It can be tough to know which split AC is right for you. With all of the different options available, how can you be sure you’re making the best decision?
You might be tempted to just pick the first split AC that looks good or the one with the lowest price tag, but that’s not always the best idea. There are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing an AC unit, and if you don’t take the time to research your options, you could end up with a product that doesn’t meet your needs.
We want to help make things easy for you. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision about your new AC unit. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the perfect split AC for your home.
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Detailed Buying Guide on How to Choose a Split AC
When it comes to choosing a split AC, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration. Firstly, you need to think about the size of the room that you want to cool. A bigger room will obviously require a bigger AC unit. Secondly, you need to take into account the climate in your area. If you live in an area with extreme heat, then you will need an AC unit that is designed for that climate.
Lastly, you need to think about your budget. Split AC units can vary considerably in price, so it is important to find one that fits into your budget. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you will be able to find the perfect split AC unit for your needs.
1. BTU: How many do you need?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, an international unit of measurement used to quantify the amount of heat subtracted (or added) to the environment in one hour.
You can easily think that an air conditioner with a higher cooling power, therefore with a high number of BTUs, is always better, but it is not so. The quantity of BTUs required is in fact commensurate with the size of the room to be air-conditioned and some other environmental factors.
It is important to have a precise idea of the BTUs that are used to cool our house otherwise the air conditioner risks working too hard and therefore wears out prematurely.
So, how many BTUs do you need for your home then? The table below can help you get an idea.
Then, there are some environmental factors to keep in mind when calculating the BTU. If, for example, the air conditioner will have to be placed in a naturally warm environment, such as an attic or a room exposed to the sun from large windows, it is necessary to calculate a 10% more BTU to compensate for this extra heat.
For the same reason, if the air conditioner is placed in the kitchen, where ovens and stoves can generate surplus heat, it is necessary to add 4000 BTU to the total.
So, decide how many BTUs you need to shortlist a new air conditioner, after which you can also consider the following factors.
2. Electricity Consumption
The issue of consumption is very relevant when it comes to air conditioners, since they are appliances that are used for long periods of time and draw a lot of energy from the home network.
The air conditioner is one of the appliances for which there is an energy labeling obligation, so it is rather simple to compare the consumption of the various models.
According to the Indian energy ratings given by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), the energy efficiency of air conditioners in mentioned in stars.
Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (kWh/kWh) – (From 1st January, 2018 to 31st December, 2023)
|Star level||Minimum ISEER||Maximum ISEER|
This article on power consumption of AC further elaborates on the electricity requirements of air conditioners and how power usage can be reduced. Do take a look.
3. Coil Material
Coils are used by air conditioner condensers to cool the air. Copper coils are popular as they cool faster, are easy to maintain and have a longer lifespan. While copper coils are generally more expensive, they have better heat exchange and anti-corrosive properties and are preferred in coastal areas. Aluminum coils are relatively cheaper in comparison.
The following table showcases the difference between aluminum and copper coils:
|Characteristics||Copper Coil||Aluminum Coil|
|Cooling speed||Better heat transfer, cools faster||Slower cooling as compared to copper coil|
|Corrosion resistant||Corrodes slowly; easy to clean||Faster corrosion as compared to copper coil|
|Durability||More durable & stronger||Less durable than copper coil|
|Repair||Can be repaired easily||Difficult to repair; needs replacement|
|Cost||Expensive||Cheaper than copper|
4. Inverter or non-inverter
An air conditioner that’s equipped with inverter technology has a compressor that thinks and adjusts according to your needs. The compressor has variable speed and changes its frequency according to the surrounding temperature.
Compare an inverter and a non-inverter compressor in the table below:
|Cooling technology / compressor type||Variable speed compressor which adjusts power depending on heat load||Compressor is either on or off depending on heat load|
|Price||Costs up to Rs. 5000 more than non-inverter ACs||Lower priced than inverter ACs|
|Cooling speed||Reaches set temperature faster||Takes more time to reach set temperature|
|Noise||Quieter than non-inverter ACs||Not as quiet as inverter AC because the compressor switches on and off repeatedly|
|Compressor life||Inverter compressors have a longer life||Compressor life is less as compared to inverter ACs|
|Energy Consumption||Consumes less energy than non-inverter ACs||Consumes more energy|
|Stabilizer||Does not require stabilizer for a given voltage range||Usually needs a stabilizer|
We must not neglect to take a look at the functions that some of the top 1 ton split ac in India offer since it is necessary that these fully meet our expectations. Let’s say right away that there are some functions shared by all or almost all air conditioners, which we can therefore define as standard functions that should never be missing:
- Tilting wing: Possibility to control the oscillation or the fixed inclination of the wing that directs the air jet.
- Automatic mode: Automatic operation aimed at maintaining a given temperature.
- Dehumidification: Operation only as a dehumidifier, without cooling the air.
- Heating: Operation in heating mode thanks to an integrated heat pump.
Check for all these functions. They will increase the versatility and usefulness of your air conditioner.
All air conditioners these days come with a remote control to manage the various functionalities of the air conditioner. Some sophisticated models even allow you to control the air conditioner via your smartphones. A special application is installed and the smartphone and air conditioner are connected through your home Wi-Fi. This will enable you to monitor the status of the machine and control its various functionalities via your smartphone.
7. Operating mode
In addition to the aforementioned automatic operating mode, almost always every air conditioner also offers other modes. The most common of these modes are:
- Night mode or silent mode: It works with reduced ventilation so as not to disturb the rest
- Eco mode: Operating mode with low energy consumption
- Turbo mode: High efficiency mode for quick results
There may also be other modes that we have not considered here, limiting ourselves to the most common of all. In various cases, an operating timer is added to them. It is therefore possible to establish how long you want the air conditioner to remain active or, in the most sophisticated models, to program its start and stop.
A final mention is dedicated to the self-diagnosis function, present on some medium and high-end models. The air conditioner is able to report any faults or problems, in a more or less sophisticated and detailed way. To know more about the different operating modes an air conditioner can have, read our article on which mode is best for AC.
8. Air Filtration
The last few years have seen increasing emphasis on the importance of breathing clean air. For this reason, air conditioner manufacturers have also started fitting filters on their appliances to help consumers keep their home air clean.
If you live in a big city, suffer from allergies / respiratory problems or want to create an environment that’s as healthy as possible for your children, we recommend choosing an air conditioner equipped with an air filtration system.
Of course, there are several types of filters that we can find on an air conditioner.
- Activated Carbon: The simplest of filters, the activated carbon is effective only against bad odors and organic fumes.
- Anti-allergic: A variant of the silver ion dust filter, which captures and retains allergens and bacteria.
- PM2.5: A high efficiency filter effective even against the finest dust particles.
Obviously, the presence of the filters means periodic maintenance. They must be cyclically freed of the dust that has accumulated there and, at least in the case of the silver ion filters, it will also be necessary to replace them to maintain high efficiency. Typically, a silver ion filter lasts 12 months, after which it loses its antibacterial efficacy.
For their operation, the best split ac uses refrigerant gases that, once compressed by the compressor, cooling the coil in which they are contained and the air passed through this coil is refrigerated.
Refrigerant gases are evaluated according to two parameters – the Global Warming Potential (GWP) and the Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP).
It should be noted that starting from 2025 the use of refrigerant gases with a GWP higher than 750 will be prohibited. Therefore, those who purchase an air conditioner today would do well to already equip themselves with an appliance that meets this obligation.
There are basically three refrigerant gases used in current air conditioners:
- R22: GWP = 1810; ODP = 0
- R410a: GWP = 2088; ODP = 0
- R32: GWP = 675; ODP = 0
None of these gases are dangerous for the ozone layer since their Ozone Depletion Potential is zero, but R410a and R22 have a GWP that is much higher than what will be the future maximum limit.
It is important to note that it is not possible to use a refrigerant gas other than the one the air conditioner has been designed; therefore, it is not possible to simply change the refrigerant and think that it is okay; you only end up damaging the appliance.
If you still need an incentive to choose an R32 gas air conditioner, let us tell you that the latter is much simpler and cheaper to refill than the R410a and R22.
When it comes time to purchase a split AC, there are many factors you need to take into account. By following the tips in this post, you can be sure you’re making the best decision for your needs and budget. If you have any questions about split ACs or anything else related to air conditioning, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Should I buy 5 star or 3 star AC?
5 star AC is better than 3 star AC because it has a higher energy rating and is therefore more efficient. It also has a higher cooling capacity, meaning it can cool your room more quickly and effectively. However, it is important to note that 5 star AC units are more expensive to purchase than 3 star AC units.
2. Is inverter AC good?
Inverter ACs tend to be more efficient than traditional ACs, which can save you money on your energy bills. Additionally, inverter ACs can often run for longer periods of time without needing to be shut off, which can be beneficial if you live in an area with frequent power outages. Ultimately, the best way to determine if an inverter AC is right for you is to speak with a qualified HVAC professional who can assess your specific needs and make recommendations accordingly.
3. How loud are split AC units?
Split AC units are generally very quiet, especially compared to window units. Some models even have a silent mode that makes them barely noticeable. However, the noise level can vary depending on the specific model and how well it is maintained. In general, the noise level of split ACs is usually between 30 to 50 dB. If your split AC unit is making more noise than usual, it could be a sign that it needs to be cleaned or serviced.
4. What is ISEER rating?
ISEER rating is a statistical measure used to compare the efficiency of different types of appliances. The higher the ISEER rating, the more efficient the appliance. ISEER ratings are especially useful when comparing appliances that use different amounts of energy, such as air conditioners and refrigerators.
5. Are split ac more efficient?
Split air conditioners are quite efficient appliances. Unless you purchase an inverter split AC, you might find a split AC consuming a lot of electricity. That said, when it comes to cooling potential, split ACs are much better than the window kind. Their silent operation also makes it a really desirable product.
6. Is split ac better or window?
Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Overall, split ACs are more efficient at cooling than window ACs, not to mention window ACs also make a ton of noise. That said, it all comes down to personal preference. If you want ease of installation, split ACs can be tricky to have installed, while window ACs are a little easier.
7. Can split ac heat the room?
A basic split AC cannot heat a room since it is only meant for cooling. However, there are specific appliances known as hot and cold ACs which can not only cool your home in the summers, but also heat them during winter times, perfect for places that sees extremes in weather.
8. Can split ac run on inverter?
Sadly, no. A split air conditioner takes a lot of power to run and an inverter simply cannot provide enough. Even if you get a big enough inverter, chances are, the inverter might not last long if your mains are down and you are running your air conditioner.