Split ACs are an essential home appliance as summers nowadays are getting worse. Depending on your room and needs there are various options and types of split ACs which are available. Some of them are even designed to maintain aesthetics of your house while using minimum power.
The choices can leave you dumbfounded like capacities of 1.5 ton or 1.0 ton. Or presense of so many brands like Hitachi, LG, Samsung, Daikin, Bluestar, Voltas, Carrier, LLoyd, Panasonic and so on. The abundance of so many options can be overwhelming and hence you need to be sure about your requirement and price before getting down to buy one.
Split Air Conditioners range between Rs 15,000 to Rs 3,00,000. The size, features, compressor typically define the price. You should have a predefined budget as otherwise with the wide range of products, you can get confused.
TYPES OF SPLIT AC
Wall mounted split ACs are the most popular. The indoor unit is placed in the room and duct cannot be concealed. It is generally for small rooms which can be cooled uniformly easily.
Floor Mounted is also known as vertical or tower split AC. These are useful in rooms where you cannot mount the AC in your wall. These are generally more expensive than wall mounted ACs and hence less popular for homes.
Ceiling mounted ACs is known as Cassette type split air conditioners also. They look aesthetically beautiful as the unit is concealed, however this needs a false ceiling.The price for this type of AC is higher than wall mounted or floor mounted split ACs.
These are also known as concealed ACs.
Multi Split ACs
Multi-splits are multiple split ACs connected to one outdoor unit.
The indoor units can be used individually or at the same time as needed if this is supported. If both the units are used then the capacity of the ACs will be divided. The fan and condenser of the outdoor unit will be controlled based on the signals from indoor units.
This primary saves cost as instead of 2 split ACs you can use this type of AC.
Advantages of multi-split ACs
Saves installation space
Can be used individually or simultaneously
Saves on running costs
Convenient and economical
Disadvantages of multi-split ACs
Expensive compared to a single unit split AC
Limited range of capacities and models
More prone to leakage as number of indoor units increases
Most of the units today like LG, Bluestar or Hitachi offer 1.0 T, 1.5 T or 2.0 T capacity for each indoor unit.
The cooling capacity is the most important feature of a split air conditioner, this primarily defines the price of the AC. Most air conditioners are rated by tonnage. One ton is equal to 12,000 BTU per hour. The cooling capacity needed depends on factors like:
Size of the room: The cooling capacity required depends on the area of the room where the AC will be installed.
Average ambient temperature: Higher temperature of the air outisde your house, higher is the cooling capacity needed.
Number of people: The more the people that will be in the room, the higher will be the cooling capacity required.
Exposure: Direct exposure of any wall of the room to sun leads to higher requirement in cooling capacity. Glass windows which let sunlight inside the room also increases the need for cooling capacity.
Proximity of your room to kitchen: If the room is close to the kitchen the cooling capacity needed would be higher due to higher temperature of the kitchen.
The tonnage of the AC can be selected based on the chart below.
Indoor units that do not produce much noise are better as else these can be a big disturbance.
SPLIT AC PRICE AND BUDGET
You should take care to narrow down on the appropriate split ac by looking at the product design, quality and its performance. Also, consider the installation cost, running costs like power and maintenance while buying your AC.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATING
The ratio of air conditioner's cooling capacity to its power consumption is the unit's (EER). A system with higher EER is good. Though these models are expensive while buying, they save money in the long run by consuming less energy.
TYPES OF COMPRESSORS
The compressor helps in colling by circulating the refrigerant through refrigerant parts. The compressor is the most important part of the AC and determines the performance of the AC.
There are three types of compressors - reciprocating, rotary and scroll.
Air conditioners with a reciprocating compressor are generally less expensive and not as efficient or silent as the ones fitted with a rotary compressor. These are good for higher capacity cooling ACs which need to be run for longer times.
Rotary compressors are better than conventional reciprocating type. There is reduction in the loss in pressure of the refrigerator gas when a roatary compressor is used. They are more compact, operate quietly, operate longer and need lesser maintenance.
The cost of ACs with rotary compressors are higher.
For less than 3 ton these are good options as they don't need high duty cycle for operating longer and have better energy ratings. Rotary technology is slowly gaining prominence.
Scroll compressors have a wide operating voltage, economical running and low sound and vibration.
Scroll compressors are generally available in ACs with cooling capacity above 2.5 tonnes and hence not always available for home ACs.
Anti corrosion body
The body of the air conditioner is coated with a chemical to minimize corrosion. This extends the life of the body of the split air conditioner.
An air conditioner with the auto restart facility starts automatically and restores the original settings when the power is restored. This is useful if you have power cuts or switch off AC regularly as remembering and manually setting every time is difficult.
It helps to keep the room odour-free by absorbing bad smell and keeping the air fresh. This is essential to remove tobacco,smoke, smell from food etc from the room.
This is useful to remove dust particles by creating an electrostatic field that attracts dust. This helps in maintaining and extending the life of the AC as well since important parts remain cleaner.
Anti-bacteria filters keep bacteria and allergens out. New ACs also have indicators that indicate time to change the filter.
This is very essential as you cannot get up every time to change the setting. New AC remotes come with attrative LED display and sensors that can monitor room temperature.
Timer is an important feature specially for night so that the AC can get switched off after a particular time. Smarter ACs now can have programmed features to start or switch off after particular times intelligently.
Efficiency Meter (NEW)
Some ACs like Trane now come with efficiency meter. The Efficiency Meter on your AC Remote displays real-time information on your ACís energy consumption. This lets you control your AC energy consumption.
No Pointing of Remote (NEW)
You no longer need to shift your position to point your remote at your AC for the two to be able to talk to each other. New Interactive ACs like Trane and Remote work on new-age Zigbee technology allowing them to communicate with each other without you having to be in the vicinity. Other AC remotes work on principle of infra-red technology which requires line of sight to operate.
Hitachi ACE Follow me is a unique feature developed bu Hitachi, which is activated at the press of a remote button. High sensitive sensors of the New ACE Follow Me air conditioner detect even the smallest of the human body movements (1ft. magnitude) in the three sensing zones and direct the airflow towards the direction where the movement takes places.
If you don't want your AC to be misused when you are absent certain ACs like Hitachi have features which allow you to lock your settings so that someone else may not change it.
In built stabilizer
Some ACs like Samsung now come with inbuilt stabilizers. This ensures that the AC works smoothly even in extreme voltage fluctuations. The air conditioner regulates the voltage stability to prevent fluctuations in voltage and power outages.
The in built stabilizer AC also improves the look of your home as you donít need to install a separate stabiliser.
Some ACs feature auto cleaning, which automatically runs the fan even after you turn the AC off. This ensures keeping everything dry and odor-free while preventing germs from spreading. This reduces fungus and mould formation on the parts which have moisture and reduces bad smell when AC is switched on later.
ACs nowadays come with a heating mode as well which can be used in winters. Some of the brands having heating pumps include Voltas, Haier,LG.
Cool 2 rooms alternately
Onida Twincool was an AC that can be used to alternately cool two rooms using a microprocessor based I-BMX technology. This has since been withdrawn.
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