Choosing The Right A/C
While having an air conditioner is pretty essential in many parts of Australia, getting the right one is vital. That’s particularly true as you expect the one you buy to be in use for many years so you want to be happy with its performance.
Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice:
The Right Type of System
A split system comprises of an outdoor unit that brings in cooler air and an indoor unit that distributes it. This is the most popular type of system and is suitable for a single room, an open-plan area or a few rooms that are close together.
A variation on this type is a multi-split system that has one outdoor unit and several connected indoor units, which can handle a larger property with several rooms. The most expensive and complex type is a ducted system that connects a central unit to air outlets with sensors in various rooms.
All these systems can be cooling only or may be reverse cycle so they can provide heating as well. Clearly, if you have a separate heating system or live in a warm part of the country, you can save money by going for cooling only.
Wall/window and portable systems are also available but are not as popular or effective.
The Right Size of System
Getting the correct system size will save you money. If it’s too small, it won’t be able to cool the required area and will work too hard trying so may have to be replaced early after incurring excessive energy costs. If it’s too large, you’ll pay for capacity you don’t need and the system may be switching on and off too frequently, causing unnecessary wear.
To ensure you get the right size of system, measure carefully. Calculate the area of each room to be cooled and then choose the appropriate capacity of air conditioner.
A 2-2.5 kW model will handle an area of up to 20 square metres while one of 6-9 kW will cover over 80 square metres. It’s important you get the right size because a smaller model may cost as little as $300 a year to run while the largest will cost twice as much.
Other factors need to be taken into account, such as the:
- Area of glass in a room and the extent of shading
- Orientation of each room, since those facing the sun most of the day will need most cooling
- Local climate and individual needs
- Amount of insulation, such as double-glazed windows and draught-proofed doors
Choose a model that can at least handle the area you want to cover or a little more. And, if you’re planning to extend the size of your property, allow for that.
All systems will have a number of options, some of which you will not need and will only add to the cost. Look for:
- The control method – whether via supplied remote that’s easy to use or a Wi-Fi function so you can use an app on your phone; the latter allows you, for example, to turn the system on before you arrive home.
- Operating modes that may supply heating and cooling automatically depending on the temperature or include an economy mode to reduce energy use.
- Variable fan settings that affect the speed of cooling as well as noise levels.
- Sensors that switch the air conditioning on only when movement is detected.
- Air filters to remove contaminants from the air.
- Self-cleaning to prevent mould build-up.
You also need to consider if the system is quiet enough, if it uses ozone-friendly refrigerant, where you will put the units and if a model is suitable for the local climate. It is a lot to think about and it’s easy to overlook something.
At Project HVAC, however, we take great care to ensure our customers get the best system for their individual needs.
We’ll measure and assess, consider every factor and recommend exactly the right system for you. We’ve been doing this a long time so you can be sure you’ll be happy with whatever we install.