10 Things You Should Know Before Buying an Air Conditioner

Buying an air conditioner isn't a decision you should take lightly. Before you do, make sure to keep in mind these tips.
10 Things You Should Know Before Buying an Air Conditioner

Last update: 03 May, 2023

The variety of air conditioning equipment invites us to carefully analyze the particularities of each before purchasing an air conditioner. These devices are able to maintain both humidity and the desired temperature in a closed room.

Its details, performance, and the needs of each person combine to choose one that allows you to maximize its potential. What other points to consider before buying? Find out right away.

1. The price

What the manufacturer offers must correspond to what you will pay. The cost varies according to the model, and the best way to price it is to know what your home requires; only then can you truly compare between one air and another.

2. The size of the room

If the room is very large and poorly ventilated, you have to buy an air conditioner of greater power, so that the cooling capacity is optimal. Small rooms do not need one with so much force.

The approximate amount of cooling you need is calculated by multiplying the length of the room by the height and width. The product is the volume and you multiply it by 50 for the final result.

3. The installation site

The general recommendation is in rooms of frequent use. For example, living rooms, bedrooms, libraries, or work areas.

4. Power and energy efficiency

Also called ‘cooling capacity’, this is the power consumed in cooling. It measures the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). It’s specified on the label along with the model, sound level, and other characteristics.

It may be expressed as EER. The difference is that it measures power at full load, while SEER measures power at partial loads, according to a Twenergy article.

There are units with an Energy Star label, which means they were manufactured in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

5. Heat output

This has to do with the energy emitted by the air conditioner. It’s measured in British thermal units (BTU). One of the first questions when going to the store is how many BTUs we want the appliance to be.

The answer lies in the amount of square footage that needs to be cooled; these are obtained using a tape measure. If the room isn’t a perfect rectangle, it’s a good idea to also measure for offsets, bends, and curves.

6. Technology

Acquiring an air conditioner with certain technology maximizes or not the cooling capacity. For example, inverter systems keep the room acclimatized with a constant temperature, increase efficiency and enjoy a comfortable environment. The more advanced the technology, the better the experience with the equipment.

7. Filters

The filter is a basic accessory to improve air quality, especially for people who suffer from asthma or allergies. Air conditioning filters should be cleaned regularly, so make sure they are easy to remove and replace.

8. Noise level

How uncomfortable is a conversation where you can’t understand anything because the noise in the air doesn’t allow it. The suggested decibel level, in terms of the sounds emitted by the device, is between 20 and 25.

9. Controls

Some do all the work in automatic mode, while others need you to manipulate them to work. The controls of an air conditioner range from manual to digital dials, including a remote. They will depend on the model.

10. Plug class

Not all are compatible with standard wall outlets; also, the voltage changes according to the size of the unit. It’s not advisable to purchase an air conditioner without comparing the plug with the wall outlet where it will be installed. Sometimes, it will take an electrician to enable a special outlet.

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Types of air conditioning

The Association of Manufacturers of Air Conditioning Equipment (AFEC) reviews a growth in the residential area in the market for solutions and air conditioning equipment. Also, businesses and companies equip their rooms with air conditioners. Both scenarios include the following types of options.

Window air conditioners

Used to cool one room at a time. Popular for their low cost, they offer inward cooling and expel heat to the back and sides. On the downside, they take away the possibility of a free window and are visible from the outside.


They are autonomous or unitary. They do not have an outdoor unit and do not require installation. The tube that extracts hot air is located in the window and that’s it. These air conditioners are common in rental apartments, second homes, or buildings that don’t allow installations in the windows.

Some people use them as support for central air or for times of heat waves. They are suitable for rooms measuring less than 20 square meters. They have wheels to move them easily and are lightweight.

Split air conditioner units

They comprise a compressor that goes on the outside and connects to the evaporators of the internal console. They are more aesthetic than the window ones and their complete menu is manipulated by remote control; without this accessory, you could only turn it on and off manually.


The difference with the simple one is that it has an outdoor unit for several indoor units, which makes it possible to acclimatize more than one room at a time or a large room.

Cassette type

This is another variation of the split, consisting of an outdoor condenser and an indoor unit embedded in the ceiling. These are connected through ducts installed in a false ceiling. They are usually found in offices and premises that require more cooling power.

Duct system

This type of air conditions is centralized and works by distributing cold or heat -when it’s a reversible pump- through ducts hidden in a false ceiling that ends in grilles through which the air comes out.

Air through the wall

Ideal for those who do not have accessible windows. Their installation is permanent, i.e., you cannot move them. You will need the labor of a professional to ensure the creation of an airtight seal for the unit to perform energetically.

Roof top units

These units have the power to take air from a rooftop and blow it through ducts. These compact units are often used in supermarkets, warehouses, and other commercial areas.

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Fan coil air conditioners

It consists of a fan, a filter, and a heat exchanger with which cool or heat water. They have an outdoor unit.

Evaporative air conditioners

They work with water and air, unlike those that work with refrigerant. They consume less energy than traditional ones and do not emit carbon dioxide.

Central air conditioners

This is the most effective way to cool houses or large buildings. The compressor goes outside and the air comes out through ducts through which a fan blows. Its installation requires great planning and execution by specialized technicians.

Package type conditioners

They cost less with central air and do not need ducts to cool, they do it by sending refrigerant through the compressor to the room. They are also used for heating.

Inverter system air conditioners

This is the technology with which certain equipment regulate the mechanics of air emission. They do not start and stop frequently, but keep the temperature stable thanks to the compressor rotating in continuous mode.

[Atomik-in-text]The advantages of this quality is that it extends the life of the compressor and prevents unnecessary energy consumption.[/atomik-in-text]

Geothermal systems

This type of air conditioner is based on a cooling technology aimed at energy efficiency that, among other benefits, reduces the costs of bills, notes Green Corporate Energy.

With the temperature of the soil, these air conditioners heat or cool the rooms. They are composed of a system of pipes in a loop, a heat pump, and the floor itself.

An extra tip to buy an air conditioner

Considering that you are looking for a pleasant environment, investing in an air conditioner is worth the expense because it goes beyond air conditioning; are teams that purify, cool, and eliminate odors. Check with a technician that the house or premises are suitable for installation, only then guarantee that the unit yields and make a good purchase.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.