How To Choose The Best Air Conditioner For Your Home
Are your loved ones complaining about the blazing sunshine and rising temperatures? Invest in an air conditioner for your home, this festive season. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.
By Team ParentCircle
A few decades ago, appliances like air conditioners (ACs) and washing machines were considered a luxury. In recent times, however, there has been an increase in disposable incomes and most middle class parents are now willing to splurge on household items that can provide a comfortable lifestyle for their children.
With the relentless heat and long, hot days, children especially find it difficult to cope. So much so that AC has become a necessity in most households, even in smaller towns and cities. This boom has also been fuelled by a drop in prices and lucrative exchange offers.
So, if you are a parent seeking pointers to keep in mind while shopping for an AC, look no further. Our buying guide will help you get the best one within your budget.
Here are factors you need to keep in mind:
Split or window AC
A split AC is quieter, which is advantageous if you have a baby at home. It is also aesthetically designed and provides superior air distribution. A window AC is comparatively cheaper and easier to install. Decide on what you want to go for based on your family’s needs, preferences and what suits your budget.
ACs add to the monthly electricity bill. Hence, all ACs come with an ‘energy efficiency rating’ (EEC) ranging from star 1 to star 5. The higher the star rating, the lower the power consumption, for example, a 5-star AC will consume less power than a 2-star one. However, make your decision according to your usage requirements. Experts suggest that a 3-star AC is suitable for a few hours of daily usage. However, if usage is over eight hours—which is what is likely to happen if you want your children to sleep comfortably in a temperature-controlled environment—opt for a costlier but less power-consuming 5-star AC. This will make a worthwhile difference in the electricity bill.
An average bedroom or child’s room measuring 150 sq ft will require a one ton AC. A living room, which is larger, will require more cooling capacity, and hence a 1.5 or 2-ton AC. Make sure you buy an appliance with the right capacity; otherwise, the cooling in the room may be insufficient or it may even get too cold. Getting the right size AC will also help you further save on electricity bills.
An AC is often an afterthought in most Indian homes, hence installation can be a big problem. Window ACs have a single-vent offset onto one side and that can be a problem if your window isn’t in the centre of the wall. To uniformly cool a room, the AC needs to direct air to the centre.
Ensure a proper level for the window unit so that excess water can drain correctly. Water accumulation can lead to breeding of mosquitoes, which can be hazardous for your family. Move any heat-generating devices such as a TV or lamps away from the AC unit.
Check the noise level details (it will be in dB) for both outdoor and indoor units, even for split ACs. Choose an AC unit that makes less noise. If you are a light sleeper or have a baby at home, it is possible that noise from the AC may cause a disturbance and ruin your or your little one’s sleep.
Maintenance and cleaning
ACs are like cars — they require regular servicing to remain in good condition and provide optimal performance. Prefer a service-oriented AC brand with a proven record of good service in your town. Also, it is a good idea to find out if your AC will be serviced well and at affordable rates after purchase. While fitting the AC, make sure that the filter location can be accessed easily in future. This is because the filter will need to be taken out periodically for cleaning.
Some of the newest AC models can be configured with your smartphone allowing you to adjust cooling/temperatures from where you are. This does away with the need to get up and look for the AC remote as it often, tends to get misplaced! This may also be especially handy if you have aged parents staying in your home.
If your town is prone to power cuts, choose an AC with an auto restart facility, to help restore the last setting after a power outage or failure.
Some air conditioners come with a longer warranty than others. An extended period of warranty is definitely a point to consider and an added advantage.
Price will naturally be an important factor in your purchase decision. Usually, additional features and a higher star rating lead to a higher price tag. Choose an AC with a good quality filter as it will significantly improve indoor air quality. Also, a good filter will ensure clean air and enhanced cooling performance as it prevents dust from clogging up the evaporator coil inside the AC.
5 practical tips on how a perfect air conditioning system should be:
- Energy-efficient in order to operate at minimal energy bills
- Easy and affordable in terms of maintenance
- In a stable performance condition
Buying an AC should be a carefully considered decision. And one that you should take as a family. We hope our tips will help you make the right choice and the best investment, this festive season.
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