Air conditioners shopping checklist

We tell you the major factors to consider when you're buying an air conditioner

A typical wall-mounted air conditioner.

A typical wall-mounted air conditioner.

If you're buying an air conditioner there are some important factors that should dictate the size and type of unit that you purchase. Here are the considerations that are most important to think about when buying an air conditioner.

The size of the unit

Take into account how many rooms and the size of each room you want to air condition. Some rooms with carpet may take longer to cool down, but not as long to heat up when compared to a room with wooden floors. Mind you a bigger air conditioner doesn't necessarily mean it's better. As a rule of thumb you should use the following equation to help you calculate the right sized air conditioner for you : Length of Room (m) x Width of Room (m) x 173.446 = Watts of Refrigeration Required.

The type of unit

Whether you want the air conditioner to be a permanent fixture in your house, there are different types of units that could fulfil your needs. Portable to lug around from room to room, or fixed that will be installed in the one room.

Cooling only or reverse cycle

If you want an air conditioner that will only cool a room you should only think about looking into cooling-only air conditioners. But if you want one that both cools and heats a room then a reverse cycle air conditioner will do the job.

Location of the air conditioner

Take into consideration where you will install the air conditioner both indoors and outdoors. Also think about how close it might be to the neighbours and any noise the air conditioner will make. Make sure there is plenty of room around the outdoor unit so air can freely flow in and out of it. Installing the outdoor motor in a well shaded area is ideal for optimum operation. Without room for air circulation, the unit can overheat and damage itself. It's also a good idea to trim shrubbery and limbs back because they can cause damage if leaves or twigs are sucked into the outdoor unit.

Installation

Ask the retailer if they'll install the air conditioner and if the cost of installation is included in the price or if you'll have to hire someone to do the job for you.

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