This is a guide to help you when shopping for air conditioners. Here we have provided useful information to help you buy the right air conditioner (A/C).
Here are some considerations to help you buy the right A/C:
What room space
Before you buy an air conditioner it is right to know the dimension of the space to be conditioned. A measure of the room area can help you determine required air conditioners capacity. The larger the room space the more capacity required from the A/C. You need to take this space information to the electronic shop.
If you are to buy a floor standing A/C, you must also determine the space it will be mounted on. Measure the maximum space allowed for the air conditioner; take it along with you to the Electronic shop. Buy floor standing air conditioners that can fit within the measured space.
If you intend buying window mounted air conditioners, measure the dimension of the window. Take along your measurement with you to the electronic shop. Ensure that the dimension of the A/C will fit into your window dimension with little or no civil work.
What type and use
There are different types of air conditioners in the market today. You need to determine the type of air conditioner that you need. The type of Air Conditioner can be determined by the use.
There are two main types of Air Conditioners. These are
- unit air conditioners
- central cooling system
Unit Air conditioners are self-contained. Once installed, it can operate independently. These are the type of air conditioners you will usually see in homes. Small homes that do not need too many air conditioning points use unit Air conditioners. They are more economical if few air conditioning points are required.
However, as the number of points required for cooling increase, the merits of a remotely controlled cooling system become obvious. In a Central cooling system, vents replace unit Air Conditioners. These vents are then connected to a central cooling system. Central cooling systems are used in larger houses.
If you live in a small apartment or a small house, you will not be interested in a central cooling air conditioning system.
Unit air conditioners come in different types.
There are window mounted air conditioners models. These air conditioner models are usually cubic in shape, but are increasingly taking more attractive shapes. As their name implies, window air conditioners are mounted on the window.
There are also the High wall split air conditioners units. These models are usually cuboids they are more classy than the window models. They can be mounted on a window but are usually mounted higher than conventional window A/Cs.
Ceiling mounted air conditioners are also available.
What Capacity BTU HP EER
You need to know the right capacity of air conditioner required to adequately cool and condition the measured space. It is very important to buy air conditioners with the right capacity. An air conditioner with a larger capacity than required will meet its targets too soon leading to intermittent on/off switching of the AC with negative wear and tear on the A/C parts.
On the other hand, an air con of a lower capacity than required will struggle to cool the space.
The capacity of an air conditioner is a measure of its ability to cool a given space. Some capacity ratings used for air conditioners include Btu (British thermal unit) and Horse Power (hp).
Btu is a measure of the quantity of heat that an A/C can remove from a given space. Scientifically Btu is the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
The higher the Btu capacity of an air conditioner, the stronger it is. Btu capacity of air conditioners, range from 5000Btu to more than 90,000Btu.
Btu may be popular in countries like the US and UK, but in others like Nigeria it is not usually used to describe air conditioners.
A popular rating used by retailers in Nigeria is the hp (horse power). This is a measure of the strength of an air conditioner and is somewhat related to the Btu. The hp rating of an air conditioning system is all about the power of the motor (compressor) inside the A/C. The more powerful the motor of an air conditioner the greater its capacity to cool a given space.
Popular air conditioner HP capacities in Nigeria are 1 hp, 1.5 hp and 2 hp.
There are a number of recommendations for determining the air conditioner Btu or hp capacity required.
A small room of about 12 square metres (130 square feet) or less requires about 5,000 Btu/hour or 1 hp.
A medium sized room of about 18 square metres (200 square feet) or less will require about 6,000 Btu/hour or 1.5 hp.
A large room of about 30 square metres (325 square feet) or less will require between 7000 and 8000 Btu/hour or 2 HP.
Another important rating to consider for air conditioners is the EER (energy efficiency ratio). EER is a measure of how efficiently the air conditioner operates. EER is the Btu of heat removed by an A/C per watt of power consumed.
EER = Btu/Power (in watts)
An A/C with higher EER will have a lower operating cost compared with an air conditioner with lower EER. However EER comes at a cost. High EER means you will have to spend more money. In other words, high EER air conditioners are more expensive.
You must strike a balance between running cost and purchase cost. If the air conditioner will be on always, buy one with high EER otherwise high EER may not be worth it.
It is important to ensure that the A/C you intend to buy conform to local electrical standard. One of the most important power ratings is the Voltage supply.
In the US the power supply voltage rating is 110-115V, 60Hz. Any air conditioner for the US must meet these criteria. In the UK, Nigeria and most African country the voltage supply is 220-250V, 50Hz.
Air conditioners require large amount of power so you may need to install a dedicated power switch for it. Buy a socket or switch that can handle the power requirement of the air conditioner.
Some air conditioners are smart enough to sense the voltage level and can operate over a wide range of voltage (say 90-250v).
Brands of Air conditioners
There are lots of A/C brands in the world and their popularity varies from country to country. In the US and UK there are popular brands like Sharp, Whirlpool, Amana, General Electric and so on. These brands are not so popular in Nigeria.
Some popular brands of air conditioners with good reputation in Nigeria are Panasonic, Kingsmen, Chigo, Scanfrost, Samsung, LG, Midea, Haier Thermocool, Airflow, Newclime, dizengoff and so on.
other A/C features to consider
Here are some other features to consider in air conditioners
- Bacteria/germ/odour elimination (clean safe air): example Silver Nano from Samsung, Nano Titanium from Hitachi
- Adjustable thermostat
- Variable Fan speed
- Slide out filter: for easy maintenance and cleaning
- Digital temperature control
- Sleep settings
Once you have a fair idea of the air conditioner you want to buy, you should then find out the price. Prices of air conditioners increase as capacity and number of features increase. You need to do a market survey to determine the price options available to you.
Call or visit an authorised air conditioner dealer to determine prices. Note that prices of air conditioners also vary across brands.
At Konga Online Store you will find Air Conditioners and accessories from world leading brands. You can compare prices and read feature information of any product at Konga Online Store. You can also read reviews of air conditioners at Jumia. These reviews include the experience of visitors who recently bought the air conditioner you intend to buy. Finally you may also decide to also buy.
Prices of most popular cooling systems in Nigeria range from N27,000 to 450,000 Naira.
Now you know the price of your A/C, you need to determine how to finance it. Air conditioner financing may be available to assist you in buying the new product. Enquire from your bank about financing options available to you. In countries like the US and UK product financing is more common than those in Africa like Nigeria. However, today consumer financing is now increasingly available in most of the leading banks in Nigeria.
Product financing is flexible and convenient but comes at the cost of interest. So you may choose to buy with no credit financing.
Once you are sure of what you want to buy and you have a good idea on price, you can then visit an authorised dealer shop to make your air conditioner purchase. You may buy from any of the same shops you did your market survey preferably the one with the best deal.
However, wherever you buy make sure it is from an authorised air conditioner dealer shop. Authorised A/C dealers deal directly with air conditioner manufacturers and will often offer you a one to three years warranty.
The warranty often involves repair or outright replacement of the air conditioner if it develops any fault during the tenor of the warranty. The fault must not be as a result of your carelessness or abuse. The warranty is often limited so clarify what the warranty includes and excludes (terms and conditions).
Authorised air conditioners dealers offer excellent after sales services. They also offer A/C financing.