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Air Conditioning: Helpful Tips in Choosing Air Conditioning to Buy

By Singapore Home Guy On October 18, 2010 Under Home Savings

Whether you live in the city or in the country side there comes a moment when you want to turn on air conditioning unit. Pollution, extreme heat, cold or high levels of humidity makes us turn to technology for help. Air conditioning isn’t exactly a new invention so we know what to do when we want to buy a new unit but how do we chose from so many products? How do we know what to look for when we purchase an air conditioning unit?

Nowadays most new buildings have air conditioning (AC) included whether it’s an office building or a house. However, if we must buy it ourselves how do we choose from so many products that are currently available? The first thing you need to consider is the size of the room you need air conditioning for. In this case the size of the air conditioner really matters. If it’s too big you’ll end up spending too much money and if it’s too small your room might not be cooled efficiently. The size of the room and the insulation are two decisive factors you need to consider in buying a new air conditioning machine. When you purchase an AC, make sure you tell the seller about the size and insulation of the room. That way, they will be able to tell you what you need and how many BTU’s (British Thermal Units) are required for efficiently cooling your room.

However if you wish to find out yourself how many BTU’s should your new air conditioner should produce, there are simple calculators on the internet to help you with that.  Just make sure you mention the size of the room and of course the type of insulation that you have.

If the new place you bought already has an inbuilt AC unit that isn’t fit to your satisfaction and you want to upgrade it, there are a few things you need to be aware of like switches for high and low pressure cutout in the outdoor condenser unit. These switches can save the compressor if problems occur so even if they cost extra it’s best to have them. Higher efficiency units also come with a better blower motor for the indoor air handler. If possible, buy an AC unit that has an ECM (East Coast Mechanical) motor. They are more efficient especially if they run at low speeds most of the time.

The US Government uses the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating for every AC unit. It’s a formula that calculates how many BTU’s are created per unit of electricity (Kilowatt – KW) used. So the more BTU’s/KW are created the better your air conditioner is, thus you’ll spend less money on cooling your room.

To have an idea of how much you’ll spend with the air conditioning, simply calculate the number of days you intend of keeping the AC on in one year, and how many hours per day. The electrical usage of your new air conditioning unit should be provided by the manufacturer so just calculate the watts per hour, times the number of hours run time and divide by 1000. The resulting number will show you the number of KW/h (kilowatt hour) of electricity that your unit will consume. The next step is to take this number and multiply it by the number of days per year that your unit will run. Then, multiply the result to the cost of one KW from your electric company.

Knowing these numbers, you can easily calculate whether your pay back will be five years or less. If it is, you can definitely go for the higher efficiency air conditioner but always keep in mind that electricity costs may go up and there are some states where those costs are going to go up by 50% or even more in the years to come. It is probably safer to run those numbers at higher electricity costs just to be on the safe side.

Of course when it comes to air conditioning, it is always very important to know what kind of environment you will have in your location. For those who live in the south, it’s not exactly a matter of choice when it comes to the number of days the AC unit will run. In this case it’s best to purchase a higher efficiency unit even if the cost is a bit higher.

When it comes to cooling, we don’t always rely on air conditioners. The Heat Pump is often rated as being more efficient especially in the southern part of the country but we’ll address that in a different article in the future.

Since we live in a money based economy, the electricity costs will always go up so it will be more practical to have a higher efficiency air conditioner not just because they have more safety controls built into them but also because in the long run your costs will be less and at the same time you’ll be saving more electricity. With so many options to choose from, it’s often hard to decide.  But if you consider the few important factors shown in this article, you’ll certainly purchase an AC unit that will suit your needs. There are cheap air conditioners and of course there are expensive ones, just remember that the cheapest air conditioning is not always the best choice.

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