This is a guide that would help you when shopping for air conditioners. Below is a list of useful information to help you buy the right air conditioner.
1. Room Space
Before you buy an air conditioner it is right to know the dimension of the space to be conditioned. A measure of the room area can help you determine required air conditioners capacity. The larger the room space the more capacity required from the A/C. You need to take this space information to the electronic shop.
If you are to buy a floor standing A/C, you must also determine the space it will be mounted on. Measure the maximum space allowed for the air conditioner; take it along with you to the Electronic shop. Buy floor standing air conditioners that can fit within the measured space.
If you intend buying window mounted air conditioners, measure the dimension of the window. Take along your measurement with you to the electronic shop. Ensure that the dimension of the A/C will fit into your window dimension with little or no civil work.
2. What Capacity BTU HP EER
You need to know the right capacity of air conditioner required to adequately cool and condition the measured space. It is very important to buy air conditioners with the right capacity. An air conditioner with a larger capacity than required will meet its targets too soon leading to intermittent on/off switching of the AC with negative wear and tear on the A/C parts. The capacity of an air conditioner is a measure of its ability to cool a given space. Some capacity ratings used for air conditioners include Btu (British thermal unit) and Horse Power (hp). A popular rating used by retailers in Nigeria is the hp (horse power). This is a measure of the strength of an air conditioner and is somewhat related to the Btu. The hp rating of an air conditioning system is all about the power of the motor (compressor) inside the A/C. The more powerful the motor of an air conditioner the greater its capacity to cool a given space. Popular air conditioner HP capacities in Nigeria are 1 hp, 1.5 hp and 2 hp.
3. Type and Use
There are different types of air conditioners in the market today. You need to determine the type of air conditioner that you need. The type of Air Conditioner can be determined by the use.
There are two main types of Air Conditioners. These are
- Unit air conditioners: Unit Air conditioners are self-contained. Once installed, it can operate independently. These are the type of air conditioners you will usually see in homes. They are more economical if few air conditioning points are required.
- Central cooling system: As the number of points required for cooling increase, the merits of a remotely controlled cooling system become obvious. In a Central cooling system, vents replace unit Air Conditioners. These vents are then connected to a central cooling system. Central cooling systems are used in larger houses. If you live in a small apartment or a small house, you will not be interested in a central cooling air conditioning system.
4. Power Requirement
It is important to ensure that the A/C you intend to buy conform to local electrical standard. One of the most important power ratings is the Voltage supply. Air conditioners require large amount of power so you may need to install a dedicated power switch for it. Buy a socket or switch that can handle the power requirement of the air conditioner. Some air conditioners are smart enough to sense the voltage level and can operate over a wide range of voltage (90-250v).
5. Brand and Cost
There are lots of air conditioner brands in the world and their popularity varies from country to country. In Nigeria, brands like Sharp, Panasonic, Samsung, Haier Thermocool., LG etc are popular.
Once you have a fair idea of the air conditioner you want to buy, you should then find out the price. Prices of air conditioners increase as capacity and number of features increase. You need to do a market survey to determine the price options available to you. Prices of most popular cooling systems in Nigeria range from N27,000 to N450,000.
Here are some other features to consider in air conditioners
- Bacteria/germ/odour elimination (clean safe air): example Silver Nano from Samsung, Nano Titanium from Hitachi
- Adjustable thermostat
- Variable Fan speed
- Slide out filter: for easy maintenance and cleaning
- Digital temperature control
- Sleep settings