Are you currently searching for an air conditioner that will effortlessly keep your home cool and comfortable? With so many different makes, models, and sizes available on the market today, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you. In this air conditioner buying guide, we'll provide all the information you need to make an informed decision for your space.
Air conditioning units are typically categorized into different groups depending on their design and intended use. Here are the most common types of air conditioners available:
A window air conditioner is a self-contained unit with all its parts enclosed inside, typically installed in windows or holes in the wall. They work by expelling heat through their exterior and circulating cool air indoors. Window air conditioners are an excellent solution for those who don't have a central cooling system to stay cool during hot weather.
Portable air conditioners function similarly to window air conditioners as they are enclosed in a single unit with all their components. The key difference is that they are freestanding and can be relocated from one room to another. This option is best for those who don't have space for a window air conditioner or need cooling in multiple areas.
A central air conditioner, also referred to as a ducted air conditioning system, operates on a split system consisting of two main units. A central air system can effectively lower the humidity levels in your entire home, which is a significant advantage over a stand-alone unit that cannot match the same level of humidity control. This is the best option for you if you want to cool your entire home in a consistent and efficient manner.
This air conditioner consists of an outdoor unit that includes a compressor and condenser and one or more indoor units that are mounted on a wall and feature air blowers. The indoor and outdoor units are connected by tubing, and the refrigerant flows through them in different ways depending on the type of use. If you're looking to avoid the hassle and cost of installing ductwork, consider ductless mini-split systems. These split-system air conditioners are a great option for homeowners with older homes or non-traditional architecture who want to save time and money.
If you want a mini-split but don't have enough space for a wall-mounted unit, you can use floor-mounted air conditioners for convenience. The indoor unit of a floor-mounted AC is placed on the floor, and the outer unit can be installed without needing major site preparation or any ductwork. Floor-mounted air conditioning units are commonly used in various indoor settings such as shops, hallways, canteens, restaurants, and offices. They are particularly useful when temporary or short-term air conditioning is needed because they can be quickly and easily installed.
If you’re wondering, “What size air conditioner do I need?” there are a couple of things to consider. The size of an air conditioner is typically measured in tons, which refers to its cooling power rather than its physical dimensions. One ton can effectively remove 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heat within an hour. For example, to cool a room or home office with an area of roughly 24 square meters in size, you would need an AC unit with an air conditioner capacity of 8000-10,000 BTUs. It is important to make this calculation before browsing and shopping for an air conditioner.
To determine the required cooling capacity for your space, begin by multiplying the length and width of the area to find its total area. Then, multiply this total area by 337 BTUs, which is a practical number for sufficient cooling, regardless of external weather conditions. As an example, if the area of the room you want to cool is 24 square meters, multiply 24 by 337—the result will be 8,088 BTUs. Here is a helpful for the number of BTUs required based on different room sizes:
Small rooms measuring 15 to 18m² in size will need an air conditioning unit with an output of 9000 BTUs.
For a medium room spanning 20 to 25m², an air conditioner with an output of 12,000 BTUs is required.
Larger rooms measuring 30 to 35m² will need an AC unit with a BTU output ranging from 18 000 BTU.
Before deciding on an air conditioner, there are several features to take into account that determine its performance and efficiency.
To keep your utility bills in check, find an air conditioner with energy-efficient features. Consider the Energy-Efficiency Ratio (EER) rating, which indicates the appliance’s energy efficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficient the AC unit. Another key factor to consider is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, as it measures seasonal energy efficiency. A higher SEER rating indicates better energy efficiency. You can calculate the SEER rating by dividing the cooling output by the energy consumption.
While SEER is determined by analyzing energy consumption over various months and temperatures, EER focuses on energy consumption at a fixed temperature.
Air conditioners are categorized according to their cooling or heating capacity, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). A higher BTU rating signifies a greater capacity to cool or heat a room effectively. Typically, a standard living room requires a cooling capacity range of 6000 - 12000 BTUs. To get the best cooling or heating experience with minimal energy consumption, it is important to choose an air conditioner with the appropriate BTU rating for your room size.
The cost of an AC depends on its type, size, and cooling capacity. Mini-split systems generally tend to be more expensive compared to window or portable units, but they offer the most efficient performance with relatively straightforward installation. On the other hand, window air conditioners are typically more affordable than the split system air conditioner (mini-split) but need to be installed in a window or an appropriately sized hole in the wall.
No matter what type of air conditioner you decide on, you’ll want to make sure it’s energy efficient. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy the many benefits, from reduced energy bills to a more environmentally-friendly home. Let’s take a closer look.
Installing a new energy-efficient air conditioner in your home may seem like a costly investment at first. However, it can save you money in the long run. Heating and cooling expenses account for about 50% of your home's energy bill. With an energy-efficient AC, these costs can be significantly reduced, sometimes even by up to a third within the first month.
Compared to older, less efficient models, your new air conditioning unit will require fewer repairs and boast a longer lifespan. With proper maintenance and regular tune-ups, it can last up to 20 years.
By installing an energy-efficient air conditioning unit, you’re taking a proactive step toward creating an environmentally-friendly living space. This might also inspire you to find other ways to make your home more sustainable.
Choosing the right air conditioner for your home is an important decision with many factors to consider, such as the size of your room, energy efficiency rating, cooling capacity, and more. Fortunately, TCL Australia has a range of air conditioners that will provide you with outstanding temperature control all year round. With features like smart airflow options, air purification, and compatibility with Google Assistant and Alexa, searching for a new air conditioner becomes a breeze. Whether you're looking for a small AC unit to cool a single room or an energy-efficient system to keep your entire home comfortable, TCL has you covered.
The 2.5 KW air conditioner is suitable for cooling an area ranging from 10m² to 20m². It’s a great solution for smaller rooms like bedrooms, studies, offices, and enclosed kitchens. Based on our air conditioner buying guide, the ideal number of BTUs for this room size is 5,000 - 6,000 BTUs.
A 3.5 kW air conditioner is suitable for cooling an area ranging from 20m² to 30m². It’s a suitable option for small to medium-sized rooms such as ensuite bedrooms and rooms with high ceilings. Based on general guidelines, the ideal number of BTUs for this room size is 7,000 - 8,500.
A 4.5 kW air conditioner is a more powerful air conditioner for cooling an area ranging from 35m² to 40m². It’s best for medium to large rooms such as living rooms or family rooms. The ideal number of BTUs for this room size is 9,800 - 12,500 BTUs.