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Which Air Conditioner is Best?

The simple answer?  It all depends…

It may sound like a simple question.  But the answer is not so straightforward.

There are many different types of air conditioning units, and many ways they can be evaluated.  The best home air conditioning unit might not be a great option as a warehouse air conditioner.

Common factors used to compare different air conditioning types and determine which is the best air conditioner includes, but is not limited to;

 

  • Type of AC system
  • Brand
  • Features
  • Cooling capacity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Upfront costs
  • Running costs
  • Maintenance
  • Noise level
  • Ease of operation

In this article, we’ll explore the two most common settings where air conditioning is used; home and workplace.  We’ll highlight key considerations and options for these settings, and help you determine which air conditioner is best for you and your specific needs.

Best home air conditioning units

When choosing the best home air conditioning units, its most important to consider the type of AC system that fits your space and installation needs.  Ducted air conditioning is best for the whole house, while wall split air conditioners are best for individual rooms.  If in a rental, a portable AC might be suitable, although sometimes negotiating wall split systems can be a better option.

Another key consideration is brand and manufacturer reputation.  This is crucial for reliability and service quality over the life of the system.  Then, it’s worth looking for features that enhance comfort and convenience, such as programmable controls and smart home compatibility.

While finding the best home air conditioning units, sizing is a key point to review.  The cooling capacity, typically measured in kilowatts (kW), should match the size of your room for efficient cooling and heating.  Like Goldilocks and the three bears, your aim is to find the size that is just right.  Sizing is just one of the many air conditioning mistakes people make that you should avoid.

Kilowatt rating also impacts energy efficiency.  However, energy efficiency on its own is also worth considering.  This not only affects the environment but also impacts running costs.  You can compare wall split systems using Zoned Energy Rating Labels (ZERL) in Australia.  For ducted units, you may need to refer to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to make a comparison.

Upfront costs can vary significantly with home air conditioning.  It’s worth trying to balance initial costs with expected running costs and maintenance requirements year-to-year.  Ease of maintenance should be a consideration here, as the more DIY home air conditioner maintenance you can do, the less you need to pay the professionals!

Other key factors when finding your best home air conditioner include noise levels and ease of operation.  Lower noise levels increase comfort, especially with bedrooms and quiet areas.  Finally, ease of operation can make life easier and enhances the overall experience with the AC product.

By considering these aspects before buying an air conditioner, you are well on your way to finding the best aircon to suit your home’s cooling and heating needs.  Individual factors, such as personal preference and budget, can also not be ignored.

Comparison between ducted and split air conditioning units at home and business

Best commercial air conditioning units

When choosing the best commercial air conditioning units, it’s important to consider the type of cooling method initially.  There are a wide range of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) methods on the market.

The main 2 types of commercial air conditioning are:

  • Direct Expansion (DX) Air Conditioning
  • Central Air Conditioning

The key difference is where heat is exchanged.   In DX air conditioning, heat is exchanged directly with refrigerant passing through a cooling coil in a unit serving that indoor area.  Is the most common type of air conditioning on the market.  Most options are off-the-shelf and readily available.

In central air conditioning, heat is still exchanged with refrigerant, however this occurs in a central location within a building.  Heat is transferred from the indoor area using a certain medium, which is typically water.  Beyond that point, heat can be expelled at the condenser using air-cooled methods or water-cooled methods.   These options are typically custom-designed and manufactured to suit the specific building and requirements.

When selecting the best commercial HVAC system, split ducted systems, cassettes, fan coil units (FCUs), rooftop package units, water/air-cooled chillers, and/or cooling towers are commonly selected.  A key point to consider is how the overall design and application will compare with the commercial building’s size and layout.

Once unit type is selected, brand reputation comes into play.  Durability, efficiency, and customer service all play a significant role in ensuring long-term reliability and support for the HVAC equipment.  Commercial equipment may have a longer life expectance (depending on sizing), so support over that lifespan becomes increasingly important.

Speaking of sizing, the correct cooling capacity of the commercial air conditioning units is critical.  There are no one-size-fits-all sizing formulas for commercial HVAC, as the heat load in buildings varies greatly.  Office space vs production floor vs laboratory… they could all have the same square meterage but wildly different cooling (kilowatt) requirements.  Even rooms within the same business can vary, such as an office area vs meeting room.  Given the importance of sizing, professional assessment and design is recommend for any new commercial air conditioning.

Energy efficiency is an important consideration when it comes to commercial air conditioner selection.  This impacts business expenses long-term, considering HVAC systems typically account for 50% of commercial building energy usage.  Energy usage also has a significant environmental impact.

Beyond energy efficiency, maintenance efficiency should also be reviewed.  AIRAH DA19 Australian Standards recommend different service levels for different HVAC equipment.  A commercial air conditioning company can provide guidable and quotations on routine maintenance to help optimise efficiency, lifespan, and performance of your AC equipment.  They can also help assess and reduce business disruptions, while balancing costs vs benefits of routine maintenance.

Certain features may be of high value in your workplace, such as smart technologies and limits on how hot or cold staff can set the AC (if at all!).  Noise is also importance to consider, as low levels are conducive to a productive work environment.

All these factors collectively determine the suitability of an air conditioning unit for commercial use.  A commercial HVAC installation contractor is recommended to assist in balancing performance, cost, and operational efficiency.

If you have any questions or require assistance finding the best air conditioning units for your home or business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  Our friendly and knowledgeable team can help find the perfect solution for you.  Contact us today.