Between climate change and other factors directly related to the areas we live in, there is no denying that air conditioning is a great help for the hottest days. Older models had buttons and knobs for manual control, but today technology has taken them to a new level of automation that requires little user intervention. With so many types of air conditioners, the purchase options are practically unlimited.
The first units of air conditioners were noisy, consumed a lot of energy, had absurd sizes and weights, and the installation process was cumbersome. While the latter is still present in the most complex units, the rest are problems that have been forgotten.
Although the real problem arises for the average user who has no idea what all of these words refer to that are included in the device labels. BTU number, decibels, and other dates are not very specific to those who first heard of these terms.
The truth is that when it comes to air conditioning, those with the largest number are not always the best option for our room. If you don’t want to waste money on such a large investment, we will briefly guide you today so you can choose your ideal air conditioner.
Concepts that we have to deal with in air conditioning
It is important to let us know before making any decision when you make the purchase. Not everything that contractors tell you is true, so we should be ready to refute their suggestions. At the air conditioning system level, certain things are good to know:
– – Lifespan: Regardless of what types of air conditioners we get, it is most likely that their life expectancy will always be between 10 and 15 years.
– The size: Different models occupy different rooms inside or outside our house. This size is usually determined by the cooling capacity of the air, which in some countries can be measured in Jules, BTU, Kilocalories or even in refrigerators. If you want to have a rough idea of what size air conditioner you need, you can use a simple equation to calculate the cubic footage of your room (height x width x length) and multiply the number by 200. Obtain an approximate number of the necessary BTUs.
– decibels (dB): The decibel is the unit used to determine how much noise an object generates. For air conditioners, the optimum is 50 or less.
– Energy efficiency class (EER): Since they are devices with high energy consumption, they are marked with a series of stars, which indicate how efficiently the energy is used to cool the room.
– One or two stage compressors: The compressor is the most important part of the air conditioning system. This is responsible for cooling the hot air and making it the most expensive part of the equipment. There are two options for compressors: First, there is a stage that always operates at high speeds, which increases power consumption; while the two-stage speed changes, using only the essentials to cool the room.
Types of air conditioners on the market and which suits us
Built-in window air conditioner
Image source: Buildcom
A traditional air conditioner resting on an iron frame outside a window. This little option is perfect for houses and apartments, although it’s not as aesthetic as other alternatives.
Among the advantages of these types of AC devices, we find that they are easy to install for everyone, that their purchase and maintenance costs (as well as their energy consumption) are quite low, and that they offer many options at the level of designs and technologies, with larger ventilation slots , including filters of different shapes.
Image source: Virventures
Before buying this type of air conditioning, however, it must be taken into account that it is a large unit. Therefore, we need a substantial opening in the wall or window and good external support. In addition, the water generated by freezing the condenser drips into the back of the device.
Split air conditioning without channels for clean installations
Image source: OneBigOutlet
If we need to cool a room and there are no windows or rooms for portable units here, we can always install a split unit without channels. This system consists of an internal unit and an external unit, and the last one contains the compressors and fans. If you only connect one pipe, you can get it running.
The benefits are particularly notable for those who want to get the best visual appearance in the room and not just want to get rid of the noises they might cause. Since they do not need very complex channels, the installation is simple and safe.
Image source: Portugalia Sales Inc.
The problem with these units is that, unlike the centralized splits in every room we want to cool, we need a distribution unit and these units are not very quiet from the outside.
Portable air conditioners for easy installation
Image source: OneBigOutlet
In fact, it is possible to bring large air conditioners to the market that look like travel bags, since they have wheels at the bottom that can be easily moved between rooms. If, due to design constraints or because they’re not practical enough, we can’t choose any of the options above, these types of air conditioners are lifeguards.
Image source: AireMax
Due to their portability, they do not have to be left in the rooms every day. When the cold season begins, we can store them in a warehouse. In general, these air conditioners are relatively cheap and installation is the easiest of all options.
The problem is that with this simple installation, there is a risk that a window will remain slightly open, which can be dangerous. They also have a lower cooling capacity. One last detail is that they are not very aesthetically pleasing, although the latter has gradually changed with the arrival of new designs on the market.
Air conditioning systems with central stations have the greatest performance
This is the option we need to install on large buildings, shops or factories. The air with central systems is very similar to the individual splits. In this case, however, a single compressor is installed on the roof of the building, and the air is distributed to all rooms with a terminal via a series of ducts and ventilation slots.
This air conditioner can be controlled from the main thermostat and the air duct can be closed individually by blocking the ventilation slots.
As you can conclude, the main advantage of this centralized system is that it is so powerful that it can easily cover many rooms, be it buildings or houses. Energy efficiency is much higher since only one unit is needed. Internally, it’s a quiet system, and beyond the channels that the construction can hide, they’re practically invisible.
The bad thing is that obviously large ducts have to be installed, which increases the installation costs. In addition, the system alone is already expensive enough. Although all air conditioners need to be serviced, this is particularly difficult to do. It is therefore recommended that this is done by an expert every 3 or 5 years.
There are also evaporative coolers that are not air conditioners, but extremely useful for those who live in warm, dry climates Heat talk mentionedthey are best suited for the southeastern states
Don’t be afraid to buy air conditioning
Buying a new air conditioner can be difficult if we don’t have enough knowledge of how to sell it. The fear of being cheated by sellers who want to give us products that we don’t need is always there, but we can reduce it if we learn the basics.
Thanks to the large selection of air conditioners, it is not impossible to find one that meets your requirements. However, you need to carefully analyze whether that’s what you’re looking for. The general advice is always to buy an air whose performance is slightly higher than the minimum calculated for better temperature control.
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