Air conditioners are a great way to keep anyone cool and composed especially when the weather is hot. They come in different shapes and sizes such as split type and window type. There are some folks who resort to a complete solution, opting for centralized air conditioning. However, this requires a large investment that may also burden a person’s electric bill each month.
Hence, the logical solution is to choose between a split-type and window-type air conditioning system. Of the two, the window-type air conditioner is the one that costs less. They are pretty easy to install either in a standard home window or through a wall and something that is best used in rooms.
Things to factor in before buying a window type air conditioner
One thing that highlights most brands is the price of an air conditioning unit. The suggested retail price is normally dictated by the horsepower and some of the ACU’s features (i.e. energy efficiency, heat modes, programmable timer and digital control boards).
Aside from the features and power, branding also plays a role in dictating the price. The long-standing and popular ones are expected to be priced heftier since they are already tested. Folks who want to make sure can opt for that or consider some savings with other up and rising brands.
Bumping up a bit with split-type air conditioning
People who don’t want to see holes in the walls or sacrifice windows can turn to split-type ACUs instead. However, they do cost a bit more than the standard window-type.
Among the added costs include installation since the compressor and condenser are separate. Only the evaporator of the unit will be placed inside the room, something that accounts for quieter but cooler areas.
Room size to ACU capacity ratio
Before deciding on what air conditioner to buy, customers are normally asked about the room size before making recommendations. The reason behind this is to make sure that they are getting the right kind of unit with the appropriate horsepower.
Here are some of the recommendations based on square feet and AC capacity.
- Up to 100 sq. ft. – 0.8 HP
- Up to 150 sq. ft. – 1.0 HP
- Up to 250 sq. ft. – 1.5 HP
- Up to 400 sq. ft. – 2.0 HP
Ideally, it would be best to follow these calculations. Ignoring them may lead to higher electric bills and possibly shortening the ideal useful life of an air conditioning unit. The reason behind is simple – forcing an ACU unit to cool a specified place more than it was designed to do will take its toll at some point.
Energy efficiency ratings
Aware that many have been wary of buying ACU systems due to the added cost in electricity, energy efficiency ratings were added to provide consumers a better overview on what actual unit they should buy. The higher star ratings (5 stars) will translate to lesser power consumption and savings.
However, these are units that are expected to cost more. Also, it does not necessarily follow that having a 5-star rating is the safest way to go. It all depends on the frequency of use of an ACU. For example, a 3-star rating should suffice if owners only plan to turn on their units for only a few hours a day. Ideally, 5-star rated ACUs are the ones needed in the office or for some people who want to stay cool all the time.
Make sure to have scheduled maintenance checks
Being a machine, air conditioning units need to be checked up everyone in a while. This normally falls on the after-sales service. Again, this is important before buying and why established brands stand out.
Long-standing brands are aware that the need to take care of units is essential. The usual practice is to have an ACU checked at least once a year. This would depend on the age of an air conditioning unit. The older they are, the more frequent it should be checked to prevent incurring larger repairs or parts replacement cost. An air conditioning service normally costs between $70 to $100. The price could differ depending on situations. Compared to buying an entirely new unit due to lack of attention, that periodic service fee should be better rather than spend thousands of dollars.
Buying and installing an air conditioner, whether it be a split-type or window-type, needs careful deliberation as detailed above. With the proper sq. ft. to HP ratio and energy efficiency concerns, it would be best not to rush and get tempted with lower prices or flash sales (since this is done to clean up inventories to make room for new and latest models).