Changes in the weather are a common aspect of our daily lives. There are those days when the climate is chilly and you’d want nothing else to do than to cuddle up in bed with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Then, there are those days when the sun decides to flex its superpowers by heating up the atmosphere, making you throw doors and windows open while going for frequent showers with each sweat. It’s on days like this that you’d regret why you didn’t buy that air conditioner at the last Black Friday. Perhaps you bought one and it didn’t quite meet up to your expectations. Well, not to worry. This air conditioner buying guide is created to help you choose the right AC unit next time you shop for one.
What Is An Air Conditioner?
An air conditioner unit is an electronic device built to cool the air and atmosphere in an enclosed space and they are a common home appliance in many households. In fact, you’ll find them in many professional workplaces.
Summers and dry seasons are notorious for their regular sweltering temperatures. Air conditioners are ideal for cooling the air during such seasons. The cooling machine works through a cycle of simultaneous refrigeration and purification.
There are several types of air conditioners. Each one has a unique capability dependent on its performance and hardware durability. Some of the units are quite small yet deliver excellently in terms of performance.
We will discuss the different types of AC’s later in this buying guide. Let’s first run you through some of the advantages of an air conditioner; some of which you may already know about while some you probably didn’t.
Benefits of Air Conditioners
1. Cools other electronics and prevents them from overheating
Aside from cooling our bodies, your electronics also get cooled while in operation. In hot weather conditions, electrical items run the risk of overheating. We all know that when an appliance overheats, it could be dangerous and poses risk to not just the appliance but the entire household as well. A fully functional, running AC can numb the threat of overheating.
2. Less chance of asthma attacks
Asthmatic people are at risk of suffering attacks when humidity is high. The Mayo Clinic notes that running an air conditioner is crucial for reducing humidity and lowering other allergy-inducing air particles that could trigger an asthmatic attack. You should also routinely change the air filter in the air conditioner to limit the chances of asthmatic attacks.
3. Chases off insects and parasites
You do not necessarily need to live near a dumpster before insects and parasites invade your home. They always find a way to enter rooms and annoy the hell out of you. Luckily, many insects can’t stand cold weather. Cooling your room with an air conditioner can effectively rid your household of these pests. In addition, the filters in an air conditioner can greatly help in taking out bugs. If you own pets at home, your AC can help keep fleas and other bugs off them. This leaves you with a well-protected, cleaner home.
4. Lowers the risks of dehydration and heatstroke
When the weather is hot, you tend to sweat more frequently. While sweating is good, it also means your body loses a large percentage of water intake. In order to avoid the deadly effects of dehydration, you’d have to keep drinking copious amounts of water consistently. While indoors, rather than walk around the house with a bottle of water, just get an air conditioner and cool the air. With lower temperatures, you get to sweat less and stay healthy.
Heatstroke occurs when your body temperature shoots up to as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius. This happens when your body overheats as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures or over-exercising. It is a severe form of heat injury but can be prevented by using an air conditioner. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), air conditioning is the main element that can protect you against heat-related ailments and death.
5. Promotes better work performance
If you’ve worked in an enclosed office during hot weather without an AC running, you’d agree that it was quite an inconvenient experience. Your performance would definitely have been affected as you’d focus more on trying to cool your body than completing the task at hand. If you own a business and want optimum performance from your employees, make sure the air conditioning unit is working efficiently. That way their minds are clear and geared at achieving positive results for your business.
6. Makes exercising easier to engage in
Exercising is great for the overall health and wellbeing of the body. But if the house is hot, you’d be unwilling to engage in any form of fitness. An operational air conditioner makes it more comfortable and enjoyable to exercise at home. Whether you engage in jumping jacks or cartwheels, having an ac on would make the whole exercise fun.
7. Less noise and better sleep
When the climate is cold, we tend to sleep better. Turning on the air conditioner at bedtime means you get to enjoy those pleasurable trips to dreamland. To add to this, you’d naturally shut all doors and windows when you turn on the AC. This way there’d be less noise filtering into the room. When you combine the effects of a cool and quiet bedroom, you’ll get nothing short of a blissful night’s rest.
8. Keeps the home more secure
In times of hot weather, you’d typically want to leave windows and even doors open to allow air in. Unfortunately, this leaves the house open to break-ins and burglars. A running AC can improve security as you’d need to lock all doors and windows to make the cooling more efficient.
Types of Air Conditioners
As stated earlier, there are different types of air conditioners. The question is which AC model is perfect for you? Some small window units are quite available for as low as $150. The only issue is they can only cool a small room. If you aim to cool a much bigger room, then your focus should be on better units that will fit your square footage. Basically, the types of air conditioners you’d find in a retail store are window AC’s, Standing AC’s, and split unit AC’s.
1. Window AC
These are small units placed in a particular position through a window frame where half of the unit (the cooling half) is inside the home, while the other half sticks out of the house. To achieve this, a section of space needs to be created on the window. The window AC is then fixed inside that frame to fit perfectly. The concept behind this type of AC is that hot air can be exhausted through the back of the unit (which is outside) while allowing cool air into the room. When installed correctly, this AC can cool 100 to 300 square feet of enclosed space. These units are the most affordable AC types. They are also the lightest and smallest AC units.
2. Split Unit AC
Unlike the window air conditioners, the split unit AC doesn’t require windows to be opened up before cooling rooms effortlessly. On the contrary, they are hung at the top part of the wall inside a room. Most split unit air conditioners are designed to cool swiftly while operating with low noise. They are usually more expensive than the portable and window AC types.
3. Standing AC
The floor or standing air conditioner is commonly used in event halls, restaurants, cafes, data centers, etc. These units are usually tall and placed standing upright by a wall in the room. The major component of the AC, its fan coil unit, is indoor while the condensers and outdoor units are placed outside the house. There, heat is ejected via its vapor compression cycle. The cooling efficiency of the unit depends on each particular model. Then, there are the inverter and non-inverter variants of the standing AC with one delivering a greater performance over the other.
Choosing the Best Air Conditioner for You
When you finally make up your mind to purchase an AC unit, there are certain things you’ll need to consider. For instance, you’ll have to figure out the actual size of the room and the number of rooms in the house.
You also need to check if there is a ventilation system already installed and whether the AC unit should be indoors or outside the house. You’ll need a more expensive and complex air conditioning unit if you have a bigger apartment. This will ensure that you get the right level of power and cooling needed to be distributed evenly across the whole building.
A smaller AC unit would be just right for small houses with a few rooms. Then you also need to factor in the seasons and temperature in the region where you live. It can also play a vital role in choosing what air conditioning unit to buy.
Important Things to Consider
Look out for AC’s that have more efficient insulating components. You won’t want your AC unit leaking out after installation. So, be sure to check that the unit comes with clear instructions on getting an ideal seal around the unit.
Air conditioners that do not come with a low noise feature could end up being a sort of disturbance for light sleepers even when set to low performance. That means heavy sleepers may find it distracting when the unit is set to high performance.
If you’re going for window AC’s be sure to factor in the location of the window frame where the unit will be placed. This is because window air conditioners are known for blowing out air in a single direction.
Thus, if your window is not properly situated at the center of the room, then air blows from your window AC unequally across the room. So, ensure the window frame placement is around the center of the room to allow even air distribution and cooling.
In addition, ensure your window unit is placed in a perfectly leveled position so that it can drain properly. Electronics and appliances like TVs and lamps should be placed far from the AC unit.
Your AC’s filter location needs to be easily accessible. This is important as you will need to clean it periodically to keep the unit functioning at optimum levels.
If you can afford it, opt for intelligent cooling air conditioners. With these newer types of AC’s, you can easily control the unit from your smartphone. Some AC units are so advanced today that you can interconnect them to other cooling units in the same building.
Lastly, get a professional ready to install the AC unit correctly.
1. AC Size & Available Space
You need to consider what sections of your home you want to be cooled. Some people prefer to cool only their bedroom and living room areas. Others don’t mind cooling everywhere, from their attics to the garage. With this information in hand, you can choose what type of AC to go for.
2. Suitable Type of Air Conditioner
After considering your available space, the next thing would be to think of the type of AC that would fit your home or building. There are different types of AC’s and we covered some of them already in this article. You can scroll up a bit if you skipped them. There are the split unit AC types that can be hung to a wall and there are the floor standing ones that can be placed in a nice, cozy position in an area of space. Then we have the window AC’s; those smaller units that occupy spaces on window frames.
3. Smart Features
Most AC’s being manufactured today come with smart features while doing turning in an excellent cooling performance. These air conditioners are identifiable with their sleek features like digital displays, remote controls, timers, etc. You’ll even see some units with touchpad controls while some even smarter units can note when the air is improperly distributed and thus, automatically direct the airflow evenly around the room.
After considering the area of space and the type of AC unit that would best fit, the pricing comes next. Remember, each AC unit model delivers a different performance than others. So, the more you spend on a particular unit, the better performance you’ll get. However, you should also take the financial ramifications of running an AC into consideration.
Operating bigger air conditioners will lead to an increase in electricity bills. And if you live in a region where the climate is predominantly hot, you’ll require such AC’s to run for longer periods. So, unless your pocket is large enough to afford the electricity costs it’ll bring, be sure to evaluate your options thoroughly.
5. Warranty & After-Sales Support
Lastly, take note of the warranty information that comes with your AC unit. Some units have longer warranties over others. Also, remember to visit the air conditioning unit’s manufacturer’s website for further information concerning after-sales support when consulting the retailer on the warranty tied to the brand and model you plan to purchase.
Recommended Accessories for Your A/C
You may already own an air conditioning unit or perhaps you’re planning to get one. There are some necessary AC accessories you should take into consideration if you want to keep the cooling unit constantly running at top performance levels. Some of these accessories can even make it easier for you to install your portable AC in the exact location you want cooled.
Every type of air conditioner requires filters. It doesn’t matter if they are built-in HVAC model systems or other alternative cooling units. Filters are crucial to an AC’s performance because they help expunge particles in the air and ensure the unit stays clean.
However, as the air conditioner keeps operating, its filters will become more clogged with particles. When this happens, the airflow is limited, thereby stunting the unit’s cooling power. Thus, the filter in any air conditioner needs to be changed periodically. Failure to do this and the air conditioning unit could end up being a source of air pollution within the vicinity of its operations. This is because it would release those particles back into the air which could lead to severe health issues.
Remember when we said AC’s can help reduce asthmatic attacks? Well, not changing the filters regularly can send particles back into the air which could trigger the attacks.
You could use your AC without a filter and it’d still work, in fact, the airflow will rapidly increase without a filter. The downside is that particles will enter the unit and build up in its evaporator coils. This could shorten its lifespan and ultimately lead to its untimely decline.
There are several types of filters available for air conditioners. Some are crafted specially to be antimicrobial. Thus, helping lower the build-up of mold and mildew. This kind of filter fits perfectly for high humidity environments. Other filters are engineered to be electrostatically charged, capturing smoke, pollen, dust, and mold spores, keeping your air fresher and cleaner.
Changing the filter on your air conditioning unit every 3 months is ideal if you want it to run and consistently maintain its optimal cooling and airflow. It also ensures that your unit is kept in top shape.
In addition, if the indoor air quality in your home is not too good, although the filters will help, however, you should think of acquiring a HEPA air purifier. It is a device made to rid the air of potential toxins. It can help in ensuring the air you breathe is healthy while your AC cools the environment.
2. Remote controls
Sometimes you’d go to sleep at night while the weather is just cool enough only for the temperature to rise in the middle of the night. Your blissful sleep is halted as you wake up feeling hot and sweaty and think to call on your AC unit to the rescue. Problem is the AC’s power switch is not anywhere near your bed and you’d find it an inconvenience groping your way out of bed to look for the switch and turn on the unit.
That’s why remote controls are there to help. Many air conditioning units manufactured today come with a remote control. This allows you to relax in bed and cool up the room without moving an inch.
The basic buttons you’d find on a remote control are the power button, temperature regulator buttons (Up/Down), AC mode, and timer.
3. Sliding door vent kit and drop ceiling vent kit
Every portable AC unit needs to be vented. Unfortunately, you may not have access to a standard style window in the area that needs to be cooled. That’s why a vent kit works best here. If your room lacks a window, your portable (window) AC can still function effectively with a drop ceiling vent kit. Usually, server rooms and some offices do not windows. Thus, its no surprise you’d find a drop ceiling vent kit being used there.
Even if you have windows, they may be too large. Also, in place of a window, you might have a sliding glass door. Regardless of this type of setup, these tools let you hook your AC to the ceiling and cool your home or office.
4. Weather Seals
A window AC may be fitted properly but still have some exposed sections. These are usually at the side or at the top of the device. Thus, the unit won’t flush with the window perfectly. These exposed spaces can allow air to leak in (or out).
This not only allows warm air to enter your room but also limits the overall effectiveness of the unit. A weather seal is an accessory that can block air from outside coming into the room. This allows the unit to work at its full capacity without outdoor air interference.
5. Security Window Lock
Your window AC might cool your room and keep the atmosphere cozy and nice, however, it can still leave your house open to undesirable elements like burglars and robbers if the window isn’t properly secured with the installed vent.
With your venting kit installed, your window lock becomes useless as the window has to remain open. Getting a security window lock is strongly advisable for your window AC unit. This accessory lets you fasten and keep your window locked regardless of the vent kit. Thus, lowering the risks of a break-in or breach through the window.
Energy Efficiency & Why It’s Crucial
Air conditioning units have a tendency to jack up your electricity bills than any other appliances you may have at home. Thus, many people have come up with different ways to reduce these costs. Some only use their AC’s during the day and turn it off by night. Others use it sparingly – only in times of intense heat.
In addition, air conditioner manufacturers have introduced the energy-efficient HVAC system models in recent years. They believe it would help greatly in reducing the costs of running an air conditioner. This section will discuss some of the benefits of owning an HVAC system air conditioner.
The technology behind the HVAC system is much improved. These energy-efficient models can allow you set the temperature of your home even when you’re not anywhere near the unit. This means you can control the temperature at home while at the office by turning it off. It can also be switched on just before you get home too.
The process can also be performed while you’re asleep. You won’t need to get up at midnight to adjust the temperature at home. Just have it set automatically to a comfortable level perfect enough for you and your family. This way you not only save money but rest better.
The energy-efficient models have also been engineered to deliver an improved airflow. This new airflow makes the unit cool your home much faster. Once it reaches the expected temperature, it turns off, saving you a couple of bucks. That’s not all. They also ensure that air impurities are reduced, allowing you to breathe healthier air.
Global warming and climate change are proving difficult to tackle. You won’t want to be part of the people responsible for adding to the earth’s environmental issues. Using an HVAC system ensures that you are contributing to saving the world. Your air conditioner won’t need to be turned on for lengthy periods. Thus, your power company consumes less fuel and less emission is released into the atmosphere.
With the HVAC system’s extended warranty option, you might be on to some cool investment. This is because the energy-efficient units allow you to purchase an extended warranty of up to 10 years. So, you’ll rest assured that you won’t be buying a new unit if the present one develops faults or starts acting up. Just have it replaced without spending big on a new one.
Featured Royal Most Popular Air Conditioners
Here are some of the best air conditioners you can consider buying when you eventually make up your mind to get one.
If fast cooling is what you want then, the Royal Split Inverter Air Conditioner – DB12RSA-INV delivers just that perfectly. It was created using an inverter compressor and filled with R410 gas. The AC contains a copper condenser and an HD filter to evict particles from the air. It also boasts an interactive digital display.
Arguably one of the best air conditioners you can buy, the Royal Split AC – BA12RSA is in a unique class of its own. This air conditioner delivers cool brilliance while making sure you’re well-protected thanks to its excellent low-voltage starter that guards against damaging electrical and mechanical shocks on the system. You can enjoy a beautiful night’s rest while it’s working as its sleep mode adjusts the temperature at intervals.
The appearance of mold in the indoor unit of an AC unit can be quite annoying. Fortunately, Royal 2HP Floor Standing AC (KA2RFA) comes with an anti-fungus function that effectively blocks molds from forming. Its auto-restart function has been programmed to sustain humidity at comfortable levels. In addition, this particular unit comes with a free installation kit and a 2-year warranty.
Feel a rush of efficient cooling with Royal Floor Standing Air Conditioner – HW3FAC-INV. This AC unit is energy-efficient and ozone-friendly. It features pure copper condensers, 30-seconds faster cooling, and an interactive temperature indicator that ensures it continues to deliver consistent cool airflow.
Royal 1HP Split AC – MF18RSA instantly transforms your living room into an ozone of frosty coolness. The AC features a high-density filter, perfect for ensuring the room contains fresh and clean air. It has a 2-way drainage that stops water from ever clogging the unit while it operates. You can also sleep easy with the unit’s low-noise function and remain safe and secured with its fireproof electronic box. This unit also ensures your electric bills are considerably lower with its energy-efficiency.
An air conditioning unit can save you lots of stress when the weather is hot and temperatures are rising. Aside from cooling your enclosed environment, they can also be beneficial to your health while protecting your electronics from overheating. There are various types and models of AC’s, including stand air conditioners, the split unit variants, and the window AC’s. Each one functions differently from the other. There are quite a number of things you should consider before choosing to buy an air conditioner and we hope that this AC buying guide has covered most of them. Do contact us if you have any questions.