Living in a hot tropical island of Singapore, air-conditioner. is a must have for many of our home. Therefore choosing the right air-conditioner for your home is necessary especially if this is the first time you are making the purchase. There are many brands, variety and different specification to choose from. Let me break down the steps to choose the right air con for your home.
The way to measure cooling efficiency is by the individual unit’s ‘BTU’ or British Thermal Units - Larger BTUs air-conditioner are required for bigger living room.
Step 1 : Match the BTU to the room size
Typically the configuration for our HDB flat and condo are as follow:
22k/24k BTU – 5 room HDB/ Condo Living rooms
18k BTU – 4 room HDB/Condo Living rooms
12k BTU – (HDB/Condo Master rooms)
9k BTU (HDB/Condo Common rooms)
More BTU power is need if there is excessive sun exposure, more occupancy in the room and higher ceiling height typically for condo.
If you use an underpowered air-conditioner, you will run up higher bills by having to set the air-conditioner for a much longer time. You will also wear out the fancoil and compressor faster.
Step 2 Energy efficiency rating
In Singapore, all air-conditioning systems, refrigerators, dryers, televisions and lamps need to be registered under NEA’s ‘Tick-Rating system’. The ratings range from 1-tick being the least energy efficient, to 5-ticks which is the highest energy efficiency rating available.
Step 3 :Warranty
A warranty is a good thing to have, especially on something as important as an air conditioner. If you intend to use your air conditioner heavily, then an extended warranty is a must.
Step 4 Insulation tube
Make sure your installers use best grade of insulation tubing in your system to carry the Freon gas to and fro the compressor to the Fan Coil Unit (FCU) especially if you install your system into your new home within concealed walls.
Step 5 Inverter A/C Unit or a Non 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 consumption 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 environmentally friendly.