5 things to think about before buying an Air Conditioner
During an Aussie summer, there are times when you need an air conditioner simply to survive. As temperatures soar into the 40s, you need to know that your AC system will not only keep you cool, but won’t break the bank when your power bill rolls in.
Before you speak to any air conditioning services and installation company, you should have a general idea of what you’re going to require from an AC system.
So, if you’re looking to update an old air conditioner or install a completely new system, we have a list of things you need to think about.
- How large is the area you need to cool?
The size of the area you need to cool will have a big impact on the type of air conditioner system you install. A wall mounted split system will be enough to cool a single room or maybe even a small apartment. However, for an entire house, you’ll probably be better off with a ducted system.
You should also think about how high the ceilings are. High ceilings mean there will be a significantly larger area that requires cooling and this could affect the wattage of system you need.
- How well insulated is the area?
When it comes to cooling, insulation can help in two ways. Firstly, it helps to keep the heat out. This means your AC system has to do less work to cool the area. Secondly, insulation helps to keep the cool air in. That means that less cool air is lost to the outside, which again improves the efficiency of the system.
A well-insulated area will require a less powerful air conditioning system. However, if you’re looking to install air conditioning in a poorly insulated area, then the system will have to do a lot of work to cool the area. If possible, it might be worth investing in insulation before installing an AC system.
- How much direct sunlight does the area get?
If you’re trying to cool a room that gets a lot of direct sunlight, especially through clear, single-pane windows, your system will have its work cut out for it. Direct sunlight on glass can significantly heat up an area, as well as speeding up the rate at which the cool air is lost.
Reducing the direct sunlight through the use of blinds or curtains, planting shade growth outside (like trees or hedges) or even adding verandahs or shade cloth, can reduce the work your system has to do and greatly improve the efficiency of your AC unit.
- Understand the differences between systems
There are several different types of air conditioning systems. Understanding the differences between them will help you select the system best suited to your requirements and environment. The two main systems are split systems and ducted (or central) systems.
Split systems consist of two types of unit, the unit (or units) inside that delivers the cool air and the compressor outside that powers the system and expels the hot air. They are cheaper to install than ducted systems, but not as efficient for larger areas. They are also very visible and not a particularly attractive addition to your interior design aesthetic.
Ducted systems involve a large compressor outside and an internal evaporative unit connected to ducts that run through your roof or flooring. The cool air is distributed throughout the house via these ducts. Ducted systems are designed to cool an entire house, rather than just single rooms. While more efficient and virtually invisible inside the house, they are expensive to install.
- What’s your budget?
It’s a good idea to define a budget that includes the unit as well as the air conditioning services and installation. Your budget will help you to eliminate a range of options. Remember, sometimes spending more up front will get you a more efficient system which will save you money in the long run.