Air Conditioner and Heater Buying Guide
Have you ever tried to decide which air conditioner or heater to buy, only to become confused and overwhelmed by all the choices and features?
Luckily for you, we’ve put together this super-helpful guide to buying your next air conditioner or heater. Read on to become an instant expert...
Find the info you need here:
- What does ‘reverse cycle’ mean?
- What is 'split system'?
- What is natural convection heating?
- What is ceramic heating?
- Which model will cool/heat my room most effectively?
- What is BTU?
- Do I need a dehumidifying function?
- How do I install my new air conditioner or heater?
- Portable or fixed air conditioning/heating?
- Can air conditioners/heaters help my allergies?
- What sort of timer options are there?
- Which is the safest form of heating?
- Additional Tips
What does 'reverse cycle' mean?
Reverse cycle air conditioners are able to either heat or cool a room.
The name refers to the fact that the airflow is able to move in a reverse direction between the condenser and the evaporator, heating the air rather than cooling it.
What is 'split system'?
A 'split-system' air conditioner is a unit that has two parts - one is attached to the internal wall of your home, the other is attached to the exterior wall. Cool air is blown into your house via the interior system , while hot air is removed through the exterior exhaust.
If the unit is both ‘reverse cycle’ and ‘split system’, it can both heat and cool your room.
What is natural convection heating?
This is a technology used by many panel heaters and compact heaters that allows air to naturally circulate through the heater, and be warmed as it does so. These heaters work best in enclosed spaces.
Benefits include quiet operation and even warmth throughout the room.
What is ceramic heating?
Ceramic heating works by passing electricity through wires embedded in ceramic plates. The plates heat aluminium parts, and a fan blowing across these parts circulates the hot air.
These units are low in cost and are perfect heaters for individuals and small, enclosed spaces, such as a study, small bedroom or under a desk in a larger office.
Which model will cool/heat my room most effectively?
The best way to choose a model is by measuring the size of the room you wish to cool or heat. Multiply the length and width of the room to find the area in square meters.
|Type||Power kW||Recomended Room Size|
|Fixed||2.5kW cooling power||Up to 20 square metres|
|Fixed||5.1kW cooling power||Up to 35 square metres|
|Portable||2.9kW cooling power||Up to 20 square metres|
|Portable||3.5kW cooling power||Up to 25 square metres|
|Portable||4.1kW cooling power||Up to 30 square metres|
What is BTU?
BTU (British Thermal Unit) is an international measurement of energy. One BTU specifies the amount of energy required to increase or decrease the temperature of one pint of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
The larger your room, the more BTUs you require. This also increases the weight, size and cost of the unit you need.
Other things to consider:
- Kitchens: Add 4000 BTU to the room size recommendation
- High Ceilings or Unusual Floor Plans: Increase BTU by 10%
- Warmer Climates: May require an additional 10-20% BTU
- BTU size too large for room: Unit will cycle off very quickly, leaving the room humid
- BTU size too small: Unit will run continuously and will not cool or heat the room sufficiently
Do I need a dehumidifying function?
Air conditioners and heaters work to cool or heat a room, however on their own they do not regulate the amount of a moisture in the air. This may cause the room to feel stuffy and warmer than it really is. A dehumidifying function removes this moisture.
Humidity can cause excessive and uncomfortable perspiration, aids the proliferation of fungi and small insects, and causes laundry to retain moisture and develop a mustiness. A dehumidifying function is a good way to minimise these issues.
How do I install my new air conditioner or heater?
For our Fixed Split System Air Conditioners, installation by a professional is recommended.
Our portable units can be installed by you. Just follow the steps below:(outlined further in your user manual)
- Fit the air exhaust hose into the back of the unit.
- Fit the window outlet to the end of the hose.
- Place the air conditioner near a window and adjust the length of the hose appropriately.
- Open the window slightly and position the window outlet so the hose is drawing air from outside.
- If you have a sash window, place the bracket on the windowsill, then extend the bracket fully within the window frame and fix the bracket using the pin. Once done, lower the window onto the bracket. Insert the window outlet of the exhaust hose into the slot, then connect the hose to the air conditioner.
Portable or fixed air conditioning/heating?
This is a personal choice, based on your requirements, budget, available space and whether you own or rent.
Portable units can be less efficient but have the advantage of being able to be moved or stored away when not in use. They are perfect for renters who would not be allowed to fix a unit to the wall.
Fixed units have the advantage of saving space in your home and working more efficiently. They are a permanent feature of the room, and blend in better with your decor.
Can air conditioners/heaters help my allergies?
There are two features which can minimise the symptoms of allergy sufferers.
- Made from randomly arranged fiberglass fibres which help filter dust and allergens from the air.
- A type of heat transport in which heat is not circulated by any external source (like a pump, fan, suction device, etc.) but simply by the natural movement of air molecules. This minimises the disturbance of dust and other allergens, which would otherwise be blown around the room.
- Heat rises, so if you have a ceiling fan try setting it to a low speed in order to distribute the hot air evenly throughout the room.
- When heating, avoid setting units to extreme temperatures. This does not speed up the process, and with each degree celsius your heater will consume about 10% more power.
- On hot days, prevent the sun from heating your home by keeping windows closed and shaded.
- To ensure maximum efficiency from your unit, be sure to keep rooms closed off while heating or cooling.
- For both hot and cold times of the year, insulation is key. If your home is particularly affected by external temperatures, additional insulation may be necessary to get the most out of your unit.