The fan has fallen short in many homes to combat the heat of this hellish summer that promises to be cooler than those to come. If until now they were only “essential” in some locations in the state, now buying an air conditioner has become a “basic necessity” to get through these hot days and nights when the mercury does not drop below 20 degrees. In this air conditioner buying guide, we help you choose based on your needs and we suggest some models that stand out for their good value for money.
How to choose a good air conditioner
Essentially, there are three types of air conditioners: split, ducted, and portable, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Due to efficiency, speed, options, and method of installation (keep in mind that ducted air conditioning, requires prior planning when building the house or an important reform in the whole house) the most used are the air split conditioners, the format we will focus on in this article.
Split-type air conditioners consist of at least two units: an exterior one where the compressor and condenser are integrated, and an interior one, which will be the one that you will place in the room you want to air condition. While the exterior is bulky and noisier, the interior is more compact and discreet. What do you need air conditioning in more rooms? Then look for multi-split models with more indoor units.
Keep in mind that the installation of a split-type air conditioner requires a qualified installation, so in the investment, you have to take into account both the purchase of the device and the assembly. Fortunately, it is relatively common for specialized stores to offer both the appliance and the installation. An important point if you have been caught by the bull and you find yourself in the middle of a heat wave is that the appointment with the technician is not immediate, but that you have to wait a few days or even weeks.
When choosing a good split-type air conditioner consider:
- Compression system: a better inverter. It determines aspects as important as performance and efficiency. While the most affordable and veterans integrate a conventional compressor (more affordable but less efficient, as it uses 100% of its power to achieve the set temperature), the most modern and advanced ones opt for inverter technology, capable of varying the power of operation of its compressors to be always ready without the need to reach 100%, which can mean up to 50 – 70% less electricity consumption.
Cooling capacity, measured in frigorias (1 Grigori is 1 kcal of absorbed heat and is equivalent to about 4 BTUs). A good approximation to the size of our future air conditioning is to consider about 100 BF per square meter for a standard height of about two and a half meters. Thus, for a room of 20 square meters, the ideal would be to opt for a model with 2000 – 2500 figures. Be careful not to miss your needs: if you fall short you will get hot and if you go too far you will waste its capacities by spending more (although the room will cool down faster).
Energy efficiency, is something fundamental taking into account the prices of electricity and the call to save energy, although it is always a good practice for the pocket and the environment to take care of what we consume. This year the new European Union energy efficiency labeling has entered into force, where you will find noise data, SEER (if you have a heat pump, also from SCOP), and classification from A+++ to D with colors from green to red, where A+++ corresponds to the most efficient equipment and D to the least. Our recommendation: it is worth spending a little more and betting on a model that is as efficient as possible. Of course, it is of little use to get efficient devices if we do not take care of the insulation in our home, for example with elements such as thermal blinds.
Type and quality of filters. There are essentially five categories: washable, activated carbon, plasma or neoplasm, electrostatic air, and HEPA type. In an air conditioning unit there may be one or a combination of several of the above and its mission is to trap the particles present in the air. While the most basic models are limited to capturing part of the dust and little else, some filter viruses, and bacteria and can even remove bad odors. If you have allergies or respiratory problems, smoke, or live in highly polluted environments, pay special attention to this point.
Noise, average in dB. If you are going to place the indoor unit in your bedroom, do not overlook this point: those models with more refined technologies are capable of reducing their noise up to 19 dB, while the more modest ones move between 24 – 25 dB in modes of real operation, lowering a few decibels in its night mode. Remember that decibels are a logarithmic magnitude and not a linear one. Although we are talking about the indoor unit, the outdoor unit should not be neglected, since the compressor is a noisy element that can cause inconvenience to the neighbors and even exceed the limits established by law in protected areas.
- Smart/connected features. Although you can probably turn your air conditioner into a smart model, you may want to have its features from the start. Thus, from the classic remote, we jump to control from an application installed on our mobile or by voice with a compatible assistant, which can make it more agile or you can activate it even when you are not at home on demand. In addition to comfort, they usually offer extras to optimize their operation thanks to geolocation or sensor systems. Thus, they can adjust their temperature depending on the temperature outside or if they are coming home.
Its current adjusted price makes it rival portable models, we are talking about the EnergySilence 12000 AirClima from Cecotec ( 269 euros ). At that price, it is most interesting due to its cooling capacity of about 3000 BTU for rooms of about 25 square meters, with a heat pump to be used in winter, an inverter system, and an A++ energy classification.
With classic handling with remote control and LED screen for the less techy people, it has eight speeds, three operating modes, and dehumidification.
It is not a well-known brand, but if you are looking for a cheap air conditioner that moderately complies with all of the above, this Infiniton model ( 379 euros ) is most interesting and also arrives in a couple of days.
It should be noted because of the cost that it has inverter technology, it is quite powerful (3500 figures) and has Wi-Fi connectivity using a module.
With an A++ energy certification label (it is not the most efficient of the selection, but it is not bad), sleep mode in case you are going to use it in the bedroom, and a quadruple filter system with high-efficiency filters, plasma, ionic and antibacterial.
A better-known brand is this LG 32PLUSWF12E ( 469 euros ), a model also with Wi-Fi connectivity, inverter technology, and quite powerful (2980 figures) for rooms of about 27 square meters.
As a debit, its energy efficiency card reveals an A++/A++ consumption, which, while not bad at all, is the most modest of this selection.
This is a great option to place in the bedroom, with an extremely effective Silent Mode that reduces noise from both the outside and inside device so you can fall asleep.
The Haier Tide Plus AS35THMHRA-C ( 439 euros ) is another well-connected candidate, with 3000 BF of cooling capacity and moderately efficient (A++ cold/A+++ heat). Its silent mode reaches 19dB, so it is also a good model to place in the bedroom or study room.
For 599 euros for the 3,010 BTU version and 549 euros for the 2,100 BTU version, the Bosch Climate 3000i SET 26 mono split will serve you for rooms of 23 or 18 square meters respectively.
It has an inverter function with a heat pump so you can use it all year round, a silent mode that reduces noise by up to 20 dB, integrates an HD filter and you can use it through the app via a Wifi module, otherwise, you will have to settle with the classic remote control. With A+++ energy efficiency in heating mode and A++ in cooling mode.
Are you looking for an extremely energy-efficient air conditioner? If this is your case, look at this Daitsu Agio ASD 9 K-DG ( 785 euros ), with an A+++ label both in cold mode and in heat mode, since it has a heat pump.
This model has a cooling capacity of 2,321 frig/h, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a silent mode that reduces noise by up to 24 dB.
If your stay is shorter, take a look at its older brother, the Daitsu Agio ASD 12 KD ( 820 euros ), with 3,009 frig/hour, identical energy rating, and also connectivity.
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Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.