Aspects to Consider When Choosing an Air Conditioner
With summer behind us, you may be considering updating your ducted air conditioning system or reverse cycle air conditioner for next season. Now is a great time to consider what you need and want in an air conditioner, giving you time to research and have it installed before the summer rush starts again.
When choosing an air conditioner, there are several important aspects to consider
Size and Capacity
It is essential to choose an air conditioning system that is appropriate for the room you want to cool (or heat). An undersized unit will not cool the room adequately, while an oversized unit will waste energy and increase your electricity bills.
So how do you choose the right sized unit?
The first step is to determine how big of an area you need to be cooled. Measure the length and width of each room you want to cool and multiply these numbers to get the square meter of the room. Add up all the meterage you want to cool.
From here, you can then use a cooling capacity calculator to determine the cooling capacity you need from a system. You also need to factor in how the air conditioner will perform due to ceiling height, how many people will use the room and how much sunlight the room receives.
This process can get a little confusing, especially if you are considering ducted reverse cycle air conditioning, so your best bet is to consult an air conditioning specialist who can calculate the correct size system for your home. You won’t need to do anything other than decide which rooms you want cooled.
Electricity isn’t cheap, so the last thing you want is to install a system that chews through power. When considering different systems, look for an air conditioner with a high Energy Efficiency Rating or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient the system and the lower the cost to your energy bills.
While saving money on your power bills is one benefit of a more energy efficient system, the other is less impact on the environment. A more energy efficient system emits fewer greenhouse gases, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Finally, an air conditioner that is energy efficient can last longer and may require fewer repairs. An energy efficient air conditioner puts less stress on the system, which helps to reduce wear and tear and lower the risk of breakdowns.
If you live in an area where your neighbours are close, or you are sensitive to sound, you need to consider the noise level of your air conditioner, both inside and out. If you are planning on having ducted air conditioning installed in bedrooms or other quiet spaces such as a home office, it is important to consider how noisy the system is, and whether it will keep you awake at night or interrupt your work.
Type of Air Conditioner
This is a really important consideration. Depending on what rooms you would like to cool, you have some options for air conditioners including reverse cycle air conditioners, split system air conditioners or ducted air conditioning. Each comes with their own benefits and of course can differ in price quite a lot, so take some time deciding which system will work best for the intended usage and your budget.
Air conditioners come with various features including timers, thermostats, air filters, dehumidifiers and smart home set-ups. It is important to look into each of these areas and decide which features are important to you. Features will vary not only between the different styles of air conditioners but different brands.
We recommend making a list of the essential features, plus the “would be nice” features, and speaking to an experienced air conditioning team to ensure you get the system that best suits your needs.
Maintenance and Servicing
Regular maintenance and servicing is essential to keep your system running at peak efficiency. You should look for units with easily accessible filters and consider what type of regular maintenance may be needed before deciding on a system. A system that has accessible filters and an easy to clean external unit will make maintaining the unit easier.
You should also consider what air conditioning services might be needed, and how often when deciding whether one system is more affordable than the other.
Brand and Warranty
While it can be enticing to go with a cheaper brand, it is more beneficial to choose a reputable brand that produces reliable and efficient air conditioners. You should also choose to use a brand that has a good warranty period, that covers parts and labour for a reasonable period of time.
Outside of the warranty, choosing a brand where parts can be easily obtained is important. You don’t want to be waiting around for weeks for parts to arrive, or find in a few years time that parts are not available so you need to install a whole new system.
It is likely when getting multiple quotes that you will be quoted for various brands. Spend some time doing some research on those brands before choosing one.
Why Install Ducted Air Conditioning at Home?
When choosing an air conditioning system, you generally have the choice between ducted, reverse cycle or split system air conditioners. While reverse cycle and split system air conditioners are cheaper to install, there are several reasons why you may want to consider installing ducted air conditioning.
- Consistent temperature control: Installing ducted air conditioning allows you to control the temperature of your home, including individual rooms, from a single unit. This means that you can set the desired temperature and maintain it throughout the home, ensuring a comfortable environment for everyone. With a zoned system, each room can be heated to a different temperature so that everyone can have their own comfort levels.
- Energy efficiency: If you want a system that is energy efficient, a ducted air conditioner is the way to go. Because they can be zoned, these systems tend to be more energy efficient. With a reverse cycle or split system, you are cooling the entire space even if you aren’t using areas of your home. With a zoned ducted system, you can reduce energy usage by only cooling the areas and rooms of your home that you are using.
- Aesthetics: If there is one thing about ducted systems, it’s that they are designed to be discreet. Much of the system is hidden within the ceiling or wall cavities, meaning the system is not visible and there is no need for bulky wall mounted units. Ducted systems are a popular choice for homeowners who want a clean and modern look in their home.
- Less noise: Ducted air conditioning systems tend to be quieter than other types of systems simply because the cool air is distributed throughout the house via ducts in the ceiling or walls. If you need a system that emits a lower level of noise, a ducted system is the better choice.
- Increase in home value: Properties with air conditioning tend to have a higher value when compared to similar properties, particularly when it comes to investment properties. Installing ducted air can certainly help to increase the value of your home as it is considered to be a desirable feature. If you are planning on selling your home some time in the future, you may want to consider the cost of ducted air a worthwhile investment.
Where is the Best Place to Install a Ducted Air Conditioner?
The best place to install a ducted air conditioner depends on a few factors, including the size of the space you want to cool, the layout of your home and the location of any existing ducting. In general, ducted air conditioners are installed in the ceiling, under the floor or in the walls. If you are replacing a system, it makes sense to install the new system in the same location to minimise installation costs.
If you are installing a new ducted system, your installer will be able to talk you through the best places for installation, however there are a few things to keep in mind. Installing ducts in the ceiling can be a more expensive and difficult task, however it does tend to provide better air distribution and can be less obtrusive. Under-floor ducts are generally easier to install, and are a better option if you have limited ceiling space available.
You also need to consider the location of the outdoor unit, which ideally should be installed in a well-ventilated area away from bedrooms and living spaces to minimise noise and vibration.
Overall, the best place does depend on the layout of your home and any specific needs and circumstances you have. It is a great idea to consult with an air conditioning professional who can assess your home, and recommend the most suitable location for both the ducts and the outside unit.
Air conditioning can make a big difference to your home, whether it’s winter or summer. Getting the right system for your home and your budget is important, and considering the aspects discussed will help ensure you’re home is the right temperature year round.