Equatorial sunny Singapore can be sweltering hot at times, so here are some fast facts and tips you should know when choosing a suitable aircon for your home.
1) Know your right BTU.
BTU means British Thermal Units, a term for cooling capacity. Choosing the right BTU for your home will mean you can keep cool without overloading your aircon and having to pay sky-high bills. BTU can be quickly calcuated at http://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html simply by inputting the room dimensions and approximate insulation.
2) Know the energy consumption of the aircon
EER is the Energy Efficiency Ratio. Most aircons have EER of 10, and a point higher in EER saves you 10% in electricity bills, but units with high EER are generally more expensive initially. A unit with an Energy Star has an EEU of at least 10.7.
In Singapore, Energy Efficiency Rating for different brands and models of aircon can be found on its Energy Label which represents the rating by way of ticks. The highest rating is five ticks. The annual energy cost and the annual energy consumption for the aircon is also found on the Energy Label.
3) To Split or not to Split
A window unit is a self-contained air-con system installed through a hole in the wall. No further piping is required. A single split unit comprises of the CDU (Outdoor Condensing Unit) and the FCU (Indoor Fan Coil Unit) and requires piping between these two units. A multi split unit has a CDU and more than one FCU. Because of the design, split units are quieter than window units.
4) Should get an Inverter A/C Unit?
A non-inverter’s A/C compressor and its motor can operate at a single speed only, but is more affordable. It is also easier to install (Casement & windows A/Cs), but it uses more electricity over time, has a large temperature variation, and is noiser. An Inverter A/C controls the speed of the compressor to change temperature where needed and reduces electricity consumption by 30-50%, so its more enviromentally friendly.
5) 3+1 Multi split + Single Split System or 4 Multi split System?
A 3+1 Multi split + Single Split System is recommended because the cooling capacity will be reduced if 4 or more indoor units which share a compressor are turned on at the same time. However it is more expensive as a 3+1 requires 2 compressors. If you do not intend to operate all the units at the same time, a System 4 unit will save on the cost of the extra compressor while keeping your home cool.
6) What is R22 and R410a
These are both terms for regfrigerants. R22 and R410a are both currently used as cooling liquids for aircons in residential areas but R22 ceased in new aircons in 2010 and is getting phased out by the year 2020, due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer.
7) Additional Features
A programmer timer on your remote control is generally used to two functions. To turn on the air conditioner half an hour before you get home to cool the house, and to switch off the air conditioner after you are asleep. Find out what temperature ranges and increments your remote can offer you.
A slide-out filter makes cleaning so much easier, and some models carry a dirty filter indicator as well.
Also, many models blow better in one direction than another, so you might want to find out this little detail about fan speed/direction.
8) What does some popular brand in Singapore offer?
- Daikin has been in Singapore since 1968. They offer technological innovations and high comfort for any living space. They offer reliable high quality and performance.
- Mitsubishi aircons also feature latest energy saving and silencing technologies in order to provide performance and room comfort control. Their aircon units enrich your lifestyle and lessen enviromental impact.
- Panasonic: This brand implements some cool features like Econavi and Autocomfort, where almost anything can be set including the horizontal louvers that provide you the freedom to set what best suits your comfort level.
As with buying any product it is recommended you look around several retailers comparing the prices and features before making a choice.
Most air conditioners come with one year warranty (parts & labor for repair excluding servicing) and five years part warranty for compressor. Moreover, it is recommended you buy a new aircon system every 8-10 years, which is more cost-effective than continuing to repair and service it.