When the heat index borders on dangerous levels, cooling down is a matter of comfort and health. During the summer, an aircon is the single most important household appliance.
Buying an aircon is usually intimidating for many since the wrong choice would mean wasting money and a higher electricity bill for years to come. It's an investment, so choose wisely.
Here's a checklist of what you should consider before buying an aircon:
Know the different types
There are different types of air conditioning units depending on one's need:
1. Window Type Aircon: This is the most common type of aircon and is ideal for those who do not want to pay any additional installation fees. Apart from requiring a rectangular hole in your wall, this unit can easily be installed.
2. Split Type Aircon: For those who don't want to carve a hole on their walls, the split type aircon is your choice. This particular unit however requires an additional installation fee since authorized personnel are needed to put up this unit since it has two separate parts--one for indoors, and one for outdoors.
3. Floor Mounted Aircon: This type of aircon is ideal for large residential areas and offices due to its powerful cooling. As the label suggests, this aircon is on the floor.
In choosing an aircon, size matters to ensure that you make the most out of it. According to power distributor Meralco, an aircon that doesn't match the size of your room could cost households an estimated P965 per month.
Here are Meralco's recommended aircon horsepower depending on the room size:
|6 to 11 sqm||0.5 HP|
|12 to 17 sqm||0.75 HP|
|18 to 22 sqm||1.0 HP|
|23 to 27 sqm||1.5 HP|
|28 to 40 sqm||2.0 HP|
|41 to 54 sqm||2.5 HP|
Aside from the actual cost of the aircon unit, buyers should also consider the cost of using it once purchased.
According to Meralco, aircon use can account for 40% to 50% of your total household consumption which is why it's important to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs.
Energy efficiency is also the reason why many are advocating for inverter aircon units compared to conventional units. Meralco, citing power lab tests, said an inverter aircon can save between 25% to 64% on energy costs for the same cooling power.
Here are some tips from Meralco on choosing an energy-efficient aircon:
1. Know the size of your room and the right aircon size for it.
To get an estimate, measure your room size and multiply this by 500. This means that if your room is 20 sqm. in size, you will need an aircon with 10,000 kJ (kilojoule) per hour of cooling capacity.
According to Meralco, if the matching cooling capacity is not available, choose the one with the next higher value. Check for the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) too. A higher EER means a more efficient unit and a lower operating cost.
2. Set the thermostat at the most comfortable level.
Meralco said a comfortable room temperature setting is around 24°C or 25°C. And contrary to some common notions, using your aircon at a cooler setting does not speed up cooling the room.
"In more general terms, you can save 5% to 8% in energy costs for every one-degree setback in your thermostat setting," Meralco said.
3. Regularly check and clean your aircon.
Check the aircon filter often since a dirty one could block the normal airflow and reduce the unit's efficiency. To quickly check this, hold up the filter against the light and if you can no longer see through it, it's time to clean or replace it.