Air Conditioner buying made painless!

With increased affordability and soaring summer temperatures, the air conditioner, an appliance that was once considered a luxury is now a necessity within the common man’s reach. Lower prices due to technical advancements, lower maintenance costs competitive rates from a number of manufacturers have made air conditioners as affordable as ever. Let us help make your air conditioner shopping experience hassle free and pleasant. With so many options available in the market today, consider the following features in an AC before making a purchase.

Criteria

Window AC

Split AC/ Ductless AC

Central AC

1.

Appliance Assembly

A window AC is an appliance with the shape of a metal box that houses all AC components including compressor, condenser, evaporator etc. It requires a window or a reasonably large sized open vent in the external wall of the room to install.

Split AC also called Ductless AC’s consist of two split parts – Compressor/Condenser form the external unit whereas the evaporator forms the internal unit. The external unit is normally fitted outside the home or room and is responsible for passing the hot air in the environment and the internal unit that is attached to an interior wall lets in the cool air in the room.

A central AC is a kind of Split AC that centralizes the cooling and de-humidification of air before circulating it throughout the building via ducts in the walls of your home or office building. It does not require an internal unit as needed by traditional Split AC systems.

2.

Installation

Window AC’s can be easily installed and re-installed at a much lesser
cost whenever you change homes.

Ductless AC installation requires professional expertise and can be
expensive.

Central AC installation requires a professional and is a recommended
cooling solution only if you have the appropriate ducts and vents available
in the building.

3.

Noise efficiency

Can be quite noisy.

Less noisy as the noise producing component – the external unit is generally
placed away from the area being cooled.

Less noisy as the noise producing component – the external unit is
generally outside the home or in the attic.

4.

Cooling Efficiency and Capacity

Window AC’s cool individual rooms adequately. Cooling efficiency depends on room size, tonnage, insulation, number of people in the room and heat sources. Greater the size of the room more is the tonnage required. A small room of 120 sq ft room normally requires a .75 ton AC; A 121-150 sq ft room up to 1 ton; A 151-200 sq ft room – 1.5 ton & 251-400 sq ft room 2 ton and above. The options for Window AC’s with higher tonnage (> 2 tons) are quite restricted as it is difficult to fit all the advanced cooling hardware in a single unit. This can limit their cooling capacity in case of large rooms.

The cooling efficiency of a split AC is higher than Window AC; however the pipes connecting the external and internal units must be properly insulated. The tonnage data provided for window AC’s applies in all Split
AC’s including central AC’s too. They normally have no restrictions on the tonnage and cooling capacity. They can normally be used to cool multiple rooms in a home or office.

Central AC also has a much higher cooling efficiency than Window AC’s but ducts in the wall must be properly insulated. Central AC’s have no restriction on cooling capacity. They can cool a large number of rooms and
offices.

5.

Humidity Control

Less efficient than Split and Central AC’s in reducing humidity.

Split ductless and Central AC’s are more efficient in controlling/reducing a room’s humidity.

6.

Energy Efficiency

An AC’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) rating provides information about its energy efficiency regardless of its type. We discuss an Air Conditioner’s energy efficiency in considerable detail in our article – Tips and Tricks to reduce your AC’s power consumption.

7.

Space

Window AC’s are compact and use less space

Split ductless AC’s and Central AC’s require more space for the external unit and ducts or internal units.

8.

Aesthetics

Window AC’s can intrude on your building’s outer appearance as they protrude out of external walls.

Split AC’s look more modern and may provide a better look and feel for your home as the bulky external unit is normally hidden from view.

Central AC’s are least intrusive from an aesthetic view point. All you can normally see in your home or office are the vents that let the cool air in.

9.

Cost

Window AC’s are the cheapest options when you plan to cool individual rooms. The cost of maintenance and installation is generally cheaper too.Please bear in mind it is important to buy an AC of the right tonnage based
on room size in order to maximize efficiency

Typically cost slightly more than Window AC’s and less than central air conditioning systems. They are a good solution when you want to cool very large rooms or 2-3 small rooms on the same floor.

Central AC’s are most cost effective and energy efficient when you need to cool a large number of room and buildings with multiple floors but you need to look out for installation costs. Modern Central AC’s come with
thermostats and climate control features for individual rooms or floors allowing you to selectively cool certain rooms thus keeping power costs down.

If you would like to perform additional research, you can find specifications, data and costs of the latest air conditioners available in the Indian market place at Conzumr.com

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