The comparison between products has already put us in a position to have an idea of what are the characteristics to take into consideration when choosing the best air conditioner to meet your needs.
As promised, here is the actual buying guide: a step-by-step description of all the features to keep an eye on, particularly important to make the right decision and not waste your money.
The initial feature to keep an eye on when choosing the best model for your needs is first of all the type of air conditioner we intend to purchase. As we have seen, on the market there are many differences between the different models, but there are two general types, namely fixed air conditioners and portable air conditioners.
The stationary air conditioners, or wall, are installed inside a room and cannot be moved; they are almost always equipped with an external unit, in addition to the actual refrigeration unit, and often have a heat pump incorporated that allows these appliances to heat rooms in the winter months, as well as cool them in the summer months.
The portable air conditioners are more compact and can be transported in different rooms in the house with wheels and handles, they are quite easy to handle but usually are more noisy than fixed patterns and consume more energy. However, they have the advantage of being movable.
The fixed or portable air conditioner is better? It depends on your needs, and also on your pockets: in general, a fixed air conditioner model is certainly more versatile and consumes less energy, but perhaps it can represent a not very useful solution if you have a house with many rooms and you would not know where to place the air conditioner wall.
Dual Split and Multi Split air conditioners
In large houses or offices, a single air conditioner is often not enough: therefore, models with a single outdoor unit for two or more refrigeration units have been introduced on the market.
The dual split, trial split and in general multi split air conditioners are therefore models that allow you to connect multiple air conditioners to a single outdoor unit, thus allowing you to save space and have an ideal temperature in all rooms at the same time.
As we have also seen in the comparison between products, it is also possible to choose models of dual split air conditioners with different BTUs, to be able to cool rooms of different sizes without having to buy an oversized appliance for the surface to be air-conditioned. But what does it mean, for example, that an air conditioner is noisy twenty decibels? Very little: 20 dB is the ideal noise for operating an air conditioner at night, practically almost as if it were not there. Therefore, the best split air conditioner for home has the night function among those that can be selected: it is a quieter mode than the one to be used during the day, which in any case should not exceed 48 db.
The number of BTUs in an air conditioner is, as we have already anticipated at the beginning of this article, the British Thermal Unit, or the amount of energy that the air conditioner can have to cool or heat the environment. The higher the BTU value, the greater the size of the room in which to place the air conditioner.
On the market there are 8000 BTU air conditioners and models that can exceed 24000 BTU: the first are suitable for a room of about 20 square meters, while the most powerful are able to cool an environment up to 50 square meters.
SEER and SCOP
These two abbreviations respectively indicate values that tell us a lot about the power of the air conditioner: they are often absent from the summary descriptions of the different models, but you can always find them in the technical data sheet.
The SEER is the parameter relating to cooling and represents the energy efficiency index; the SCOP is instead the coefficient of seasonal energy performance, and is related to the heating, so it is present only in those conditioner models that include the heat pump.
Presence of filters
Breathing clean air in your home or office is particularly important, especially for those who live in big cities and for those suffering from allergies or respiratory problems. Many manufacturers of air conditioners began to install the appliances of filters of different types even if the most useful are the anti-odor filters, the anti-pollen filters, and anti-bacterial filters. In addition to these, we also point out those with activated carbon, effective against bad odors, antiallergic ones, which capture allergens and bacteria and PM2.5, highly effective even against the finest dust particles.
Functions and controls
Air conditioners have standard functions whose presence is essential. We are talking about the tilting wing, the automatic mode, useful for keeping a certain temperature constant, the dehumidification function and the one that also allows you to heat the air thanks to the presence of the heat pump. In addition to the automatic mode, we also point out that “Sleep” or “Night”, essential for using this appliance even during the night without being disturbed by noise or too strong air jets, the “Eco” mode, to save on the consumption of energy, and finally “, which allows you to heat or cool a room in minutes.
As for how to control an air conditioner, it is important to make sure that the appliance is equipped with at least one remote control to use it remotely. The more technologically advanced models, on the other hand, can also be operated via smartphones with special apps and via home Wi-Fi.
The ventilation is an important feature to consider when you decide to evaluate what conditioner choose. In fact, the effectiveness of the appliance depends on the ventilation. The best models allow the possibility of being able to adjust it and to choose between different levels, so that it can be used, for example, even during the night without being disturbed by a too strong air flow or, otherwise, to increase the speed to refresh the rooms first.
Like all appliances that have a resistance, so they are turned on and off frequently, the air conditioner also consumes more energy than appliances that are on all day – such as the refrigerator.
The inverter technology, along with technological innovations have enabled a fairly expensive appliance in energy terms to become very efficient in terms of consumption: ideal for saving in the bill is to choose a conditioner energy class A +++, but also choose a model A ++ or A + guarantees savings on the electricity bill combined with the comfort of a temperature that is always at the top.
Refrigerant gases used
Choosing an air conditioner that has a low environmental impact is not only important for an issue related to respect for the environment, but it is also economically advantageous. These appliances work through refrigerant gases that are evaluated based on two parameters that serve to determine how harmful they are: GWP and ODP, acronyms of Global Warming Potential and Ozone Depletion Potental. For those who intend to buy an air conditioner it is important to evaluate these two factors because starting from 2025 the use of this type of household appliances that have a GWD value greater than 750 will be prohibited. On the market, in fact, it will be possible to find only those that will work with the new R32 Ecological Gas, while the R410 gas, already very expensive today, will go into disuse.
If you do not like the hum of appliances, then the noise and silence of an air conditioner is an important feature to consider. Those looking for a silent portable air conditioner will have to compromise with their expectations, because it is the portable models that are the loudest.
Thanks also to the inverter technology, on the other hand, fixed wall air conditioners are much quieter; in the technical data sheet of the different models, we compared there is always the noise indicator, expressed in decibels (db).
To be sure of buying a quality air conditioner it is important to choose one produced by safe and reliable brands such as the Chinese ones Daikin, Hisense and Haier, the Japanese ones, among which we remember Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, and Hitachi, in addition to the Italian De’Longhi and Ariston and to the South Korean Samsung.
The prices of an air conditioner are determined by the technical characteristics, the functions present and also by the brand. Just to give you an idea, we can summarize by saying that a dual split model can exceed 50,000 INR if belonging to a high-end range, while one produced by an economic brand can also cost between 30,000 and 40,000 INR. In this case it all depends on the budget available.