double-hung windows. If you have casement windows, you may want to consider a through-the-wall air conditioner. Make sure your window unit is level so it drains correctly. And move any heat-generating devices such as a TV or lamp away from the unit.
Check Filter Location:
Make sure you can easily access the filter for cleaning, something you’ll be doing frequently to keep the unit in tip-top condition.
Some air conditioners have gotten smarter, allowing you to control and adjust them from your smartphone. You can often interconnect them to other cooling units in your home.
Watch the Warranty:
Some air conditioners have longer warranties. When you’re buying a new unit, check the manufacturer’s website for information and ask the retailer about the warranty for that model and brand.
After sales services:
After sales services and other add-on features like warranty would certainly be a plus for your purchase. Look for a service oriented brand which has the capabilities and good network to meet the servicing need of your product.
Other important features:
Most air-conditioning units come with a dehumidification function, which reduces humidity in the air, for increased cooling and more comfort. Also it is important to check the noise levels of the model, which may range from 19 – 60 decibels. The sleep mode function in an AC is useful as it automatically adjusts the temperature during the night. Your unit should also have an auto restart facility to help restore the last setting after a power break.
Nowadays, AC is not just used for cooling, but as a multi seasonal product which can also be used in winters for heating. These Hot & Cold Air Conditioners also save up to 35% more energy than heaters. ACs are also the best cooling devices for Humid weather. Special cooling functions are required for optimum cooling and maximum comfort during monsoons. So look for an AC with features which can control humidity and give more comfort in Monsoons.
Exposure to Heat & Sunlight:
If your room is closer to kitchen or the wall of your room is directly exposed to the sun , you’ll need an air conditioner with higher cooling capacity.
Which Model is Right for You?
Some small window units cost less than $200, which makes them a tempting proposition—but only if you need to cool a very small space. If you need to cool a larger area, you’ll want to focus your search on units that better match your square footage.
Nearly all the window units we tested meet the latest Energy Star standards, which require them to use 15 percent less energy than units without that certification. Standout models had quiet operation, convenient controls, and worked under brownout conditions. Check our Air Conditioner Ratings to see to how they stacked up.
1) Window AC’s
It comes as a single unit; therefore, it is easier to install or remove.
It is more affordable and costs lesser than a split air conditioner.
It is more convenient for people who need to change homes frequently.
Since it is installed on the window sill, it blocks the window.
It can only be used if you have a window, else you will need to renovate your room.
Small—Capacity ranges from 5,000 to 6,500 Btu/hr. Cools roughly 100 to 300 square feet. These units are the smallest, lightest, and least expensive, but they can’t adequately cool a room measuring more than 300 square feet.
Medium—Capacity ranges from 7,000 to 8,200 Btu/hr. Cools roughly 250 to 400 square feet. Prices start creeping up, and their size and weight can make them harder to install and remove for winter storage.
Large—Capacity ranges from 9,800 to 12,500 Btu/hr. Cools between 350-650 square feet. Best for cooling a large room, but the bulk and weight make these models awkward and difficult to install.
2) Portable AC’s
Portable air conditioners are intended for homes in which window configurations or building regulations prevent installation of window units. The portable air conditioners in our tests range from 5,000 to 15,500 Btu. But don’t compare portable and window air conditioners by that measurement alone.
Our latest Research found that portables aren’t as good at cooling as manufacturers claim. Plus, they’re pricey and use more energy than similarly sized window units. They tend to be noisier than window-mounted units. And while technically “portable,” their 50- to 80-pound weight can make them cumbersome and ungainly to roll across carpets or thresholds.
3) Split Ductless AC’s
A split air conditioner is less noisy as compared to other varieties as the condenser unit is placed outside.
It does not require to be installed in a window so it can be used in a room with no windows.
A split AC looks more aesthetic and can blend well with the decor of the room.
It is usually more expensive than a window air conditioner.
Installation of a split air conditioner is more complex and may cost more.
Trouble shooting a split AC may not be as simple as fixing a window AC Now that you have figured out which type of air conditioner most suits your requirements, it’s important to consider other important points before you make a purchase.
Split ductless is a smart way to add air conditioning to a limited number of rooms without having to open up walls to install ductwork—as you would with a central-air system—or install and remove multiple window units each year. In our past tests, all did an excellent job cooling and were much quieter indoors and out than window air conditioners. Indeed, on the low setting they were barely audible.
Split ductless is more expensive than window or portable units (and professional installation is recommended), but is less expensive than central air if you are cooling only a few rooms. However, if you are looking to cool the majority of your home, a central-air-conditioning system is probably the more cost-effective choice.
Cost: $1000 and up.
4) Smart Features to Help You Chill Out:
All the units in our Air Conditioner Ratings do an excellent job of cooling. They also come with convenient features like digital displays, built-in timers, and remote controls. Some units have touchpad controls, and a few change the direction of the airflow automatically to better disperse cool air throughout the room. Look for air conditioner features that affect performance and efficiency.
Make a smart investment this summer by choosing an air conditioner that meets your above requirements and offers you joy of ownership.
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Information Brought To You By Biovolt Corporation.