How To Choose The Best Air Conditioner For Adelaide Homes
Which is the best air conditioner system for my home? Every home owner, whether based in Adelaide or anywhere in Australia, would have asked this question before. Especially if you are building a new home. Choosing the best air conditioners for your home involves quite a few considerations.
In this post, we hope to provide a concise, in-depth guide on how you can choose not only the best, but the most suitable air conditioner for your home.
It is very important to spend some time carefully considering your options before you proceed to purchase a heating and cooling system. Especially if you live in the rather extreme climates of Adelaide and South Australia, you will want to get an air conditioning system that performs well under such conditions.
HVAC is a major part of your home building or home improvement project. Making the right decisions early will help you avoid unnecessary costs and regrets later on.
The fact is, air conditioners come in varied form factors, and each model has different features on them.
The best approach is to first deliberate on the different type of HVAC systems, then evaluate it’s features between the various brands and models, and finally choose a specific brand that has the majority of features you desire in your home air conditioner.
Read this post in entirety to get an understanding of all the considerations you should take, before deciding on which is the best air conditioning system for your home.
Types Of HVAC Systems
There are generally 3 common types of heating and cooling systems. Ducted Reverse Cycle, Wall Split System and Evaporative air conditioners.
Both the Ducted Reverse Cycle & Evaporative fall into a category called Ducted Air Conditioners. These air conditioners distribute the conditioned air via a series of ducts throughout a home.
Ducted air conditioning is very unobstrusive in design and can lend a “minimalist” feel to a home. They are also more suited to larger homes with more complex layouts. Or multi-storeyed homes.
The other category of air conditioners is the Wall Split System. Split System air conditioners come with a main compressor that serves multiple wall units. Each wall unit is like a “blower” or “fan coil” that generates and puts out the conditioned air within a room.
Split system wall units are installed on the walls of each room you wish to air condition. Although they are more obviously spotted on a wall, and not as “invisible” as ducted air conditioners, they can still accentuate the interior decor of a room.
Below are brief notes on these 3 common HVAC types :
Ducted Reverse Cycle
The Ducted Reverse Cycle system is one of the most popular types of air conditioners favoured by Australian home owners. There are many benefits to this type of air conditioner.
Ducted Reverse Cycle units distribute air using a network of ducts and air vents.
As you can see in the image above, this takes on a very minimalist look and feel.
Home owners love this. Since the ducts are usually hidden away under roof spaces and floor joists, and the air vents are installed flush against the ceilings and wall spaces, the air conditioner is almost unnoticeable.
Hence Ducted Reverse Cycles are very unobstrusive in design and can blend into the interior decor of any home easily.
The ducted reverse cycle is capable of producing both cold and warm air. It is hence an all in one heating and cooling system.
Home owners prefer reverse cycle as it can keep their homes warm in winter and cool in summer.
So you can save on investing in a separate heating system for your home.
Wall Split System
Split System units are another very popular choice for home owners.
This HVAC system comprise of a main compressor (that is usually located externally) and wall units that are installed onto the wall of each room you want air conditioned.
The new generation of split system air conditioners are aesthetically designed to also suit the interior decor of homes and sometimes even accentuates the overall design.
Some models even come in a variety of colors that home owners can choose from.
Split systems also come as reverse cycle models and the difference between a split system reverse cycle and a ducted reverse cycle is in how air gets distributed.
With ducted reverse cycle, air is distributed by ducts whereas for split system air conditioners, the conditioned air is generated via wall units installed into each room.
Evaporative Cooling is becoming more popular with home owners. Evaporative systems use the natural process of evaporation to cool air. This different to the refrigerative process used by ducted reverse cycle and split system air conditioners.
Evaporative Cooling produce air that is not as cold and crisp as the refrigerative air conditioners, but the air feels more natural, moist and like a cool breeze. Since the air contains more moisture and is not as dry, the air quality if much better from an evaporative air conditioner.
For this reason, evaporative systems are popular with families that value better quality and more natural air. Such as those with young children or newborn babies, or with family members that have respiratory sensitivities. Evaporative Cooling is also gentler on the skin.
Which Type Of Air Conditioner Is Right For Your Home?
So if you live in Adelaide or anywhere in Australia, which are the best air conditioners for your home? A lot comes down to the type of home you have. Your home size, layout and floor plans are all play a part in dictating the best type of air conditioner for your home.
Let’s take a look at some of these considerations, and which type of air conditioners are best suited for each scenario.
Standard size homes & layouts
Most homes builders built nowadays come with a standard single storey, 2-3 bedroom floor plan. These standard homes average between 250-350 sqm and very standard layouts that are pre-approved by the council.
If you have one of these floor plans, then your air conditioning needs are much simpler.
Usually for these homes, a split system air conditioner can be quite suitable. Since you only have 2-3 rooms and a few internal spaces, split system air conditioners may actually be the best air conditioners for you. It can easily and effective cool all internal spaces.
For larger standard layout homes, you can get a higher kW split system air conditioner and add a few more wall units. Some home owners may prefer to have a second compressor if they have larger dining or living rooms too air condition.
Larger homes with more complex layouts
For larger homes or more complicated layouts, especially multi-storey homes, a ducted air conditioner may be the best option. The use of ducts makes it much easier to get the air conditioning into every room, and far reaching spaces in a home.
During the construction phase, your air conditioner installer can work with the builder to best map out how to run the ducts and where to locate the air vents. For multi-storey homes, the ducts can be run through the flooring of each floor and all share the same external and internal compressors.
You can choose between Ducted Reverse Cycle air conditioners or Evaporative air conditioners, as both are under the ducted air conditioner category.
If you have homes with these kind of profile, installing split system may not be ideal and may even be cost prohibitive in some cases.
Since you will likely need to install multiple split systems (one to serve each floor) and the upfront costs as well as maintenance, could really set you back.
The Latest Air Conditioners Features
There are a host of cutting edge features that come with all brands and models of air conditioners.
When choosing the air conditioner that is most ideal for your home, you often must decide what features you value more.
Not all models are created equal. And each model has it’s own benefits, features and shortfalls.
Below are some of the more prominent features that air conditioning manufacturers have recently incorporated into their models.
Please note that not all features below come standard. So you will need to read the sales documentation and specifications for each model you are considering.
Common Air Conditioner Features
Inverter Technology & Efficient Operation
Inverter technology was first invented by Toshiba and has now developed into a standard for most air conditioning manufacturers. Each air conditioning manufacturer has it’s own implementation of Inverter technology, each with it’s own benefits.
Mitsubishi Electric’s inverter technology seems to be a popular choice. Hence it’s price premium over other manufacturers.
Inverter technology allows a HVAC system to scale up or down it’s power mode, depending on the heating and cooling demands of a room or space.
So if a room has been sufficiently cooled to it’s desired temperature level, the inverter kicks in to scale down the power to just maintain that climate. This reduced power consumption significantly – which is why inverter models have higher energy star ratings than non-inverter models.
Most newer brands and models of air conditioners these days have a very strong focus on efficient operation. Apart from inverter technology, some models also feature low power mode, low standby power and other power efficient functions.
Air conditioners are in fact becoming more and more efficient to run.
Air Purifiers, Ionizers & Filtration Systems
An increasingly popular feature demanded by home owners is a built-in air purification system. Air conditioning manufacturers have thus responded by introducing many models that come with not only multi-layered filtration, but also air ionizers (that remove bacteria, viruses and odours).
Producing cleaner, healthier air has become a top priority for manufacturers. Toshiba and Samsung are two such companies with a strong focus in this area, with their split system models featuring cutting edge air purification systems.
Self Diagnosis and Cleansing
This is a more technical feature that a few air conditioner brands have focused on. This feature helps service technicians quickly identify the root cause of an issue, cutting down the time needed for troubleshooting.
Through a mix of indicators and sounds, service technicians can quickly identify the problem and effectively resolve it.
This reduced diagnostic errors and unnecessary repeat service calls – which often happens at the expense of the home owner.
Most newer models of air conditioners now operate fairly silently.
Through advancements in fan blade/grille technology, and reduction in sound emissions from the electronic components, manufacturers have managed to reduce the noise emissions to a level that’s almost inaudible.
Certain models are quieter than others. So you will need to compare the decibels provided in each model’s spec sheet.
Sensor-based Climate Control
Many split system models now come with a “3D-sensor” technology that detects the ambient temperature for certain sections in a room.
This allows for a more accurate measurement of the temperature and allows the air conditioner to better adjust it’s cooling or heating accordingly.
Models with this feature generally provide a higher level of comfort for users.
Advanced Air Flow Control
This feature allows the user full flexibility to control the air flow from an air conditioner. Obviously, this applies mainly to split system air conditioners.
Through advanced flow settings, a user can set the horizontal and vertical angles of the louvres and air vanes in the air conditioner, effectively directing the air flow to focus on any section of the room.
Advanced Zoning Control
This feature is more for ducted air conditioners.
Through advanced zone controls, a user can divide a home into, say 8 zones, and configure different climate settings for each zone. Each zone can also be controlled totally independent of other zones.
From temperature settings, to power modes to air flow and timer functions, the zoning controller gives full flexibility to the user to control his or her overall home climate.
WIFI Remote Control
Many brands and models of air conditioners now come with WIFI remote control.
This allows a user to download and install an app on their phones or computer, which allows them to fully control the air conditioners in their home.
As long as they have access to a data plan or wifi, they will be able to control every aspect of their air conditioning, even when they are not at home.
The Best Time To Install An Air Conditioner
As you should probably know, the best time to install an air conditioner is during the construction of a new home. In fact, once you have locked down your plans with the council, you should immediately consult with an air conditioning company on those plans.
A reputable air conditioning company will be able to review your plans, recommend a suitable type, brand and model of air conditioner for your new home. More importantly, you will need to discuss any ducting works required.
Initially, just working off the plans and verbally agreeing on the installation should do. Once the “sticks” or framework of the house is up, you will want to request for an on-site assessment of the project.
This will allow the installer to confirm the exact locations of the external and internal units, ducts and how to run them.
As certain home layouts may present restrictions to how ducts can be run, it is highly recommended that the on-site survey is done at the right time.
If you are installing air conditioners into an existing home, you will need to consider carefully between ducted vs split system. Split Systems are very easy to install and does not require extensive ducting. Ducted air conditioners will require ducting, which means you may need to open up your roof spaces and re-seal the affected areas after.
Again, the best thing to do is to speak with an experienced installer. They will provide you with professional advice on how to best carry out the installation.
Picking The Best Air Conditioners For Your Home
Choosing the right air conditioner for your home requires research and much planning. You will need to first determine your own cooling and heating goals, consider the size and layout of your home, and compare the various benefits and features across multiple brands and models.
Apart from clearly defining your own requirements, below are a few practical steps you can take that will help in your information gathering and decision making process.
Determine Your Budget
This is perhaps the most important consideration. Every home owner needs to set their own budget when it comes to an air conditioning project. Knowing how much you can, or would like to, spend on an air conditioning project will determine which brands and models you can select.
If budget is constrained, you may wish to look into a brand that does not carry a premum pricing over other brands. With modern day advancements in air conditioner technologies, most brands actually perform fairly well when compared to each other. With a smaller budget, you may go for a less pricey brand, as that often would not mean that you are compromising on quality.
If budget is not a concern, then you may wish to select a top reputed brand despite paying a premium for it. Mitsubishi, for example, has always commanded a premium over other brands. Yet, many home owners choose Mitsubishi, as they recognise the quality and commitment of the brand behind the air conditioner.
This is a very important part of your decision making process. Most major brands of air conditioners now have in-depth information and technical specifications online. These documents are neatly organised in their website, according to models and air conditioners types.
It is essential to make use of these online resources when you make product and model comparisons. Some of these sites even allow you to compare multiple models at a glance, making it very easy to sift out the differences between each model.
Other online websites may also provide quality information about certain brands and models of air conditioners. Some authority sites such as wikipedia or air conditioning blogs, also explains many of the terms and features common to air conditioners.
Search For Genuine Reviews
End-user reviews are also a very important resource. When searching for reviews, ensure that they are genuine end-user reviews, and not paid advertisements or insider reviews. Insider reviews are done by employees of the brand itself, and are often biased.
Since you are purchasing an appliance, the genuine feedback from other people who have used the air conditioner themselves, naturally helps a lot. For instance, through reviews, you could often pick up that certain models are noisier than others, more prone to technical failures or leakages, and more.
Do a search on Google and look for comments in forums. You will pick up many useful insights about the different brands and models.
Word Of Mouth Feedback
Hearing it from friends and family will also increase your understanding of the features and benefits of each product. Many of our clients have shared that simply by just asking around, they were able to get quality and genuine opinions about different brands of air conditioners.
Often, family members would have had experience with one or a few brands of air conditioners over the years. Just by asking their opinion, you could gain much insights into their experiences which may help you better decide which air conditioner is best for your home.
Consult With An Expert
Talking to an expert will provide you with professional advice that will help you make the right decisions. An installer or consultant from a reputable air conditioning company will be able to review your floorplan, budget and objectives, and furnish you with in-depth recommendations on which type of air conditioner to go for.
Let Jim’s Help Recommend The Best Air Conditioners For Your Home
Need help? Contact us by filling out the Quote Request Form above and one of our sales consultants will call you back. If you like, you can send us your house plans so that we can better advice on the best approach to air conditioning your home.
Jim’s Heating and Cooling supplies and installs a full range of air conditioners from all leading air conditioning brands. From ducted reverse cycle to split system air conditioners, to evaporative systems. We feature brands such as Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Samsung, Braemar and more.