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Six key things you'll want to consider before buying an air conditioning unit

By EDF | Posted June 21, 2023

Thinking of purchasing an air conditioning unit this Summer? We understand that it can be a stressful task choosing the right AC for you, so we're here to help. Take a look at our helpful guide outlining the main factors to consider before buying an air conditioning unit.

1. Split unit vs portable unit

There are various air conditioning units available, but the most popular are portable units and split unit systems.

Portable models are standalone air conditioning units that can be easily plugged into a wall socket, providing instant cooling. You can easily move them around your home from room to room. However, they're not as efficient as split units. Also, remember you'll need to find a place to store them during the colder months.

Split units ACs are quieter, sleeker and more efficient at cooling. They might cost more and require professional installation, but they're worth the investment if you want a stylish and high-performance cooling system.

2. Space and size considerations

If you have limited space in your home or are renting, a portable unit may be more suitable as they don't take up too much room and can cool you down wherever you go.

If you opt for a split unit air conditioning system, you'll have an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is strategically placed at a higher position in the room to ensure an even supply of airflow. On top of that, the indoor unit is whisper-quiet, so it won't wake you up. The outdoor unit is typically mounted on an outside wall, the roof or even your balcony. Its job is to suck out the heat from the indoor unit and release it back outside.

3. British Thermal Units (BTU)

Before you make any hasty decisions, let's talk about BTUs. BTU stands for British Thermal Units, and it's a measurement of heat. When it comes to buying an air conditioner, it's important to check the BTU, as that tells you how many heat units the air conditioner can remove. Why does that matter? Well, if you choose a unit that's too strong, you'll waste unnecessary power. And if you pick a weaker AC, you may have to run it at full power continually and still never feel cool enough. We recommend going for a slightly larger BTU to ensure maximum comfort.

"But how do I calculate the BTU for my home?" you may ask. Don't worry - it's easier than it sounds! To work out the BTU, there are three simple steps to follow:

  • Grab a measuring tape and measure the length and width. Make sure you measure in feet
  • Multiply the length and width (in ft). This will give you the square footage of the room
  • Multiply the square footage by 25

There may also be other factors that can affect the BTU of your home, such as high ceilings, insulation, and the amount of sunlight rooms receive.

4. Costs

Affordability is an important aspect to consider when selecting an air conditioning unit. Portable models tend to be less expensive upfront compared to split systems. However, it's important to note that their energy efficiency isn't as good.

While a split-unit AC may be more expensive, it can save long-term energy. Remember, air conditioning in the summer can be just as important as heating in the winter when it comes to health and well-being.

Thanks to our partnership with BOXT, we can bring you a fixed-price air conditioning system tailored to fit your budget. Starting from £2,095 (including installation and VAT).

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4. Energy efficiency

If you're concerned about energy consumption and its impact on both the environment and your wallet, it's essential to choose an energy-efficient air conditioning unit. While portable air conditioners are convenient, they tend to use more energy, especially when left running all day. Split-unit air conditioners, on the other hand, are known to be very energy efficient.

When searching for an AC unit, you should also look for additional features to optimise energy efficiency. For example, programmable timers allow you to schedule cooling cycles according to your routine, which prevents unnecessary energy usage. Another useful feature to look out for is an energy-saving switch which turns off the fans when the thermostat turns off the compressor, saving you money.

6. Buying from a reputable seller

When purchasing your new AC, you must ensure you're dealing with a reputable seller, especially if you make an online purchase.

Before purchasing, thoroughly review the retailer's returns policy and check customer reviews. This will give you an idea of the seller's reliability and the quality of their products.

Ultimately, buying from a trusted seller means you'll have a smooth experience and peace of mind.

We've teamed up with BOXT to install air conditioning units. Regarding expertise and professionalism, BOXT installers are second to none. With their knowledge and skills, you can expect a smooth and seamless installation process.

Professional installer fitting in air conditioning unit

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