In a tropical country like the Philippines where the weather can range from warm to hot for much of the year, an air conditioner is considered a valuable home appliance to stay comfortable indoors. When it comes to buying one, you can’t assume that every aircon unit is the same. There are several factors you need to consider to ensure it works well for you and your home.
While the aircon price and possible future expenses can influence your choice, you also need to evaluate how you will use the unit. If you are uncertain where to start, here are some considerations to help you pick the best air conditioner for your home:
The Type of Air Conditioner
There are plenty of options available for air conditioners, each one with specific requirements and features. To start your search for the best one, you need to be aware of the choices you have. Here are the most common types of air conditioners available in the Philippines:
- Window-type Air Conditioner. When Filipinos talk about air conditioners, this type is probably the first thing that comes to mind. The window-type unit is great for first-time owners, especially those who don’t want additional installation costs. This is also great for rooms with windows, because you just need to dedicate an opening large enough to fit the unit. If your room has no windows, make sure there is adequate space on the wall where you can install the aircon.
- High Wall Split-type Air Conditioner. For people who are looking to upgrade their window-type units, this split-type model is a good option. Apart from requiring less space, it looks more visually appealing than the chunky units inserted through walls. On the other hand, you need to have enough outdoor space for the condenser unit. You’re also going to need the help of an authorized installer for this particular unit, which will incur additional fees.
- Floor Mounted Split-type Air Conditioner. In mid-size to large living spaces, this type of aircon is highly recommended. It is quite similar to a high wall type because it also has two parts. The main difference is the floor-mounted one is free-standing and doesn’t have additional installation requirements.
When purchasing an air conditioner, you need to consider the size of the room where you will install the unit and the amount of horsepower it requires to effectively cool the space. Horsepower (HP) is the rotational power of the unit’s electric motor, which drives the compressor. With lower horsepower, the unit will need to work harder to reach your preferred temperature. Conversely, an air conditioner with ample horsepower won’t have a problem keeping your space cool.
To give you an idea of how much HP a room needs, if the room size is about 18 to 22 square meters, you will need a unit with at least 1 HP. A 0.5 HP air conditioner can effectively cool a smaller-sized room of 6 to 11 square meters. On the other hand, spaces measuring 41 to about 54 square meters need a unit that has at least 2.5 HP.
Another consideration when purchasing an air conditioner is the heat load of your room. You can tell if a space has a high or low heat load by the number of people that will occupy it. Since the human body produces heat, it can affect how effective your air conditioner is in cooling the room. If a room is occupied by a lot of people, the air conditioner will take some time to lower the temperature because more heat is produced. In a room with fewer people, the aircon can easily reach a comfortable cool temperature.
It’s the same with the number of working appliances you have in the room. Since several home appliances including televisions and computers contribute to the room’s heat load, the air conditioner unit will take longer to cool the room when all appliances are being used simultaneously. If you plan to install an air conditioner in your kitchen where the stove and refrigerator can increase the room’s heat load, you will need a unit with a higher HP.
Many Filipino homeowners consider energy efficiency as a contributing factor in purchasing any appliance. The obvious choice will be to get a unit that consumes the least amount of electricity, so your energy bill won’t go through the roof. This is a major concern when it comes to air conditioner units.
Fortunately, many recent aircon models feature inverter technology that uses variable-frequency sensors to control the speed of the motor and regulate the refrigerant inside the unit. This innovative system removes the motor’s start-stop cycle, making the units more energy-efficient as they continue to run. Aside from selecting an inverter unit, remember to check the energy efficiency ratio or EER. Choose one that has a higher EER to ensure more savings.
After-Sales Warranty and Service
Different air conditioner manufacturers have different warranty packages. To be certain of the extent, carefully check the unit’s warranty coverage. It might not completely cover the entire cost, but it can help lower repair fees should something unexpected happen. Remember to keep the warranty card in a safe place and take note of the nearest service center in your area to make the service request process more convenient. These are just some of the factors you need to consider before you buy an air conditioner. Don’t just purchase the first one you see online or in the store or the most popular brand. Evaluate your needs and make sure to select an aircon unit that will meet all your requirements.