Buying an air conditioner is exciting. Australia’s climate can be harsh – summers are swelteringly hot, and winters can get quite chilly. An AC is an ideal utility to solve both those problems.
It’s no surprise then that roughly 2 in 3 Australians have an AC unit in their home. If you’ve been thinking about getting one for some time and are ready to take the plunge, that’s great! Now you’re faced with the task of deciding what kind of system to get. There’s a multitude of choice out there, so we hope this 5 step checklist assists in buying an air conditioner that’s right for your needs.
From budget to energy efficiency, we’ve created a checklist of five key things to consider before buying an air conditioner.
1. What Kind of System Is More Suitable For Your Home?
There are three main types of AC systems to consider: split systems, multi-split system, and ducted systems.
Split systems are a great choice for homeowners looking to heat a single room or large area. This system has a condenser that is fixed externally outside the home and a head unit inside. Bear in mind that if there are several walls in an interior zone, a split system may be limited in its capacity to control the temperature beyond the zone. If the ability to heat or cool multiple rooms is needed, a multi-split system may be the better option for you.
Multi-split systems comprise of one outdoor unit that is connected to multiple indoor units.
There are numerous benefits to a multi-split air conditioning unit. They are extremely efficient and capable of powering up to six interior rooms at once. With this system, each indoor unit can be controlled individually. This means that specific rooms can be set at different temperatures, all from a single remote.
Ducted air conditioning systems feature some key differences to split and multi-split systems. A ducted air conditioner is installed internally, often within the roof. From the central unit, a series of ducts cools or heats individual rooms. This type of air conditioning will require a certain amount of cavity space for installation, so may not be suited to every home.
2. So, What Is Your Home Like?
So then – what kind of house do you have? Consider these features before buying an air conditioner, as they may affect what kind of system is best suited.
• Is it insulated?
• How big are the rooms that you want to cool/heat?
• How many rooms do you wish to cool/heat?
• What’s the layout of these rooms?
• Does your home get lots of natural sunlight?
• Does your home have many windows?
• Where do you live? Is it cold, hot, humid?
3. How Energy Efficient Is The System?
All new AC units will have an energy efficiency rating. They usually have two stickers – one for heating and one for cooling (if the unit is a cooling-only device, and then it will only have a blue sticker, if it a heating-only device, it will only have a red sticker). This will influence the choice you make.
As you may have guessed, the more stars, the more energy-efficient the unit is. The maximum possible rating for each side is 10 stars. If the product is rated above 6 stars for heating or cooling, it will show a ‘super efficiency rating’, which goes up to 4 stars (6 + 4 = 10). They also have capacity output and power input readings – basically how much heating and cooling the unit can produce and how much power it needs to run respectively. When comparing the star rating, you’ll want to compare systems with similar capacity output and power input readings.
It’s important to remember that units with lower ratings aren’t poor quality units. For a product to be rated at all, it needs to pass rigorous efficiency tests, so the base rating of 1 star is actually quite efficient. It only gets better from there, and the choice you make will depend on your budget.
4. What’s Your Budget Like?
Obviously, one of the biggest factors that will influence buying an air conditioner is how much money you have to spend. Air conditioning is an investment. It may require a substantial initial outlay, but you will save money in the long run.
Air conditioners range from anywhere between $500 and $5000+, so how much you can afford will affect what kind of system you get (for example, multi-split systems are more expensive than split systems), what features it has, and how energy efficient it is.
5. What Features and Functions Do You Need?
Different air conditioners have different features and functions, and this affects how expensive they are. Some might be extremely important to you and your lifestyle. Some not so much. Here are a few features you may want to consider:
• Fan speed
• Human presence sensor
• Sleep mode
• Wi-fi connectivity
• Remote control type
• Noise reduction
• Adjustable or oscillating louvres
• Restart delay
• Operation options (cooling, heating, fan, auto modes, dry air, economy modes)
If you are thinking about buying an AC system, give us a call today. Our operations span the greater metro area, including the Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore and South West. With over 10 years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of fast and efficient service.
Want some more advice before buying an AC unit? Check out these posts below: