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How to Choose an AC: Top Hints from the Experts

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The air conditioner is one of the most important household appliances. Besides creating a comfortable environment for the entire family, it supports the health of all household members, improves work performance, reduces the number of insects and parasites, and much more.

To reap the numerous benefits of an a/c, it’s important to choose the right appliance for your needs. The lifespan of an air conditioner is between 10 and 20 years. However, if you choose the wrong a/c, it could break down much earlier.

Let’s take a closer look at things to consider when choosing the best air conditioner for your home or office.

1. Cooling Capacity

The most important factor to explore when choosing an a/c is its cooling capacity. If an air conditioner is designed to cool a small room, it can never be efficient in a large basement. In fact, buying an a/c with the wrong cooling capacity will force the appliance to overwork and break down quickly.

To make sure you are getting the right capacity, check the BTUs (British Thermal Units) compared to the room area:

  • Between 0 and 90 square feet – 5,000 BTU
  • Between 90 and 110 square feet – 12,000 BTU
  • Between 120 and 150 square feet – 18,000 BTU
  • Between 150 and 200 square feet – 24,000 BTU

If you aren’t sure which capacity you need for your room, consult the a/c supplier or the manufacturer. Sometimes, you can save by installing two smaller a/cs in one big room instead of buying an industrial-size unit.

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2. Split vs Window

Different types of air conditioners exist. Unless you have a central a/c, you are probably choosing between a window a/c and a split a/c. While window air conditioners are cheaper and easier to install, split a/cs can cover bigger areas and have additional features like heating options.

According to a/c replacement technicians from Hartman, a window a/c is easy to service while a split a/c requires regular attention. However, a split a/c makes much less noise than a window unit does so it’s a great choice for your bedroom.

Before buying an air conditioner, weigh the pros and cons of these two systems. If the budget allows, consider split a/c since it’s much more functional and has different useful features. However, if you are buying an a/c for a small room or plan to use it for a short period of time, a window a/c can be a great choice.

3. Energy Efficiency

An air conditioner consumes a significant amount of power. That’s why it’s imperative to look for the most energy-efficient unit available. If you live in a hot climate, your energy bills suffer from the a/c power consumption for the bigger part of the year. That’s why even if the energy-efficient a/c is more expensive than other options, buying one can pay off in the long run.

Pay attention to the energy star rating of a product. To earn an Energy Star, the appliance needs to meet certain efficiency criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Such air conditioners don’t just use less energy, they also reduce the negative effect on the environment.

4. Features

Each air conditioner comes with a certain number of features. While the basic a/c only has a few settings, complex models have features that can make your life much more comfortable. Things to look for include:

  • Filters – each a/c has a filter. What you need to check for is what type of filter it is. The best filters for homes and offices are HEPA filters.
  • Heating – split a/cs often have a heating option. It comes in handy in-between seasons and in homes that don’t have a central HVAC system.
  • Dehumidifier – this feature is great for hot and humid environments. It removes moisture from the air while cooling it.

Some air conditioners also come with auto cleaning features. While this option doesn’t replace regular maintenance, it can be great for keeping you’re a/c in top shape.

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The Takeaway

Choosing the right a/c requires a lot of time and patience. However, once you find the best appliance for your needs, you can enjoy its efficiency for several decades. Make sure to pay special attention to installation. A poorly installed a/c is likely to break down quickly regardless of its quality. 

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