With many different air conditioners on the market, it can be hard to determine which one will be right for your home. Air Conditioners generally fall under 5 different categories:
Best used for cooling one or more rooms or an open-plan area, split systems are a very popular choice. Providing better cooling than window and through-the-wall or portable air conditioners, they work by placing the cooling parts of the air con outside the house, while the head or inside parts contain only the fans. Professional installation is required, however, as well as the overall cost of purchasing a unit can be quite expensive.
Multi Split System
Generally used for commercial use, the multi split system has one outdoor unit (containing the motor) which powers multiple indoor units (containing the fans). The minimum efficiency performance (MEP) cannot be determined when more than one head is on.
Ideal for cooling multiple rooms or office buildings, ducted air conditioners have a large cooling fan and motor outside of the building, which pump cool air around the house through a duct system. Ducted air conditioning is the most expensive type and must be installed by a professional installer.
The cheapest form of air conditioning, portable air conditioners are small in size and have a lower power output. This also means they aren't all that great at keeping you cool. They can however be moved around the house to suit your needs.
Ideal for small rooms, box air cons are installed through a window or wall, and can often be installed without professional help. Complete air conditioners in one box, they are often bulky and can block out light if mounted in a window. Some people also find them unattractive.
What size do I need?
The number one priority when looking at buying an air conditioner should be size.
If you choose a model that is too small for the area, it will struggle. It will have to work harder, wasting energy and costing you money. Models that are too big for the space will make the room feel damp and humid, as the cooling system will create too much refrigerated air.
To work out the approximate size you will need to work well, you should use this formula:
• Bedroom: 0.080kW (80 watts) per square metre (length x width of room). For example, a 30m² room will need approx. 2.4kW of air conditioning.
• Living Room: 0.125kW (125 watts) per square metre (length x width of room). For example, a 30m² room will need approx. 3.75kW of air conditioning.
• Proximity to the kitchen and appliances increases a room's required cooling.
Air Conditioning Jargon
Reverse Cycle- A reverse cycle air conditioner can provide both heating and cooling by internally reversing its operation as required.
Inverter- An inverter can automatically alter motor and fan speeds. This will ensure your room will cool faster, as well as not having to switch on and off to maintain a constant temperature.
kW- Kilowatts (or kW for short) is the unit of measurement used to measure an air conditioners output capacity. It measures the amount of heat that will be added or removed to your room. Generally the weight, size and cost of the unit will increase as the amount of kilowatts increase.
Understanding Energy Efficiency
By law, all air conditioners must have an energy efficiency label. Cooling-Only air cons will have one blue band of stars to display energy consumption, compared to reverse cycle units, which have both a red band and blue band of stars, to indicate efficiency during heating and cooling (respectively).
The more stars a unit has, the more energy efficient the machine is.
Choosing a good installer
You should never attempt to install an air conditioner by yourself if you don't have the proper licenses. Not only could you cause harm to yourself, but you will void your warranty.
A good installer is very important. You want to make sure they will not only do a good job with the installation, but will be able to help if you have any issues or faults later on.
You should also consider asking them about the quality of their parts (e.g. piping etc). If an installer uses cheap parts to install your unit, it could affect the running cost and product life, as the machine will have to work harder to compensate.
ShopRite recommends only the best installers. With competitive pricing, great service and high-quality workmanship, you will most definitely be looked after.
Call ShopRite on 1300 650 214 for more information!