With soaring temperatures and potentially hotter summers, air conditioners have become more of a necessity than a luxury. If you are looking to buy one, there are several factors to consider before making a decision.
So, how to buy an air conditioner for your home? Here are the steps to follow:
Also See: Which is the best air purifier for your home.
1. When to buy? The very first step is of course when to buy. Ideally, the best time to buy an AC unit is during the winter as most dealers would be offering a good discount.
2. Which type of AC do you prefer: Next step is to choose the kind of AC unit. Would you prefer a Window AC or a Split Unit?
An AC system has four main components:
- Expansion coil
So, what is a Window AC?
- It’s the simplest AC system
- All components are assembled in a single unit
- This unit is then mounted through a window or wall
Some pros and cons of Window AC system are:
- It is the cheapest and simplest type of AC
- But they are generally noisy and bulky
- A duct has to be drilled through the wall, which could compromise on home security
What is a Split AC?
- As the name suggests, the components are split into two – indoor unit and outdoor unit
- The outdoor unit is placed on the exterior side of the wall of the room that has to be cooled
- This outdoor unit consists of the condenser, compressor and expansion coil
- The indoor unit contains the cooling coil and air filter
- The outdoor and indoor unit is connected through wires which are placed inside a tube
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a Split AC system
- They are quiet and cool the room quickly, thanks to the wide blowers
- A single outdoor unit can be connected with several indoor units to cool many rooms
- Though initial installation cost is high, in the long term, they are energy efficient, helping you to save on electricity bills
3. What should be the capacity of the AC unit: If you plan to buy an air conditioner for home, the next step would be to choose the right capacity, which would depend on the size of the room/indoor area and other features.
- The factors to be considered are:
|Size of the room||AC Capacity|
|9×10 ft||1 ton|
|10×15 ft||1.5 ton|
|10×20 ft||2 ton|
- The height of the ceiling
- Size of windows and doorways
- Is the room heavily shaded or sunny
- Usually, how many people occupy the area
- Will the unit be placed in the kitchen?
- Is the room on the top floor or above the third floor in a building
4. Mind the electricity bill: The next step would be to choose an AC unit which is energy efficient. And for this purpose, we have star ratings, from 1 to 5, devised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. So how does the rating work?
- If an AC unit has a higher rating, then it consumes less power
- For e.g. A 5-star unit consumes less power than a 3-star unit
- Though a 3-star unit is cheaper, it has a higher recurring cost
- Though a 5-star unit does save your electricity bills, the initial investment is high
5. Go for Inverter Technology: We all want an AC unit that cools the room and at the same time consumes less energy. That’s precisely what Inverter Technology achieves.
So how does it work?
The technology helps control the speed of the compressor which in turn helps regulate temperature continuously.
The system checks a sample of ambient air temperature and adjusts the speed of the compressor accordingly.
Some advantages of Inverter Technology are:
- Makes lesser noise when compared to a non-inverter AC
- Increased energy efficiency
- Extended life of AC components
- Elimination of sharp fluctuations in the load
- Lower operating cost
- Fewer break downs
- Consistent cooling
- Cools room quickly
6. Can we adjust the vents?
Ever wondered what the best way to cool a room is? Well, the system must blow cool air towards the centre of the room, irrespective of where it is placed. And for this, the vents should be adjustable.
7. Check for features: Well, you are going to spend quite a bit, so why not check for the features.
- Not just for summer: Whoever said AC is just for the summer? An AC can be handy even in winters. So, look out for those with in-built heaters.
- Does it have timers? Timers are handy, and this could be used to set temperatures for different parts of the day.
Smart AC: Check if the AC can be connected to your smartphone. And this, in turn, can be used to connect to other AC units in the house.
- Check for Anti-bacterial filter: This is useful as it keeps away the dangerous microorganisms.
Is there a Dehumidifier? This helps in removing excess moisture that is usually prevalent during the Monsoon Season.
- Quality of Coils: Always go for copper coils, they cool faster, are reliable and usually lasts long.
- Sleep Mode: Imagine if there is a considerable drop in outside temperature. Should the AC function throughout the night? The answer is an obvious no. This is where Sleep Mode is useful and could help save on electricity bills.
- Auto-clean: This feature removes moisture from the AC unit, which prevents the growth of microorganisms. The direct impact is better cooling and longer life for the AC unit.
8. Try it first: Just like the good old times, go to a store and check out various products first hand. See the unit, feel the cooling effect and yes, also keep the price and discounts in mind.
9. Compare products: There is a ton of data out there, and several e-tailers have exhaustive information on several products. So, make use of it. Compare several products and also do not forget to check out the reviews, it could throw a flood of light.
10. Ask family and friends: Yes, please speak with those who recently bought an AC. There are certain things which experience can reveal, and they may be able to guide you well.
Keep these things in mind before buying an AC for your home.