How to choose the right Air Conditioner

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Choosing the best air conditioner may not be easy. What conditioner do you need? How much will it cost and how loud will it be? How to find the right model for your home?

What kind of air conditioner should I buy?

For most homes, a reverse-cycle split air conditioner will be the best option. Let’s analyze what it means, considering the different types of air conditioners and their costs.

Split air conditioners
These consist of two parts: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit, connected by pipes containing refrigerant gas. They are the most common type of air conditioner, and are good for a room or open space area up to approximately 60 square meters.

Multi-split air conditioners
Similar to split systems, but with one outdoor unit connected to two or more indoor units. Suitable for two or three rooms reasonably close together, especially when separate systems or a ducted system are not suitable. They are roughly in the same price range as equivalent separate split systems.

Ducted air conditioners
They have a discreet central unit connected by ducts to the vents, and to sensors in each room. Excellent for cooling or heating an entire house.

Wall/window air conditioners
They consist of a single box, installed adjacent to a window, or through an external wall. Suitable for rooms and open space areas up to 50 square meters. Smaller units can be plugged into a regular power outlet, while larger units may require additional wiring. They are not as efficient as split systems, but are generally less expensive.

Portable air conditioners
They consist of a single unit, which can be moved from room to room as needed. Most have a flexible duct, which must be connected to a window to let the heat escape outside. To be considered when an integrated option is not feasible, but not as efficient as split systems.

How do reverse cycle air conditioners work?

A reverse-cycle air conditioner can heat and cool – in fact, it’s one of the cheapest ways to heat your home in winter.

In cool mode, a split air conditioner extracts heat from the indoor air and conveys it to the outside, through the refrigerant gas present in the connecting pipes between the indoor and outdoor units. The outdoor unit releases the heat and pumps the cooled refrigerant to the indoor unit, where the cycle continues.
In heating mode, the process is simply reversed, to extract thermal energy from the outside air and send it inside (even in cold weather there is always some thermal energy in the outside air).

If you need an air conditioner only for cooling in the summer (for example, if you live in an area with mild winters or already have another heating system), then a cold only air conditioner could be for you. They are generally cheaper than reverse cycle models, but usually have the same features.

How big should the air conditioner be for my home?

Here is a rough guide to the size of the air conditioner you will need, for a particular room size.

Up to 20 square meters: 2-2.5 kW
20-40 square meters: 2.5-5 kW
40-60 square meters: 4-6 kW
60-80 square meters: 5-7 kW
80+ square meters: 6-9 kW

It is good to keep these parameters in mind:

Models that are too powerful for the size of the room can perform frequent short cycles to reach the desired temperature. This means that the room can become too cold or hot, and there is insufficient dehumidification, an increase in energy consumption and running costs and system wear.
Undersized models run more often at maximum power, which could dry out the air too much, and also create excessive wear.

So choose a model with equal or slightly larger capacity for the room. For example, if your room needs a 6 kW model, look for an air conditioner with a nominal cooling capacity of between 6 kW and 6.5 kW (approximately). It is always better to have a model slightly above the required capacity than slightly below it, but don’t go too far above the estimate.

Finally, here is the best air conditioners on the market: we are sure that among them you will find the one that best suits your needs, in light of what has been said so far.

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