How to choose right air conditioner.
Air conditioning is simple and obvious solution if you want to get rid from heat and humidity .But choosing the right kind of air conditioner out of so many options available these days is a tricky thing. So I will guide you in choosing the right one for your need.
First understand different kind of air conditioners available these days.
- Window ac
- Split ac
- Cassette ac
- Duct ac
- VRF or VRV ac
Window ac are usually most simple and cheapest kind of solution available. Also they should be your choice if you require frequent shifting as they are installed directly in window and their installation is simpler and non technical of all air conditioners. The downside is you need to have a window in your room plus their noise and vibrations is more compare to other. There are not many advancements either in the window air conditioners over the time.
Split air conditioners are two unit machines an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. Both units are connected with copper pipe. They are silent and vibration free compared to their window counterpart as their compressor is fitted outside the room. They give more flexibility as you can place indoor unit or fan unit at your exact desired spot in the room. Also they are aesthetically more pleasing. Split air conditioners are usually more costly to buy than their window counterparts but there are more innovations and advancements in split air conditioners like inverter technology [More on inverter technology later].
Cassette air conditioners are again two unit machines like split air conditioners. Their indoor unit or fan unit is mounted in the ceiling. They are obvious choice if there is no wall available for split ac. They often require false ceiling for proper installation.
Duct ac provide uniform cooling over large areas through a duct with cool air outlets at different points. They usually comes in larger capacity. They are usually recommended for larger commercial areas.
VRF (variable refrigerant flow) or VRV (variable refrigerant volume) air conditioners are new technology air conditioners where a single outdoor condensing unit works with multiple indoor or fan units. They work at variable speeds thus work at partial or needed load conditions at any given time. They are costlier than other kind of air conditioners but can result in greater power efficiency.
Next thing to decide is what capacity or how much tonnage ac you require.
The process of calculating the capacity or tonnage for your requirement is called heat load calculation. It takes into consideration several factors but mainly dependent on the area of your room.
As a basic rule of thumb for a 100 sq. ft. room you require 1 ton ac and for 150 sq ft room you require 1.5 ton ac. Few other factors to take into account are whether your room is on ground floor, middle floor or top floor and how big a window you have in your room and whether or not its sun facing. For ground floor you can work with slightly smaller ac on the other hand for top floor you require slightly bigger capacity ac. Similarly for larger sun facing windows you require slight increase in capacity. You also need to take into account how many heat producing appliances like TV, desktop or laptop are there in the room.
Taking energy efficiency/power consumption or star rating into consideration.
Apart from initial buying cost running an ac also include monthly power consumption bill which can run quite higher based on your usage. These days air conditioners like so many other home appliances are available according to star rating. Star rating which is provided by BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) is simply a way to tell how efficient a air conditioning machine is. It means more star a machine has more efficient it is. It simply means a 5 star product will consume less electricity than 3 star product for the same amount of cooling.
But that does not means you always run to buy a more star product. logic behind this is a more star rated product will always be more expensive to buy initially than less star rated product keeping all the other factors same. So you need to have enough usage to justify higher initial purchase cost. So you need to evaluate power consumption cost for your usage (This data is usually provided by the manufacturer) with the initial product cost before making a decision.
Finally a thing about refrigerants.
All air conditioners use refrigerants for cooling. Some older refrigerants like R-22 are soon to be phased out as they are hazardous to the environment. Manufacturers are now shifting towards newer environment friendly refrigerants like R-410A or R-32. We should avoid products using these older refrigerants and should look for products having newer environment friendly gases.