Are you looking to install a new air conditioner? You’ll encounter various types and sizes, each with unique merits and drawbacks. Air conditioner installation should be effortless once you find the ideal choice for your space and needs. Here’s an overview of three things to know before installing any AC unit in your home, office, or commercial building:
1. Type of Air Conditioner
AC units come in many standard types: split system, duct system, window wall, portable, central, room, ductless mini-split, and evaporative cooler. Each type has unique features and suits specific buildings/rooms. A central AC unit circulates air through the building using a system of ducts and registers. Room AC offers specific area cooling and can be installed in the window and used as a portable unit.
A ductless mini-split is mounted on a wall and provides zoned cooling without the ductwork. Evaporative (swamp) coolers use evaporated water to cool outdoor air and circulate it through the building. A split system AC features two units: one indoor and one outdoor unit. The two units are connected using pipes. You can install a multi-split system with one outdoor unit connected to two or more indoor units.
A window wall AC features one unit installed in a hole in the wall or window. One half of the AC is inside the home, and the other half is outside. Portable air conditioners work more like fixed units but don’t require installation. You can move the AC to different rooms and positions to get the best cooling. Understanding the different AC types will help you determine the best unit for your house.
2. Size vs. Energy Efficiency
Determining the right AC unit size is one of the critical pre-installation steps. Size refers to the average power in kilowatts (kW) rather than the unit’s physical dimension. The actual measurement is also essential as it affects how and where the unit will be installed. When reviewing the size, consider the space/room where you plan to install it. Other considerations include existing room installation, wall composition, and type/number of windows.
You should choose the right power for the size of your room. A small AC won’t cool a large room effectively. Similarly, a large AC will waste energy if installed in a small space. You can use the standard calculation, which involves multiplying the room area by 25 BTU (British thermal unit). If your room is 15 feet long and 10 feet wide, your calculation will be 10 x 15 x 25, which gives you 3750 BTU. Calculate the requirement for each room you want to cool.
You should also choose an AC with a favorable EER (energy efficiency ratio). EER denotes the cooling efficiency measured in BTU per hour. Look for the Energy Star label, which implies the unit has passed the US Department of Energy standards. Air conditioners with five-star ratings are the most energy efficient. Some models feature a colored scale running from A (green) to G (red), with A being the most energy efficient.
3. Operation and Maintenance Costs
Turning on the air conditioner will cost you money. The unit will also need servicing and maintenance to operate at optimum performance levels. You should determine operation and maintenance costs before air conditioner installation. AC units have different power consumption depending on the brand, size, energy efficiency rating, age, and room conditions. You can check the kilowatts rating to determine the unit’s cooling capacity.
Note that kilowatts ratings don’t reflect energy consumption. In most cases, the rating is a fraction of how much energy the unit will consume. You can calculate the hourly consumption by the number of hours the system will run and then multiply the result by the cost per kW. Air conditioners will also consume more energy if it has to work harder to cool or heat the room. You can save more using the correct AC size and energy-efficient models.
Timely maintenance and responsible use will also reduce the total bill. Most air conditioners need servicing once or twice a year. You can also schedule maintenance following heavy use. Find out how much the unit will cost you to run and maintain. Some installers offer maintenance plans; you can save more by subscribing to such deals.
Professional Air Conditioner Installation
When looking for air conditioner installation, stick to professional companies with a growing reputation and positive reviews. Work with experienced installers who can guarantee premium quality equipment and installation guarantees.