Air conditioning units make a superb addition to any home when the warmer months arrive. They help to maintain a comfortable environment around the home, allowing you to go about your everyday business as usual. What’s more, with so many different makes and models now available on the market, you should be able to find one that’s just right for your needs.
However, with so much variety available, it can be difficult to know for certain which air conditioning unit is best for you. With that in mind, we have created a quick and simple guide of all factors to consider when choosing the right air conditioning unit for you.
Consider the space
The first factor to think about is how large the space is that you’re hoping to invest in air conditioning for, along with how far you want to air conditioning to reach. A small studio apartment will require a completely different unit compared with a large Victorian house, for example, so make a note of how many rooms you will need the air conditioning to reach.
You should also worth noting whether the space is bright or shady, how many people typically use the space and what it is used for, along with any other appliances in the space that could add heat to it.
Together, information on all of these factors will help you whittle down the choice of units on the market, to those which are most suitable for your requirements.
British thermal units (Btu)
The power of an air conditioning is measured in Btu, and the range is quite significant. Use your notes on the space to determine how much Btu is required for your own air conditioning unit. For example, if you’re planning on positioning your air conditioning unit in a kitchen, it’s recommended that you add an extra 4,000 Btu capacity to the average power needed for your size space.
Top tip: Most living rooms or bedrooms require between 5,000 and 8,000 Btu for effective cooling.
Get to grips with each type of unit
There are four different types of air conditioning units on the market – portable, window air conditioners and split ductless air conditioners.
Portable air conditioning units
These units don’t need to be installed and can be moved from room to room, wherever it is required. You will need to place the hose out of a door or window in order for the unit to release heat outside of the space it’s trying to cool.
- They can be moved around easily from room to room
- Have enough power to cool most spaces
- No need for professional installation
- They can be quite unattractive compared to other units
- You face security issues if you leave them running when you’re out of the house
- They cannot extend their cooling to other rooms within the house
Window air conditioning units
Window air conditioning units are installed into a window frame, one part sitting within the home and the other part sitting outside on the other side of the wall. They blow hot air outside and cool air inside.
- Unit is installed off the floor, leaving plenty of space for other furniture
- They are semi-portable, in that they can be installed into another window in another room if necessary
- Cheaper to run than portable air conditioning units
- They take up a lot of window space and can block light or look unappealing
- Similarly to portable units, they can only cool one space at a time in the home
Split ductless air conditioning units
These systems consist of an outdoor system and multiple indoor hubs positioned in different spaces throughout a house.
- Ability to cool multiple rooms throughout one home at any given time
- These models are usually very quiet
- Aesthetically pleasing, without blocking out any light
- Certainly the most expensive type of air conditioning unit available
- Of the three units available, this is the one that will most likely require expert installation
This is a very brief overview of the different types of air conditioning units available to you, but it should give you some indication as to the best option for you and your own specific needs.
Think about energy efficiency
It’s possible that you may be running your air conditioning unit for long periods of time, particularly during the summer months. That’s why it is so important to consider the energy efficiency of a unit you’re thinking about investing in.
The energy star rating helps consumers to understand just how efficient an air conditioning unit is. Units are rated out of 5 stars and those rated at 5 stars are known to cool a space much more efficiently than other lower rated units.
If you plan to use your air conditioning unit to its full potential, consider looking for a 5 star rated unit to save yourself plenty of money in the long run. For anyone who won’t be using it often, the energy efficiency rating won’t be as big a factor as others, but it is certainly worth considering all the same.
Extra features could prove beneficial
Here are a few additional features that are available with some types of air conditioning units. Have a think about these features and if any are potentially useful to you, you might find it worthwhile investing a little extra money to having these features to hand.
- Variable fan speeds – allowing you to pick and choose how powerful the unit is at any given time. Some units also provide a fan only option, which simply circulates air around the room without cooling it.
- Dehumidifier – ideal for anyone looking to make use of the system year round, as opposed to just in the warmer months. A unit with an additional heat mode would also work well for this type of use.
- Remote control – change the settings with the touch of button from where you’re sat, rather than having to get up and use the buttons on the unit itself.
- Timer – Choose when you want the unit to start up and when you want it to switch off. This is perfect for anyone who works during the day, or perhaps someone investing in air conditioning for their summer home, for example.
- Night mode – Designed to lower the fan speed as you sleep and to increase the temperature gradually over time, to prevent you from waking up too cold.
We hope you find this beginner’s guide to air conditioning units helpful and that it gives you a clearer direction of which units you should consider investing in. For more detailed advice and information on air conditioning units, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly, professional team.