The summer is approaching, and it is the time to have some refreshing drinks and some soft food items, which will keep our body cool. But what about comfort! Yes, air conditioning comfort is one of the best comfort, which you need right now, during the summer. From metros to trains, and from homes to offices, everything is air-conditioned. Once you are under comfort, you can also work hard, and can also use your creativity at its best. Are you planning to make your room air conditioned in the upcoming summer season! You have a number of great air conditioners to choose from. People living in the seasonal countries like India and other hot/humid regions need to know in detail about the technology used in the AC (Air conditioners) before planning to buy one.
Air Conditioners are available in numerous categories, and I will be talking about the ways to choose the most appropriate air conditioner for your requirements. I will not talk about a particular brand or the manufacturer, as it more important to know the underlying technology behind the device, which can help you to take your decision more judiciously.
It’s only after that, you can go for your favorite brand, depending upon, how good the service is of the brand in your area, the price, and other similar aspects. But, the point to be noted is–a good service always plays an important role, in case of air conditioners. I am not an expert but have some knowledge related to how the air conditioners work and after doing some basic research, I am writing this article, to share my knowledge with all of you.
Air Conditioner Buying Guide
Split or Windows
The first question, which you will face, at the time of purchasing an air conditioner, by the salesman, is whether you want a split or a window air conditioner. In most of the cases, you might find split air conditioners are more popular compared to that of window air conditioners, as split air conditioners are completely new to the market, and have comparatively better energy efficiency ratios or EER.
In case of window air conditioner, all the units, which include the compressor, the evaporator, the condenser, and the controller at present within a single unit, which makes it more compact, compared to that of split air conditioners, which come with 2 units, where one unit houses the compressor and the condenser, which is outdoor unit, and the indoor unit houses the evaporator, and the control unit of the complete system.
In all the air conditioners, the compressor unit turns hot, due to the working principle of the conditioner. I will not discuss anything technical about the working principle of air conditioners and does don’t ask why the compressor becomes hot. As in case of window air conditioners, the compressor is present very close to the cooling unit or the evaporator, the performance of the air conditioner might reduce, which in turn affect the efficiency, by causing a recursive effect. The heat of the compressor gets transmitted to the cooling unit or the condenser, through the air, which needs to be further cooled, thus, consuming more electricity.
But in case of split conditioners, the compressor unit is placed at the distance from the indoor unit, and thus, the heat of the compressor does not affect the cooling efficiency in any way. In most of the cases, the outdoor unit of split air conditioners is kept on the roof, or anywhere else at a distance from the room to be cooled, or simply the indoor unit.
Noise during operation
The compressor unit is supposed to make a lot of noise, though the newest models make less noise compared to that of the old models. As in case of window air conditioners, the compressor unit will be very close to your room, you may be disturbed by some noise, which is not the same in case of split your conditioners, as compressors are kept at a distance from the room.
As far installation is concerned, it is very easy to install window air conditioners, as the only thing, which you need is a hole within the window, to position the air conditioner. But in case of split your conditioners, professional technicians can only help in the process of installation, and thus, in many cases, you may have to pay extra for the installation. Though, I will not recommend you to go for window conditioners just because it is easy to install, as split air conditioners are far better.
By choosing split air conditioners, you can get a wide range of choices, which is another reason I will recommend going for it conditioners. Being a technical guy, I must mention most split air conditioners nowadays come with IoT, which can help you control your air conditioner with the help of your smartphone, either from within or outside your house. Though you should take your own decision by keeping your budget, and your requirements in mind.
Inverter or Non-inverter
Since the last few years, inverter air conditioners are highly popular among consumers, as they are advertised to consume less power compared to that of the most highly rated 5 stars guys. The thing is correct, according to the technical point of view, but you should only go for inverter air conditioners only if you need them. After reading the section, you can decide whether you really need an inverter air conditioner or a normal one.
The difference between an inverter and the non-inverter air conditioners
Before moving on to the details about whether it is going to be great for you, let’s find the difference between the working principle of the inverter and the non-inverter air conditioners. The normal non-inverter air conditioners come with fixed speed compressors, which means the speed of the compressors cannot be changed. There are 2 states of the compressor. Either the compressor will be turned on, or off. There will be no in between. But the inverter your conditioners come with variable speed compressors, which gives it a lot of extra advantages, which will be discussed.
Let’s consider a scenario. You have set your conditioner to 25°C, and outdoor or the ambient temperature is 33°C. Now in both the cases, your compressor will start working, so that the room temperature comes to the setpoint or 25°C. It will take some time for both the compressors to attain 25°C, and once it achieves that, the compressor of the non-inverter air conditioner will stop, while the compressor of the inverter your conditioner will not stop but will run with a controlled speed.
Now, you might think, it is of no use to keep the compressor on, while the desired temperature is attained. But, once the temperature goes above a certain threshold, for example, 27°C, the compressor of the non-inverter air conditioner will again start, which will consume a huge amount of power, just like other electrical instruments, which consume a lot of power at its startup.
But the picture will be different in case of the inverter air conditioner, as the compressor is already running at a controlled speed, which will not allow the temperature to go above the desired setpoint. Though it will keep on consuming power, the non-inverter compressor will turn on and turn off several times, which will eventually add up to your electricity bill.
Thus, if the power consumption is calculated on a cycle of 7 to 8 hours, it has been seen that inverter air conditioners consume 25 to 30% less electricity compared to that of non-inverter ones.
Which is the best
Now, you might make up your mind to go for an inverter air conditioner, but hold on! The savings, which you can get by using your air conditioner for 7 to 8 hours is not that considerable, but if you use your conditioner for more than 13 to 14 hours, you can find a considerable difference between the electricity consumption of an inverter air conditioner and a non-inverter air conditioner.
Thus, if you want to live under your conditioning comfort for more than 14 to 15 hours a day, inverter air conditioners are surely going to make a huge difference in the electricity bill for you, but not for those, who are planning to use it only at night, or for 6 to 7 hours a day.
As far as prices of inverter air conditioners are concerned, they are considerably high, compared to that of non-inverter air conditioners. The inverter air conditioners will give you an extra advantage in the coming years. It has been seen that inverter air conditioners with the same tonnage, might cost you Rs.5,000 – 7,000 more than that of non-inverter air conditioners with the same tonnage.
But I will always say, inverter air conditioners are more eco-friendly compared to that of non-inverter ones, as they can save electricity, which is not only good for your budget, but it is also helpful for the environment by preserving the natural resources.
Advantages and disadvantages of Copper unit or aluminum unit
At the time of purchasing air conditioners, you will be asked by the shopkeeper, whether you need a copper unit or an alloy unit. Do not confuse the term alloy which is the mixture of two metals, but alloy unit here refers to the aluminum unit. In case of alloy units, the condenser will be made of aluminum, while it will be made from copper, in case of copper units. Both has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Copper being a good conductor of heat, it is more efficient compared to that of alloy or aluminum units, but, you will hardly observe in the difference in the real-life performance Now, let’s explore the pros and cons of the copper and aluminum units, by having a look at different aspects.
Copper being a hard metal, the durability is much more compared to that of alloy, and thus, air conditioners with copper units will be more durable. The same goes for strength. Copper is stronger compared to that of aluminum, and thus, it is easier to service copper units, as they are more robust, while aluminum being brittle, a lot of care must be taken, at the time of cleaning and servicing.
Aluminum is more likely to get corrosion, while copper is less susceptible to corrosion. Thus, copper unit air conditioners can be used for a longer time before it requires replacement, compared to that of aluminum units.
As copper performs better compared to that of aluminum in most of the cases, copper units will surely cost you more, compared to that of aluminum units.
But, are aluminum units that bad! If it was that bad, manufacturers would have ditched it long ago. Most manufacturers use aluminum units, as they are pocket-friendly for the consumers, and with the aid of bluefin condensers, by some manufacturers, most problems associated with alloy units can be resolved.
If you are planning to get an alloy unit air conditioner, ask the salesman, whether it comes with bluefin condenser or not.
Choosing the tonnage in AC
Now the most important aspect. Though I am discussing it, at last, it will be the first or second question, you will face, when you will go to purchase an air conditioner. 1 ton, 1.5 ton and 2 ton are most used air conditioners used for domestic purposes. You should go for the appropriate tonnage, depending upon your room area, the place where you live in, and whether your room suffers from direct sunlight.
Things might get messed up if I try to explain which tonnage you should go for. Thus, to make things easier, I will choose the best conditions for 1 ton, 1.5 ton and 2-ton air conditioners.
If you are having a tiny room, having 120 to 160 square foot, a 1 to 1.2-ton air conditioner can be the fit for you. But make sure, your room is not on the topmost floor, and is not facing direct sunlight.
If you are having a room more than 160 square foot, a 1.5-ton air conditioner is something, which you should go for. But, even for smaller rooms, like 140 to 160 square foot, getting direct sunlight, I will recommend a 1.5-ton air conditioner.
If you are having a pretty big room, with more than 200 square foot, you cannot ignore getting a 1.8 to the 2-ton air conditioner.
The requirement also depends upon the place you are living in. If the place you are living in, experiences very high temperature, and the moisture level are high, as well, I will recommend a minimum of 1.5 air conditioner, no matter, how small your room is. I am talking about the hottest Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, etc.
Ignore the myths
There is a common myth, getting an inverter air conditioner will require lesser tonnage of the air conditioner. There is nothing like that, as I already said, the way, the compressor of the inverter air conditioners work, is just different. Though, if you go for an air conditioner with higher star ratings or inverter air conditioners, you will not only be able to save money on the electricity bill but, the process of cooling will be faster, as higher star means better efficiency.
Hope, you will now no longer face any kind of issues while purchasing air conditioner this summer. Have more questions? Comment it down below, I might help.