Air conditioning has become the norm in hot and humid climates. Almost all offices and many middle class homes have starting installing air conditioning in their homes. Air conditioners are essential to improve working conditions. This in turns helps to improve productivity of office workers. Many industries, factories, laboratories etc. too need air conditioning for comfort or because the process needs it.
Depending on the size of the room and total area needing air conditioning, some decisions have to be made for the air conditioner to be installed. The usual choice for a home may be window or split air conditioning. Central air conditioning may be choice for very large homes, offices and factories.
Cost can be one big factor we need to consider when making a choice. But it would also be handy to know some technical information like tonnage of the air conditioning, power consumption and other mechanical features as well.
Let''s examine some of the technical data we ought to acquire to get your money''s worth, when buying an air conditioner.
First and foremost you need to your budget. Secondly you should know the size of the room or area of the house or office if you wish to cool part or whole area. This helps to ascertain the tonnage of the air conditioner you require. The price of the air conditioner increases with the increase in tonnage. Normally for window or split tonnage of air conditioners available are from 0.60, 0.75, 1, 1.5 and 2 tons. One question the store will ask you which brand or manufacturer you prefer. Depending on the brand, your price will vary. Sometimes there are even assembled air conditioners available from the local maintenance workshop, which may turn out to be cheaper though not entirely reliable.
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It is no secret that the cooling capacity varies in direct proportion to the air conditioner tonnage. So how do you measure cooling capacity? Cooling capacity is measured in KCal/hour or BTU/hour and the greater the number, the more powerful is the unit. Cooling capacity of an air conditioner of one ton is 3000 KCal/hour or 12000 BTU/hour. Guidelines given by manufacturers indicate that area and tonnage of machine. A 0.75-ton machine is suitable for 35 sq. ft. area, one-ton machine for 90 to 110 sq. ft. area, 1.25-ton machine for 115 to 140 sq. ft. area, 1.50-ton machine for 150 to 170 sq. ft. area, 1.75-ton machine for 180 to 220 sq. ft. and so on. A better way is to divide the square feet of your room by 600 to get the correct tonnage.
It would be helpful to your dealer if you give some details. Other than room size, you could tell him the number and size of windows, the direction the room faces, how much shade your room gets, the thickness of walls and type of roof, type of insulation the room has and the number of appliances in the room like computers. Such details will enable your dealer to advise about the best type, tonnage and number of air conditioners to be installed.
You need to be guard that you do not select a lower tonnage simply to save on cost. Lower tonnage can reflect in higher bills, which will eventually hurt your pocket in the long term.
It is important to ensure that the power supply in your home is sufficient to run the machine. Your authorised electrician can advise you on the power supply angle. You should also get him to check the wiring. If required, separate wiring and heavy-duty electric plug connection should be provided to install the air conditioner.
The efficiency of your machine can be measured with the help of Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). EER helps you to determine how much it costs of run each unit. Units with higher EER are more expensive, but consume less power and turn out cheaper in the long run.
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