Living in the Southern Hemisphere goes hand in hand with hot summer temperatures. Air conditioners in all homes will be cranked up to maximum speed to keep families cool, providing welcome relief from the sweltering heat. Not too long ago, having an air conditioner in your home was a luxury only accessed by the elite; nowadays almost all households have a system.
The cost of air conditioning units have come down considerably, making the technology accessible to the average Joe, and it comes with some great benefits. The air being pushed through the ducts is filtered therefore improving the air quality of your home, which means fewer allergy-causing bacteria, and the added security which comes with not having to leave windows and doors open to cool a room.
“It is very easy to jump and quickly have an aircon installed when we are boiling hot in the summer months – we have all made expensive mistakes in times of un-comfort. I do believe that knowledge is power, so ensure that you stay updated with everything property. The market, home finishes and technology available, even décor trends. This will guarantee that you can make an informed, educated decisions in the spur of the moment, and not sit with a very expensive, unattractive wall decorations” Craig added.
Buying an air conditioning unit should be researched carefully. Start with your own requirements such as the space to be cooled, where the unit will be located, and then pair this up with the models available taking into consideration budget, installation, maintenance costs, and most of all increased energy bills ” says Craig Hutchison, CEO Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.
You will need to measure the space that needs to be cooled. If you have a large home with many rooms, it’s possible more than one air conditioning system will need to be used to sufficiently cool every room effectively. While split air conditioner units could be cheaper alternative compared to a central air system, they also have limits on how far the air will reach.
A basic rule of thumb is 220BTU (British Thermal Units) per square meter of the room. Other factors such as ceiling height, size and location of windows and doors may cause a need for more cooling power. If we keep to optimal conditions, then an 8000BTU can cool up to 36m2 , 9000BTU = 54m² etc.
Byron Baty from SA Heating & Cooling advises clients to look for the energy ratings to assess what system is best for them. “Selecting on brand is often a common mistake. Don’t assume that because you are buying a consumer brand that you are purchasing a good, efficient, air conditioning system, good quality units useless electricity” he added.
The Inverter technology (DC) is the latest evolution of technology concerning the electro motors of the compressors. An Inverter issued to control the speed of the compressor motor, so as to continuously regulate the temperature. The DC Inverter units have a variable-frequency drive that comprises an adjustable electrical inverter to control the speed of the electro motor, which means the compressor and the cooling / heating output. The drive converts the incoming AC current to DC and then through a modulation in an electrical inverter produces current of desired frequency. A micro controller can sample each ambient air temperature and adjust accordingly the speed of the compressor.
The inverter air conditioning units have increased efficiency in comparison to traditional air conditioners, extended life of their parts and the sharp fluctuations in the load are eliminated. This makes the inverter AC units quieter, with lower operating cost and with less breakdowns. The inverter AC units might be more expensive than the constant speed air conditioners, but this is balanced by lower energy bills. The payback time is approximately two years depending on the usage.
Now you should have an idea of the type of aircon you require and you can start comparing the ‘feel-good’ aspects between the brands to pinpoint the winner. Air-conditioners can vary greatly when it comes to additional functionality. Here are some options to look out for:
This should equip you with the basic knowledge to know what type of Aircon you would require – so bring on Summer…