Choose the Best Air Conditioning System for Your House
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
In modern times life is comfortable even in the hottest and most humid times and places all thanks to the state of the art Air conditions up for grab. It removes heat from confined space and therefore cools the space and removes humidity especially in the super hot urban spaces. But it is absolutely necessary to have some basic insight about different types of air conditioners and what is best suitable as per your requirements.
Choosing the air conditioner suitable for your home may depend on some critical factors how large the area is to be cooled, the total heat generated inside the home, electricity consumption, budget etc. An HVAC designer would consider all the related parameters and suggest the most suitable system for your home.
Here we are going to guide you on how to choose an air conditioner for home.
Before you come to know the AC buying tips, let’s look at the various air conditioner options that are available for home.
Types of Air Conditioner for Home
01. Window Air Conditioner
Most of the apartments in the urban societies have this type of Air Conditioner. It is best suitable for a single room and small spaces. It consists of four parts: Compressor, Condenser, Expansion Valve or Coil, Evaporator or Cooling Coil. It comes as a single unit and looks like a box. This unit is fitted in a slot made in the wall of the room, or more commonly on window sill as there is an immediate external unit.
It needs special installation like a wooden plank or a metal frame for support.
Pros: It is cost effective and it is not much of an effort to get this installed.
Cons: This type is not very effective on cooling especially during peak summer months. It only works well for smaller rooms. It also creates unpleasant noise. The window is blocked and cannot be used even in the wintertime.
02. Split Air Conditioner
Now when we split the condenser (Outdoor Unit) from the Indoor Unit, it is called Split Air Conditioner.
The split air conditioner consists of two parts:
Outdoor Unit: The outdoor unit is fitted outside the room and comprises of three parts like Compressor, Condenser and Expansion Valve.
Indoor Unit: The indoor unit comprises the Evaporator or Cooling Coil and the Cooling Fan. You need to make arrangements in wall to take water out from indoor unit.
Pros: Split AC has aesthetic appeal. They are best suitable for bigger rooms. They do not take up as much space as a window AC and the window can be used for the fresh air and sunshine. A split air conditioner can be used to cool one or two rooms. They are less noisy.
Cons: They are expensive than the Window AC. If the installation of AC is faulty you may face Clogging and backflow of the exhaust pipe. If the appropriate place for the installation is not picked, the pipes can be long and visible in the room which may not look very impressive.
Well, for your better understanding and for ease of choice we have written a comparison on Window and Split Air Conditioner.
03. Central Air Conditioning
Central air conditioning is best suitable for cooling big complexes, houses, offices, hotels, movie theatres, factories, etc. HVAC engineers suggest this for the big houses where whole place need to be air conditioned. Here rather than investing on individual unit and managing them separately it operates as one big unit. A central air conditioning system consists of a large compressor that can produce hundreds of tons of air conditioning and a uniform cooling.
Pros: Most effective for bigger spaces. Works well for the décor as no unit is visible only AC ducts are there which can be hidden behind false ceilings.
Cons: Installation and maintenance is expensive. This is absolutely not recommended for small apartments. In case of any faults the entire house will be without Air Conditioning till it is not repaired.
You must have heard so many things about Air Conditioning, but there are many myths and facts. To know in detail about the myths and facts of AC, go through this blog.
04. Inverter Air Conditioner
Inverter Air Conditioner is a new version of AC that is slightly expensive but energy-efficient. Inverter Air Conditioner keeps adjusting the speed of the compressor to ensure precise cooling without frequent stopping and starting. The cooling capacity and the amount of energy required are automatically adjusted, depending on the room’s temperature. This results in energy efficient cooling and enhances the durability of the spare parts. Inverter AC is available in the Split AC format.
Pros: It is almost 30% to 50% cheaper to run. Voltage doesn’t fluctuate due to compressor. This type of AC can be run on solar panels. It is a lower power consumption AC. It is suitable for both large and small rooms
Cons: Not very efficient in extremely hot temperature (over 45 degrees C). Repair and maintenance is relatively expensive.
05. Portable Air Conditioner
Portable AC is a dream come true to actually take your AC wherever you go. It is a small mobile air conditioner which doesn’t need any installation. It is portable and can be easily moved from room to room. It works well in apartment where a window unit is unacceptable. It is a good choice for temporary building use, in buildings that do not have a window opening.
Pros: No installation is required. It can be kept away when not in use. It is available in different sizes thus suitable for both small and big rooms. As technology advances new cost effective and small units are also available.
Cons: As it is one single unit, it makes more noise. Electricity consumption is more as compared to other types. There is a drain tank which needs to be cleaned regularly.
These are various options available out there. Now if you want to know how to choose best AC for home, look at some factors given by Gharpedia. When you have to decide upon the best suitable choice there are some other variables which are very critical to ponder upon:
Room Size and AC Capacity
Your needs, home layout, location, design all matters. The size of the room is important to consider before going for a specific type or capacity of the Air conditioner. As a small unit will not be effective in cooling the entire room and a bigger unit will consume more power and the compressor will trip more often.
Indoors/Outdoors AC Unit
Not only the size but the interiors of any room should also be considered before making up your mind. Like if your room has a window opening to a beautiful view blocking it with a window AC is definitely not a very smart idea.
Different individuals have different types of needs. Some of us are more comfortable with a single unit cooling the entire house on the other hand some maybe more comfortable in separate units for each room. Not only this but other considerable factors like air tightness of building, Insulation installation, and lights and other appliances which emits heat. Not to underestimate the layout of the house as it will be critical to see which type of system will be more efficient to cool the key areas of the house.
The effectiveness of an air conditioner can be measured by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). Knowing the EER is simple. It is the ratio of the cooling capacity (in British thermal units [Btu] per hour) to the power input (in watts). The air conditioner is efficient if the EER is high. You should always look for the ENERGY STAR label, when buying a new room air conditioner.
Air Filters of Air Conditioner
The air filters of the AC plays a very critical role in keeping you and your loved ones safe from dust, pollens and other small particles and also protecting the unit from big particles. There are different types of filter available like anti- bacterial, fibre glass, dust filter, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, UV filter. Filters needs to be cleaned and replaced periodically to maintain the functional effectiveness.
There are some places where summers are extremely hot and winters are very chilly. For places like that we have hot and cold Air conditions which work on the reverse cycle technology. This type of system saves your extra cost of heating system buying, installation and maintenance. It keeps the room at a comfortable temperature in both the situations.
Dehumidifier is the best feature for the rainy days as it will keep the air cool and dry in the room.
Sleep mode in AC
The smart systems in AC can adjust the temperature as per your sleep cycle and comfort along with reducing the power consumption and making it more cost effective.
Wifi Connectivity in AC
There are wireless wifi which enables air conditioners are also available. Of course the time has changed and we need more comfort. These AC can be switched on even before you enter the home from your mobile so that you can comfortably step in cool home from the hot tiring day.
Auto clean function can keep the indoor unit free from the growth of Micro organisms by evaporating the moisture inside it. Activation of this feature can provide you with cleaner and healthier air.
Besides AC buying tips, Gharpedia has also given some tips to get hygienic air from an air conditioner.
Budget & Brand of AC
Some famous brands available in India suitable for all different price range are LG, Samsung, Daikin, Carrier, Voltas, Whirlpool, Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi etc.
Maintenance of AC
Regular cleaning of filters is required for keeping the system effective. Apart from this the periodic cleaning of indoor and outdoor unit coils to avoid clogging and energy drain is also a must.
Follow these tips to buy air conditioner and choose air conditioning system wisely. Choose the air conditioner that meets your requirements and hence enjoy using it but also take care of it. Before investing look for all the features and opt for what is best as a cheap solution can be temporary relief and a big expense in the future. Buy smart and live serene!
Hope this article on how to choose an air conditioner for home will make your AC buying task easy.
And if you are thinking of installing an air conditioner in your home, then these articles are must-read for you.