On a scorching day of summer, what else can be better than a magic wand, to transform chilled air to your room! This can only be achieved with the help of a remote control, which can control the air conditioner to do the trick. Here you will get the guide to find the best air conditioner for you, which will suit your room the best.
For the complete house, with ducts, look at the purchasing guide.
If you are tenant, portable air conditioner will suit you the best, as there are no hassles of installation and you can carry it with you every time you shift. Have a look at the portables guide for additional information.
The question: which system I need?
What is a split system? Let’s solve some of these terms.
A split system: The compressor unit is placed outside, equipped with one or more indoor air vents. They can cool one or more rooms efficiently, or even an open planner area of 60 sq. meter maximum. The price varies between $800 and $3000.
Inverter technology: Unlike conventional air conditioners, the compressors of which are either in on (working with 100% capacity) or off mode, inverter models can vary the speed of the compressor to maintain the temperature within a range. They can conserve power and are cost effective in the long run.
Reverse cycle or cooling only: The reverse cycle models that are not too expensive compared to cooling only devices, but have the ability to heat the room in winters. Though the purchase and installation can be a little higher, but they are one of the most affordable for heating up bigger spaces. They result in less production of carbon di oxide in fossil fuel burning power plants or electrical heaters.
Window/wall: These units are installed either in a window or a wall and have the ability to cool closed rooms or open rooms up to 50 square meter. Normal plug points can be used to supply power to smaller ones, but extra wiring is needed for the bigger models. Though, in our tests, we have not included them, because they are not available so much in the market, because split systems have a higher efficiency and are available at ranges between $300 and $1000 in the last few years.
I have selected the system I need – but the size?
Precise calculation of the heating and cooling capacity of your air conditioner is necessary.
Choose the model with equal or a little higher capacity applicable for the room, as:
Models with an exaggerated amount of power may run through steady short cycles for achieving the target temperature – similar to pressing the accelerator of your car to maintain the speed instead of applying continuous pressure. As a result, it may lead to improper drying of the room, which will reduce the comfort, with an elevated power usage.
On the other hand, models with lower power and capacity can start and run very often and can remove the moisture from the air, more than required, which will make you suffer again.
Other things, you need to consider
Are you living in very hot or cold area?
All the air conditioners have an operating temperature. In varies between -10 degree C and 45 degree C. This range can be sufficient for most of the parts in Australia, but you need to check the operating temperatures, before buying an AC to ensure it can work with extremes of temperature.
Snow and frost may accumulate in the outdoor unit in the winter, if it is not equipped with automatic de-icing in a cold place.
If you belong from a hot yet dry area, you can prefer an evaporative cooler, instead of an air conditioner. They bring hot air, after making it pass through a water reservoir. The water evaporates by absorbing the heat from the air. Ultimately, it circulates cool and wet air to the room. For low humidity areas, these devices are the best.
Having a noisy indoor unit can be annoying and may interfere in your daily life activities, or the time when you sleep. Some local councils may have a noise limit for air conditioners too. You should be aware of the local limitations, before purchasing an air conditioner, if you want to install the outdoor unit, very close to your neighbor.
Features & functions
Circulating cool or hot air in the room is done with the fan. A model with a wide range of air flow and varying fan speeds, from low to medium, to high, can help you to cool the room slowly or very fast, with little noise and no unwanted wind, once the right temperature is achieved.
Auto: The mode is chosen by the system automatically to keep the room at the chosen temperature.
Cool: Heat is expelled from the room to outside.
Heat: Heat is brought to the room from outside.
Dry: Removes moisture content from the air, by cooling the room slightly.
Fan only: Just blows air into the room, without additional task. This can help you to blow a cool breeze in the room.
Human presence sensor
The presence of a person in the room is detected, and the device is triggered to start depending on that. Other smart devices may pump the air towards the person, by sensing the location of the person within the room.
Remote Controls with large buttons and readable LCD screens should be selected.
The temperature is adjusted to a comfortable level in a stepwise manner, so the air conditioner does not work with maximum efficiency, while you are sleeping.
Oscillating or adjusting louvres
Point to the top for cooling, or down for heating. The remote will offer the feature in most of the models. This can also be adjusted left or right to cool particular parts of the room.
This prevents the air conditioner from starting up soon after it is switched off.
Ways to keep the energy bills low
The next thing you should look is the power efficiency. The more the stars, the more power efficient they are, and less will your electricity bills. The more star rating signifies less emission of greenhouse gases. But start ratings vary with cooling and heating.
The energy rating website by the government will provide more information about star ratings and the rules.
Demand Response Enabling Device
38% of the average household’s energy which is a demand at the zenith for grid is used for heating and cooling. To reduce it, the models now come with DREDs or Demand Response Enabling Devices, which are also called PeakSmart.
They can be very efficient to reduce the electricity demand and thus they need new infrastructure, which means higher cost for customers.
A few energy companies offer this service. Butter it is expected that it will become available as smart metering become widespread. A few energy companies also offer lucrative incentives to the customers if they purchase DRED enabled air conditioners.
You should always consider the installation requirements and costs when you are shopping. Get the things to know.
Many traders provide you the supply and install packages, but others provide the installation only. Installation of air conditioners requires proper handling of ozone depleting refrigerant, so it is to be done by a licensed installer of air conditioner. Find installers with ARCtick approval to get some quotes.
The warm air is lighter than cold air. Thus, for best results the cold air outlet should be placed as close to the roof as possible, and the louvers pointing in horizontal or vertical manner. For heating, the louvres should be pointed downwards.
You should prefer installing the air conditioner on the bigger wall of the room, but you should listen to the installer to know the best place though.
The outdoor unit, if you are having an outdoor unit, should be placed on a firm base like a concrete slab, or it should be mounted on a wall using sturdy rods. Keeping it close to the indoor unit, like 15 meter away is preferable. Keep the outdoor unit away from direct sunlight by keeping on northern or southern wall.
The reviews of Window Air Conditioners
Choosing a Window Air Conditioner
The best performers in our review are none other than Friendrich Residential Chill, the Gold Award winner is the Frigidaire FFRE0633Q1, the Silver Award winner and that too with the GE AEMO6LT, the winner of the Bronze Award. Here, you will get more to choose the air conditioner to meet your needs and the top 10 air conditioners.
Window air conditioners are the most useful appliances to cool your room, if you do not have a central air system. They can be installed in a window frame by pumping cool air into the room. They are much lightweight compared to that of the split air conditioners. These devices can be added and removed easily on your windows, if you want to move to a different place.
Windows air conditioners can only cool a room. They are many power efficient, compared to central devices, because they do not run throughout your house, and only focuses on your room. If you are interested in cooling the complete house, you can also check the central air conditioners review written by us. If you do not own a house, then window air conditioners are the best for you.
Is a window air conditioner good for you?
Window air conditioning devices share a few common elements with the other parts of the AC, like the process of cooling, having numerous operation modes. But a few air conditioners are best for particular situations. The window air conditioners are not permanent. If you don’t want to move your air conditioner from your window in the other seasons, you can keep them installed there for 12 months of the year. But, if you want to remove the air conditioner in the winter months, then window air conditioners are by far the best for you. To know more about window air conditioners, you can look at the guide or articles relating to window air conditioners. But these devices may not serve you with the best features, so there is another option available for you:
For long term cooling of your house, wall air conditioners can be the best for you. They vary from the window models only because; they have to be installed permanently on your rooms. For installing these air conditioners, you have to drill your wall and pump hot or cold air through the hole in the wall. The units are then sealed in its proper place and allow the air from outside to come within the room. Thus, if you are looking for a permanent solution, wall air conditioners are the best and check the reviews of it.
If you are at the zenith of movable air conditioners, you can have a look at the portable air conditioner. These units are best if you live in a building, where window or wall air conditioners are not allowed or you want to move your appliances from one place to another all throughout the day. If you spend your afternoon or most of the day in the living room or kitchen, you can use the portable unit there, to keep the room cool and move it to the bedroom in the evening, to make your bedroom ready for going to the bed.
The Window Air conditioners: the evaluations and the foundations.
During the process of testing and evaluating the air conditioners, the things that we looked are the power efficiency and the cooling efficiency of the air conditioners. The first thing that we looked into is the ability to keep you and your room comfortable. If the air conditioner cannot serve this basic purpose, then the air conditioner is of no use. So, we considered the ability of the individual units to move air through the room in different modes available and find which one is working as it should do.
The energy efficiency of each unit is also considered and then the annual cost of power is determined for each unit. This particular thing is very important for air conditioners and thus you should look at the power efficiency to keep the electric bills low each month.
Being easy to use is another important thing. During the process of testing we found most of them are comfortable in all the modes available and almost all of them come with a remote to control and a programmable timer. The programmable timer will help you to cool the room for certain hours, switch on or off automatically.
The next is the complete design of the device. Though the wall mounted air conditioners is not a problem, but too heavy window air conditioners cannot be kept conveniently on the steel window. The units should be thus, light and easily installable. Being quiet with minimum sound can be helpful, if you want to use it for your bedroom. A noisy device can be a nightmare, because you may suddenly wake up in the night for the noise. The noise level of window air conditioners are generally of 54 decibels, which can be loud enough and it is similar to a conversation between two persons. So find an air conditioner which has lower or equal noise level as mentioned, if you will be using the air conditioner for your bedroom.
The things to look for while purchasing an air conditioner.
The first and the most important thing that you should consider before purchasing a window air conditioner is the size of the room, which you want to cool. The thing that you should have a look at is that a big and powerful air conditioner may not be the perfect one for you. All the air conditioners are rated in British Thermal Units (BTU), which is an indication of the size of the room, it has the ability to cool. You should need an air conditioner that is suited the best for your room size, neither overpowered, nor underpowered. An air conditioner with 5000 BTU can efficiently cool a room of 150 square feet and a 7000 BTU unit can cool up to 300 square feet.
The next thing that you should look is the quantity of air that the unit will blow within your room. This will be indicated with the help of the model’s maximum air flow, which is measured with the help of cubic feet per minute (CFM). The higher the CFM, higher will be the quantity of air that will be pushed into the room, either hot or cold.
Energy costs and certifications
Each time you prefer purchasing a large electrical equipment, you should know how energy efficient, the device is. This will also indicate how efficient will the device actually is. The energy efficiency ratio (EER) will help you to find the energy efficiency of the air conditioner. The higher the EER, the more will be its energy efficiency. In general, the EER of an air conditioner is 10.6. Thus, if you want to know the energy efficiency unit, you should purchase an air conditioner with an EER equal to 10.6 or higher, but not less.
The annual cost of the using the units also another thing that you should have a look at, we found the annual energy cost of a single window air conditioner device by using the device 8 hours a day for three consecutive months, which is considered as the standard formula in the industries. But the actual costs may vary, according to the cost of electricity in your country and the time you use your unit. The average national cost is 12 cents per kilowatt.
The last thing that you should consider is the performance and the safety certifications, like the Energy Start certification, the AHAM certification and at last the UL Listed mark. The start marked appliances are 20 or 30 percent more efficient, which is the thing that the law wants. The products which are UL Listed are tested by the Underwriters Laboratories, which are meant for safety. The AHAM certifications are based on the Home appliance and the manufacturing industry. All these three things will give you a complete picture to purchase the air conditioner that meet your needs.
Design considerations and the portability
The small things that differentiates air conditioners from others are, they should have a small weight, easily installable and can be used for long. Installing these units should not take more than a few minutes or it shouldn’t cause headache. So, find devices that are light and easy to install. The average weight of the air conditioners of the window models is 60 pounds.
The last thing before purchasing these units is that, it should include some kits that has the ability to close any open spaces, which is device itself cannot protect. The air conditioners that do not have the kits for making the system air tight may leak air, resulting in ineffective cooling. Thus, the window air conditioners with sealing kits can be the best to keep the room insulated and you should look that the devices are installed correctly.
Whatever may be the air conditioner that you purchase, you should always select the air conditioner that has a number of operation modes. This will help you to customize the device so that you can get the comfort that you actually need. You should look for models with fan only modes, automatic mode and so on. Adjustable speed of the fans in air conditioners can help you keep the room comfortable by adjusting the speed to high, medium or low settings.
If the place you are living is a humid one, find a device that has a dehumidifying mode, so that it can expel the unwanted moisture away from the room. This element is found in window air conditioners, whereas, the devices without the dehumidifying feature will require another dehumidifier in the room to keep it cool. If you want to use the air conditioner only for sleeping purposes, you should consider purchasing a window air conditioner with sleep mode. This will gradually increase the temperature when you sleep to give a comfortable ambience, yet saving a lot of energy.
Window air conditioners: The verdict and recommendation
During the process of testing, it is known that the Friedrich Residential Chill, Frigidaire FFRE0633Q1 and the GE AEMO6LT are the best window air conditioner that are presently available in the market. These devices combine higher cooling capabilities and energy efficiency, which ultimately make the affordable and functional to a great extent, compared to other units. These models also have a lighter weight, easy to install, which means you will not have to work hard to install them.
Central air conditioning units review
Needs of a central air conditioner
The best performers in the review are the Dave Lennox Collection, the Gold Award winner; the Frigidaire IQ Drive, the Silver Award winner; and the American Standard Platinum ZV, which is the Bronze Award winner. Here you will find more ways to choose the product that meet your needs and that too with the ways, why we have chosen the ten products mentioned here.
If you are on the way to market for installing a central air conditioner, then there is a sense of relief because today’s central air conditioners are not like those of before. Today, the units are more user friendly, effective and obviously durable. Though, the initial costs may be a little high, but these devices are best if you love living in a comfortable environment and want to live cool even in the hottest days of summer.
Another advantage of the central air conditioners is that, you will never have to face extremes, when you move away from an air conditioned room to other parts of the house. It will be cool in the air conditioned room, where as there will be nothing outside the room. But if the members of a house like varying temperatures for the room, then you can consider purchasing portable units.
A number of factors are responsible for the efficiency of the central air conditioners, like the installation, the work of the ducts from the AHU to the rooms, the size of the room and other factors, but a number of air conditioners are designed in a smart way to do away with most number of factors.
The best central air conditioners cannot only control the temperature of the room or the house, but it can also control the humidity of the insulated space. You can read the central air conditioners reviews for complete details. For additional information, you can also read the other articles on central air conditioning devices.
Central air conditioners: What assessed and what found.
When central air conditioners are taken into consideration, energy efficiency is an important issue because it affects the cooling of the entire house, which can cost you a huge bill every month. The more the energy efficiency, lesser are the energy bills and smaller carbon emissions.
The central air conditioners are rated in terms of the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which is also abbreviated as SEER. The SEER energy is an indication of the energy it will require for the purpose of cooling. We found the highest SEER numbers that are presentable available. A number of models have a SEER rating of about 5 and 6, but newer central air conditioning units have SEER values of 20. In addition to it, we also looked for Energy Star certification from the Energy Department; a positive symbol can save a large amount of money for the entire life of the air conditioning unit.
A number of central air conditioners give you the permission to control the temperature of the room from the place away from where the device is placed, which in turn improves the efficiency of the unit. As you can adjust the temperature of the room remotely, you will not have to suffer, each time you forget to turn off the air conditioning unit, each time you leave the house of the temperature changes to a smaller value.
You can consider swamp coolers if you live in a dry place. They add moisture to air delivered into your room. These works in the way, opposite to which, air conditioners work. The swamp coolers are quite affordable as they do not require installation of any additional devices. A number of air conditioners may require installation of additional devices to change the existing setup.
But, there are a few problems with swamp coolers. They cannot cool your room in an efficient manner and you regularly need to ensure proper quantity of water is provided to the device. You should never install a swamp cooler, if somebody in your house is suffering from asthma, as these devices blow microbes from outside the room into the room. This can cause serious trouble with asthma patients. The humidity that is added to the room can also cause mold inside the room.
HVAC systems also run quietly, which is efficient on the other hand too. As the main devices are located outside the houses, you should choose a product that thinks about your neighbors and the surrounding. The air conditioning units have huge noise levels and can eventually disturb the surroundings close to your place. The most silent units have noise levels, which are less than 60 dB, which is same as whispering of visitors in a restaurant.
We have also thought of other ways to reduce noise, like properly designed blades of fan, compressor insulation and variable speed settings for the fan.
The other things necessary to choose a central air conditioner.
Dimensions and designs
The best air conditioners should be robust in nature. As the outdoor units are placed outside the room, it should have the ability to bear all kinds of weather conditions. The best units can provide you easy access to the filters of the air, coils and other important parts of the unit. We also searched for certain air conditioners that look a little attractive so that they do not kill the beauty of your yard.
Warranty and support
The best HVAC devices are manufactured by a number of reputable companies who provide their customers with excellent customer support. We have preferred manufacturers who give transparent information through multiple ways, like online and other ways, each time problem arises. The customer also deserves an additional warranty for the compressor and other important devices, because these devices help you in providing comfort to your home.
The verdict and recommendation
The best air conditioner brands, who manufacture central air conditioners, depending on their energy efficiency, noise considerations, the designs, warranty and support, so that you can get instant help each time you face a problem with this important device.
Review of portable air conditioners
The ways to choose a portable air conditioner
The best air conditioner that we found in our test comprises Haier HPN10XCM, which is the Gold Award winner; EdgeStar AP8000W, which is the Silver Award winner; and Soleus Air LX-140, which is the Bronze Award winner. Here you will find other tactics too, in order to choose the best portable air conditioner, along with the reasons behind choosing them.
These portable air conditioners can suit you the best, if you are living in a small piece of apartment and installation and use of window or wall air conditioners is prohibited by your landlords. These units are easily portable and thus you can easily move them from one room to the other, like bedroom to the living room or vice versa. As these devices are designed to be moved to different places in a frequent manner, all the portable air conditioners are equipped with wheels, to move them easily, when needed.
Unlike other air conditioners, these units do not sit on your window, occupying it, but kept in the room, which is needed to be cooled. But still, these devices need a window, which will act as a hose to pump out the hot air out of the room, through the window. But installing this air vent through the window is comparatively easy and quite quick, without the need of a painstaking experience, though, it will take a couple of minutes. But, the problem lies in the fact that the windows are actually the weak point of these devices, and improper installation may lead to warm air leakage through the window into the room. To know more about the products, you may read more about portable air conditioners.
Are portable air conditioners perfect for you?
All the air conditioners share the same design in terms of cooling process, the modes of operation and all the units need some level of installation. These elements are a little different from others, because these are portable. They can be moved from one place to another, as said above. If you love want to spend your entire day in the kitchen, you can keep the device in your kitchen and move the device to the bedroom to maintain a cool nighttime temperature as the evening comes.
If you think that this type of air conditioner is not perfect for you, you can consider other substitutes too. For a long term cooling solution, you can choose wall air conditioners. These units vary a lot by price and you should create a hole in your wall to install these units. All the necessary units are sealed in a place which will ultimately help you to pull out war air from your room and pump cold comfortable air into your room. Thus, if you want a permanent solution of cooling for your room, then these devices are the best and you can check the reviews of the wall air conditioners.
If a permanent wall air conditioner is not the one you are looking for, you can also choose a window air conditioner that will provide you a balance between efficiency and portability. As the name suggests, the window air conditioners rest on a window of your room. These models are great if you want to keep a particular room cool and comfortable, like the bedroom, living room or a dining room.
Portable air conditioners: The test and the results.
In the process of testing the portable air conditioners, the things that we have brought under the lens are the cooling efficiency, energy efficiency, rather than any other functions. The sole purpose of installing an air conditioner is to maintain the room temperature of a room and if a device cannot provide that, the device is of no use. So, we considered the capability of sweeping in cool air for these models, and that too under all the available modes of operation.
We brought the energy efficiency of the units under the lens and also calculated the annual cost of operation. This point is very important to you, if you want to lower your electricity bills. In our process of evaluating, we considered a number of other things, like how easy the devices are to use and the number of available operating modes. All the models come with a remote and a timer to turn on or off the air conditioner, whenever it is necessary.
But the last thing is the design, which is another important thing. If you are planning to purchase a portable air conditioner, the only thing that you should make sure before purchasing it is, whether the device is easily movable! Another thing is the sound of the operation. Check whether the device does not make much noise while running. Can you actually sleep, when the device is running! The average sound of the air conditioners is 52 dB, which is similar to a conversation between two persons. So, find an air conditioner which has less sound mentioned above.
The last thing that you should look is the manufacturer of the air conditioner. A manufacturer who offers you a number of resources like online manuals, FAQs with contact number and email addresses, when you have a problem, should be preferred.
The things you should look, before purchasing a portable air conditioner.
The capability of cooling
This is the first and most important thing you should look in an air conditioner. The cooling capabilities of air conditioners are mentioned in British Thermal Units (BTU), which is a measure of the area of a room, which it has the ability to cool. Though, it is a little tough for you, we will make the thing a little easier for you. An air conditioner with 5000 BTU can cool a room of 15 square feet and one with 14000 BTU can cool larger rooms, which is as long as about 700 square feet.
The next thing that you should look for the air conditioner is the quantity of air the unit has the ability to circulate. The indication of it is given by the value called CFM. More the value of CFM, the more is the amount of air that it will blow within the room.
Air conditioners keep the room cool by removing the moisture content from the air within the room. There are a number of designs for removing the water from it. You may need to empty a tray on a regular basis, in order to remove the water. Other models may have other provisions, which will help the system to expel water from the room with the help of an exhaust pipe, which will be evaporated by the surroundings, as much as possible.
The certifications and the energy costs
One of the most important things that you should look for in an air conditioner, is the Energy Efficiency Ratio or the EER of the product. This will also help you to find out the annual energy consumption of the device. All the air conditioners have EER, which shows the energy efficiency, as well as the overall efficiency of the machine. The EER of portable air conditioners is generally 9.8 or more.
The annual operating cost should also be taken care of. The process we found out the annual energy consumption is switching the units for 8 hours a day for 90 days. This is the standard formula adopted my many organizations and countries. Though, the results will surely vary comprehensively, if you use your air conditioner for more hours or less. The average cost of a unit or 1 kilowatt is 12 cents on average, and it may vary depending upon the country you live. So, the cost of units can also cause huge differences.
You should always pay enough attention to a few performances as well as safety certifications. A few of them are the ASHRAE certifications, UL listed mark, ETL listed mark and the compliance called RoHS. All these certifications actually indicate the safety and the performance of the devices. These certifications are given by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and the Air-Conditioning Engineers and Intertek.
If the products are certified as RoHS compliant, it implies that it meets the specifications of the restriction of the most hazardous substances and this do not cause six hazards, which are caused by lead, cadmium, mercury, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers and hexavalent chromium.
Design and portability considerations
Portable air conditioners should be transported easily, they should be lightweight and easy. If you frequently move the device from one place to another or you want to move it to a different floor through a stair case, then you should make sure that the devices are easy to be transported through lifts. The average weight of the portable air conditioners is 60 pounds. So, each time you want to purchase an air conditioner, you should make sure that the devices are less than 60 pounds or equal to 60 pounds, if you cannot find one, weighing less than that.
The last thing that you should know is that, all the portable air conditioners exhaust hot air. So, you should install the device in a proper manner so that the hot air is properly ventilated to go out of the room, instead of coming in. The installation should be done in a proper manner to achieve this. A number of portable air conditioners have weak installation kits. So, the best thing is to find the portable air conditioners that come with good quality window kits, for proper installation. This can only be achieved by purchasing proper devices from reputed manufacturers.
Whatever may be the type of air conditioner you choose, you should make sure that the air conditioner you are purchasing have a number of modes, like the fan only mode, which will allow you to get a comfortable by adding some extra air to the room. Always try to purchase an air conditioner that a have a number of speed control settings for the fan. This will help you to cool the room and blow decent quantity of heat, according to your requirements.
If you live in a humid place, you should find an air conditioner that has a mode to dehumidify the room. This feature is available in almost all portable air conditioners. This implies that you will never need a separate dehumidifier for dehumidifying your room.
If you want to use the air conditioner only when you go to sleep, you can prefer to purchase an air conditioner that has a sleep mode. This will gradually increase the temperature when you go to sleep, saving energy. Find devices with energy saver mode, which will help you to save energy.
Portable air conditioner: the recommendation
After going through a number of air conditioners, the best units are the Haier HPN10XCM, the EdgeStar AP8000W and the Soleus Air LX-140, which are available in the market. These units have a good cooling efficiency, with energy saving capabilities and that too with a number of necessary operating modes, to customize the cooling process and give you complete comfort.