Air Conditioner AC Buying Guide

AC Buying Guide

(Last Updated On: June 20, 2020)

In the modern era, Air conditioners have common appliances in offices, homes, and even in vehicles. Air Conditioners are one of the essential parts of our daily life. The heat has severe consequences for human health that makes the air conditioner a ubiquitous part of their life and making it a worthwhile investment.

There are many factors like price, energy efficiency, size, and much more that you should consider while purchasing an AC. Buying a new AC or replacing the current one in your house is one of the most significant decisions you need.

Choosing the right and the correct AC that can provide the perfect cooling for your room and the weather of your city can be tough sometimes. You do not end up with an AC that is too small to run the entire day to keep your room fresh or too large that it cannot remove the humidity from your place.

Purchasing an electronic asset is not only a long term investment but also a monetary one. That is why it is good to opt for the right option. There are many brands and product offerings available in the market.

7 Factors Need to Consider While Purchasing an AC

1. Energy Efficient

You should always choose a room conditioner that consumes very little energy and provides better cooling. The energy efficiency rating of Ac with more stars consumes less electricity than the lower star rating.

2. Noise Test: 

Before purchasing any AC, you should always do a noise test. The Ac models with excellent ratings have only the sound of the running fan. But the models with lower or just fair scores may disturb the light sleepers as well as the normal sleepers at all speeds.

3. Window Air Conditioners 

The window air conditioners are good at blowing air in one direction. This option is suitable only when your window is at the center of the wall because it will blow the air uniformly to the right and the left of your room. If you don’t have a window in the center of your room, you can purchase an AC that has swiveling fan arms.

4. Capacity

In this modern era, capacity is one of the essential aspects of air conditioner capacity while purchasing an Air Conditioner. A 1 ton AC can efficiently cool the room of size 140 sq. Ft. while for bigger rooms, you need a 1.5 ton or a 2 ton AC. If you wish to save your electricity bill, you should always choose the right size of your AC for your room.

5. Air Quality

The AC should contain the best dehumidification unit to reduce the humidity of your room. Better is the dehumidifier, better and increased cooling the AC gives. Another thing to look out for it is the filter. The excellent filter improves the cooling and the efficiency of the AC. Thus, dehumidifier and filter play an essential role in the Air Conditioners.

6. Product price, installation, and maintenance

The performance of an AC depends upon how we install it. So, you should always get the AC installed by an authorized professional. Support is a vital aspect to check on while buying. Some AC’s require more maintenance while some require less.

7. Cooling Speed

Air-conditioners with adjustable thermostats, two fans, and variable speed will help you get different settings at different times of the day, which means you can consume the least power. There are many predefined settings in the Air Conditioners that give you better cooling and thereby saving more energy. The AC with more stars has advanced cooling options and has the variable fan speed too. Its noise level is also less, and it has an auto-clean feature. We should consider the auto-clean element while purchasing an AC.

How Does AC Works?

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Two concepts can explain the working of the air conditioner. One must check out the more uncomplicated and scientific explanation both. Let us have words regarding the simpler.

Heat and cold are compatible with each other. The absence of cold is heat and vice versa. The Air Conditioner works on the same principle by removing the room’s temperature; hence, the places become colder. The air conditioners do not generate cooling, but they eliminate the heat, thereby cooling the rooms.

Here comes the scientific explanation now. There are three principles involved in the working of the Air Conditioner. They are Evaporation, Condensation, and Compression.

Evaporation is the process of converting liquid into water vapors, and the condensation is a process of transformation of water vapor into liquid. Compression is the process of reduction in the volume of the substance.

The AC contains a refrigerant gas, and the foremost step in working with AC is the compression of the refrigerant gas. This gas then turns into a hot liquid and that too of high pressure.
The hot liquid goes through the coil of the condenser, and this is the step where the heat escapes and thereby cooling the fluid that is still under high pressure.
The expansion wave converts the high-pressure liquid into low-pressure liquid. This low-pressure liquid flows from the evaporator coils of the AC, absorbing the heat from the room.
The liquid once again gets converted into gas. With the absorption of heat, the room gets more relaxed. So, you should shut the windows so that you do not increase the existing temperature in the room.
The refrigerant gas comes back into the original form, and the process keeps on repeating continuously.

Type of AC

There are three types of AC.

1. Window AC

The Window Air Conditioners refers to those AC’s which we install in a window. We fit them by creating a hole in the wall of your home. These Ac’s are well suited for the apartments and the single level rooms. There are many different AC sizes available, and you buy them according to your window size. More is the size of the window; more is the cold air generated. The Window Ac is straightforward to install and is ideal for cooling one room.

2. Split AC

Does your home contain no ductwork? As the Split AC, also known as the ductless AC or mini-split systems, is the solution for the people looking for a more permanent cooling solution apart from the window AC. We install two air conditioning units. It means that the split AC features two units: indoor and outdoor. We use these ACs to cool more substantial rooms and have higher installation costs than the Window AC.

3. Portable AC

A portable air conditioner is an AC that can be wheeled into a room and easily positioned on the floor. They are an excellent temporary cooling solution and are one of the best solutions for cooling smaller spaces. They are so light weighted that we can move them from one place to another. The portable AC requires a specially crafted vent for the exhaust hose.

Room Size and Other Key things

1. Room Size

According to the size of the room, a person should buy the air conditioner. There are three types of size of the room, i.e., small, medium, large. 

If the size of the room is 120 square feet, then it is categorized under small rooms that are small bedrooms, study rooms, etc. requiring up to 1.2-ton ac. 1.2 ton of AC will efficiently cool the minor places. 

If the size of the room is 120-179 square feet, then it is categorized under medium rooms. 
Medium rooms include big bedrooms and require 1.2 ton to 1.7 ton AC. 
If the room’s size is more than 180 square feet, then it is categorized under large rooms. 
Large rooms include living rooms, and it requires more than 1.8 ton AC to cool the room.

2. Noise Level

If the person is a light sleeper or there is an infant in the room, a loud AC can be a disturbance to them, and they won’t be able to sleep properly. So, a person needs to check the noise level, especially for window ACs. However, the people who are a light sleeper may be best for them to buy a split AC in this case as split ACs don’t make noise.

3. Average city temperature/weather

The ambient temperature of the city is also critical in determining which type of AC a person will require. If anyone is living in harsh summers, the person may need a 1.5- or 2-ton AC even for the medium-sized rooms as it will be able to cool the room properly.

4. The number of occupants

It depends on how many occupants are there in a room. If more people are in a place, it will add more heat to the office, whereas a 1.2 ton AC won’t be able to cool the room properly. If we crowd the room, then it requires a more reliable unit of ACs.If there are fewer persons in a room, then it will need fewer air conditioners.

Smart home compatibility: Many intelligent features in an air conditioner will help the person to connect easily with other smart devices such as smartphones, Wi-Fi, etc. It helps the person to operate the air conditioner efficiently. There are many new features in the air conditioner, which makes it more efficient.

Energy Star Rating

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An energy star rating is related to power consumption. The BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) has made a method of rating the air conditioner that is known as the Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The rating of the air conditioner varies from 1 to 5 stars. Higher the star is given to an air conditioner; then, it will consume less power, further reducing the electricity bill. One should always opt for an air conditioner with higher ratings. Mainly, there are two types of materials used in the compressor of the Air Conditioner: copper and Aluminum. Copper compressors are more efficient than those of Aluminum. Hence a person should always purchase the air conditioners that have compressors made of Aluminum.

Aluminum or Copper Coil 

Air conditioners are the ones that give relief to all the persons in the summer weather. One of the essential things that a person considers is that the Air Conditioner will not hurt their pocket. Apart from the other factors, there is one old factor that a person still should consider is to choose from Aluminium coil or Copper coil. You will get to know here.

Speed Factor

If we consider the cooling speed factor, then the Air Conditioner with copper coil cools much faster than that of the Aluminium coil.

Copper Vs Aluminum

The copper corrodes much slower than that of Aluminum; it is the same with the Air Conditioners. An aluminum coil will destroy much faster and further, leading to the Air Conditioner’s small life span.

Durability

The Air Conditioners with copper coil will lead to more durability than that of Air Conditioners with an aluminum coil.

Pros & Cons

If the coil gets damaged, then the copper coil can easily be repaired, but we can not repair aluminum one quickly.

Costing

The air conditioners with copper coil are more expensive than that of air conditioners with an aluminum coil. You should always know that the loop in the AC is Aluminum or copper.

Reciprocating Vs. Rotary Compressors

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The compressors are essential components of the AC unit. It is the heart of the group. Hence, one should also know how the compressor works.

The compressor’s principal and first job in an air conditioner are to compress the refrigerant gas to high pressure, thereby converting it into a high-pressure liquid at high temperature. This high-pressure liquid then passes through the condenser coils that take out the heat from the cash and release it to the surroundings.

However, the pressure remains high during the process. The compressor’s expansion valve then reduces the stress and converts the liquid into gas that subsequently passes through the evaporator coils. The evaporator coils quickly absorb the heat from the room and then cools the rooms.

Two major types of compressors we use in the Air Conditioner units.

Reciprocating compressor

The reciprocating compressor is very similar to the engine of the automobile. Cylinder and piston is the base of its working. The piston works in the forth motion, that further results in compression and after that releasing the gas.

Rotary compressor

The arrangement in the Rotary compressor consists of several rotors that must have clearance. Rotary rotates in the opposite direction, whereby the air passing through them emerges at a higher pressure.

Pros of Reciprocating Compressors

They are straightforward to maintain as compared to the rotary compressors.
Reciprocating compressors are capable of working at high pressures.

Cons of Reciprocating Compressors

The noise level is very high and is not suitable for those persons who are light sleepers.
The air that comes out at a high temperature.

Pros of Rotary Compressors 

It is suitable for massive places such as offices and industries.
The noise level is shallow.
Air comes out at lower temperatures.

Cons of Rotary Compressors 

The air conditioner with rotary compressors is much more expensive as compared to the other.
Higher usage is mandatory for optimum working.

Inverter or Non-Inverter AC

The inverter technology compressor helps to adjust it according to the person’s needs. The inverter technology compressor changes its frequency according to the room temperature. If a person is looking for a long-lasting and more energy-efficient, then it is worth investing.

Cooling technology:

In inverter ACs, there is a variable speed compressor that bends according to the room temperature. In non-inverter ACs, there is nothing like that on and off.

Price:

The price of the inverter ACs is more as compared to the non-inverter ACs.

Cooling speed:

The room gets cooled much faster when there is an inverter Ac. But the time taken by non-inverter AC to cool the place is more.

Noise:

The noise by the Non-Inverter ACs is much, whereas there is less noise generated by the Inverter ACs.

Compressor Life:

The life of the compressor is more of the inverter AC as compared to that of Non-Inverter AC.

Advantages of Inverter AC:

The electricity consumed less by the inverter AC results in the reduction of the person’s monthly bill.
The inverter AC gives the consistent cooling to the room as the compressor varies its speed according to the temperature of the room.
The inverter ACs also have a longer life span as compared to the non-inverter AC.

Features

In this advanced world, the air conditioner is getting advanced by adding many extra features to it. It ultimately benefits the person. Some of the unique features are:

Wi-Fi Compatibility

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Now, there is a feature of Wi-Fi pre-installed in the air conditioners, which grants wireless access to the air conditioners even when they are not at home.

Self-clean Feature

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The person does not have to clean the air conditioners’ filter as there is a brush across the screen that automatically cleans the dirt sitting on the wings.

Activity Sensors

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This is one of the best features in the air conditioners as it monitors the activity in the room and reduces the energy while the person is not in the place.

Voice Command Facility

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In some air conditioners, there is a voice command facility that allows the person to control the air conditioner hands-free, through their voice.

App Control

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Now, the different company of air conditioners is making their applications for the smartphone. It allows the person to control their conditioner with their smartphones very easily.

All the features in the air conditioners have made it easier and more comfortable for the person.

Modes of operation of the AC units

Cooling Mode

Temperature and the fan speed setting of the AC is its dependency. Ideally, a person should keep the temperature of the air conditioner at 25 degrees centigrade. It is the most comfortable temperature to ensure maximum efficiency to the person.

Fan Mode

The compressor of the air conditioner remains off. A person saves energy in the process, but it does not result in the room’s cooling. A ceiling fan can do a much better job than that of an air conditioner working in fan mode.

Dry Mode

This is one of the ideal models that we use in a humid climatic condition like the type the person experiences in places near the sea. The purpose of using the dry mode is to remove the humidity from the air in the room, thereby further cooling the room. The fan runs at a lower speed and the compressor for a shorter duration in more extensive cycles. AC’s main objective is to remove the air’s humidity and not cool the room as such.

Energy Saver Mode

In this mode, the compressor shut down the air conditioner when the air temperature reaches the set level by the users in the thermostat. The fan of the air conditioner keeps on spoiling the maintained cooling of the room. After exceeding a specific temperature, the compressor starts functioning again. The compressor of the air conditioner consumes high-end electricity, as it oscillates between on-off state and consumes less power. It is thereby resulting in the reduction of the electricity bill.

Quick Cool Mode

It is not an electricity-saving option, and it will increase the electricity bill of the person. A few features in different air conditioners, where AC starts functioning at the set level of temperature (16 or 18 )degrees Centigrade as against the 25 degrees in the normal mode.

Sleep Mode

It is a specific feature in the air conditioner by which the AC increases the thermostat temp by 1 degree every hour until it raises the temperature by 2 degrees. At night, the exterior is already more aloof. Hence, this facility ensures that the person AC consumes less electricity.

6th Sense Cooling

A person has just seen the various working modes of an AC. Choosing the right style for their AC can go a long way in reducing their electricity consumption.

Air Conditioning Refrigerants

There are cases when you find that your AC does not deliver enough cooling. In this case, you need to replace the coolant. Here is the brief information about the refrigerant and the global warming potential:

RefrigerantGlobal Warming PotentialOzone Depletion Potential
R 221810Medium
R 410A2088Nil
R 32675Nil
R 134A1430Nil
R 2903Nil
R 600A3Nil

Conclusion

Coolant is refrigerant, which is essential for an air conditioner, the cooling factor. It works by taking the heat inside from the room and exhausting it outside. After eliminating the heat from the room, the air present in the room gets cold automatically. The coolant is in the form of gas.

The compressor current in the AC compresses the gas at very high pressure, and it converts air into the liquid. At such high pressures, the liquid is a very high temperature. Now, after this, the liquid goes through the condenser coils, and this is the place where the heat of the liquid becomes low, but the pressure remains high.

The high-pressure cold liquid relaxes through an expansion valve; thereby, the AC units reduce the stress. This liquid passed through the coils or the evaporator tubes. The freezing fluid absorbs the heat in the room, and hence the air in the room becomes cool. The fans that are present in the AC unit helps in maintaining the temperature,

Once the heat is absorbed, the liquid gets evaporated and is converted into gas once again. The process repeats simultaneously. It explains the working of the refrigerant, which is an essential component of AC.

The air conditioner is the most common and essential appliance to have in the summer season. Heat in summers is increased day by day due to global warming, and AC is a fast and attractive way to deal with the hot temperature. Air Conditioner makes survival easier and comfortable during summer. Before you buy the AC, there are several things to consider.

Read on and find the mentioned guide above to buy the one right product. So with this AC buying guide, one can easily buy the AC without facing any issue. All the essential features need to define themself to help you.

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