Aircon Buying Guide for Singapore

This buying guide is about window-mounted air conditioner units.

Essential Facts
If you're looking for a break from the hot season, an air conditioner is wonderfully effective. Before you invest, you should know what you're buying. This guide will give you the basics of window-units, and help you sift through the jargon and the junk so you can find just what you're looking for.

Efficiency rating (EER): The legal minimum is 10. Higher EER ratings equate to lower long term costs but a higher initial purchase price.

BTU (British Thermal Units): Choose BTU level according to the size of the room which you plan to cool. The right BTU level not too high or too low will ensure proper cooling without exorbitant energy bills.

Buying an A/C Unit: Dealing with the hot season is a lot easier if you have air conditioning. If you're searching for an A/C online, you're probably looking for either a window or a split unit system. Here are a few tips to find the air conditioner that best suits your needs.

BTU, What does it mean?
Air conditioner cooling capacity is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). An air conditioner's price is closely correlated with its BTU rating. Bigger is not necessarily better. You don't want to buy an A/C that is too powerful for the space you are cooling.It will be more expensive than necessary, as well as too cold. An overpowerful A/C will also make a room feel uncomfortably clammy.

How much BTU do I need?
Find the square footage of the room you are trying to cool and multiply by 65. This will give you the ballpark BTUs you should look for. Shady room? Decrease that number by 10%. Sunny room? Increase that number by 10%. Add 4,000 BTUs if you are putting the A/C in the kitchen. If more than two people will be in the room regularly, add 600 BTUs per person.

What is the meaning of EERs?
EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. A higher number indicates a more efficient unit. A higher EER is better (costs less to operate) but units w/ high EER are generally more expensive. All air conditioners made after 2000 have an EER of at least 9.7. An air conditioner that receives an Energy Efficiency rating has an EER of at least 10.7. An increase in EER by one point can save you roughly 10% on your energy bill. Use this estimate when gauging whether a more expensive model will actually save you money in the long run.

AC Installation: There has been one consistent bad practice in this industry among installers. The standard size pipe for ac drainage is a ¼” size. But this is one main reason why aircons leak because the ¼” pipes get choked easily. Make sure you insist on a ½” pipe at least when they install your air conditioner and inform them in advance so that they do not give you the excuse that they do not have this size pipe with them and will have to cause a delay to the installation if you insist on the ½” size. Find out the real reason why they may want to install the ¼” pipe.
Make sure your installers use a reasonably good grade or if not the 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 and cornices. The integrity of the insulation is critical in preventing energy losses thru broken or faulty insulation contacting warm moist air outside the room which it is intended to cool. Apart from a significant amount of moisture gathering about these faulty pipes causing damage to the concealed panels, the system will definitely use more electricity as a result of energy loss thru the faulty insulation.

Noise:Some models run whisper-quiet, others sound like freight trains. Quieter models may be more expensive, but if you plan to use the air conditioner in your bedroom, you may want to make the investment.

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. Believe me, the Air Conditioner Warranty will pay for itself by the 3 year when you start to see wear and tear due to its heavy usage. With repair cost in Singapore being very high, a comprehensive coverage is definitely worth the purchase. Most models come with a one-year warranty; You can always extend your warranty with our EXTENDED WARRANTY.

Other Features:
Remote Control - particularly useful for air conditioners installed high above the ground.
Programmable Timer - set it to turn the AC on half an hour before you come home from work.
Air Direction - for best cooling, figure out whether you need the air to blow to the left or to the right - many models blow better in one direction than the other.
Temperature Range
Temperature Increments
Sleep/Energy Saver Setting
Slide-out Filter - makes cleaning easier.
Fan Speed Setting
Dirty Filter Indicator

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