When buying an air conditioner, you need to consider the area which you would like to cool in order to select the correct sized unit.
Air conditioner capacity is rated by BTU (British Thermal Unit) and power output in kilowatts. Buying the right size unit is very important as air conditioners that are too big will use more energy, while under-sized ones will not cool the room sufficiently.
When selecting the right size air conditioner for your space, the below is a rough guide to unit sizes:
- For a room 10m2 to 20m2, a 2.6kW unit should cool the room;
- For a room 20m2 to 30m2, a 3.5kW unit should cool the room;
- For a room 30m2 to 45m2, a 5-6kW unit should cool the room;
- For a room 45m2 to 65m2, a 7-8kW unit should cool the room.
Types of Air Conditioners
- Split System
These air conditioners are made up of two parts, with one attached to the internal wall, while the other sits on the outside to exhaust heat out. These are low cost to install and with separate units for each room they provide flexibility. A reverse cycle split system can be used as an air conditioner in summer and a heater in winter for year-round home comfort.
- Inverter System
Air conditioners with inverters are able to vary the temperature of the air they produce, rather than stopping and starting. They are often quieter, cheaper to run and achieve the desired room temperature more quickly – although they are more expensive.
- Multi System
Multi-split air conditioners connect multiple indoor units to a single outdoor condenser. They require less ductwork, but a single control station operates the whole system, meaning individual room temperatures are not possible.
- Window Wall
This type of air conditioner can be installed into an external hole in the wall or onto a window sill. Some models can heat and cool, so you only need one appliance to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Ducted System
The internal unit of a ducted split air conditioner is suspended either in your roof cavity or under your floor depending on the construction of your home. From this central location, a series of ducts run into the rooms in the house the owner would like heated or cooled.
Homeowners can choose to cool or heat each room individually – called zoning. This is done so by the thermostat on the wall, allowing you to select the temperature and other settings.
Air conditioners are rated on their energy efficiency using a ten-star scale, with more stars meaning the unit is better for the environment. For units with cooling and heating functions, separate ratings are given for each.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your air conditioner is extremely important. An air conditioner that is neglected won’t perform properly and will use more energy.
Having your air conditioner thoroughly cleaned every year by a professional is recommended to:
- your energy bills by up to 30%
- Increase airflow and efficiency
- Remove mould and odours
- Kill and remove harmful bacteria
Choose a professional installer
You will need to hire a licensed professional to install and service your new air conditioning system. They can also help you work out what size unit you need and the best place to position your air conditioner. The installer must have had relevant training and are licensed to handle refrigerants.
Air conditioners often include manufacturer’s warranties. To ensure you’re covered under the warranty if something goes wrong, professional installation is a mandatory.