How to buy an air conditioner

Home Comfort | Appliance wattage advisor | Air conditioner buying guide

What you should consider before you buy an air conditioner


How big is the space you need an air conditioner (AC) for? The size of the cooling area has a direct bearing on the capacity of the air conditioner. Thus the smaller the cooling area, the smaller the capacity of AC required, and vice versa. Basically there are two types of AC units: the split and the window units. Aesthetics and convenience of locationing are major considerations in the selection of the AC type to use. Additionally it is easier and faster to install a split unit AC, as it involves minimal civil construction modifications in the building. It has been argued in some quarters that split units consumes slightly more power than the window unit of the same capacity and technology type.

There has been progressive improvement in AC compressor technology that certain brands even offer models that use significantly lower energy, making them more amenable for use with low capacity generators or inverters. These are usually termed inverter or gen cool ACs. Other older AC compressor technologies include the dome and the rotary compressors. The dome compressors have lower efficiency, consume high amounts of energy, and are susceptible voltage fluctuations. The rotary compressors however are an improvement on the dome types, and thus consume lower energy and are more efficient. The major buying guides for prospective AC buyers are:

  • space area to be cooled
  • number of persons using the area
  • level of traffic in the space (frequency of opening and closing of door leading to the cooled area)
  • capacity and technology of the AC


Power Consumption

Air conditioners come in different sizes and this is usually a function of the compressor capacity. The more the capacity of the compressor, the more its power consumption. AC compressors may range from 735 to 2,200 watts. As earlier stated, your choice should greatly be dependent on the purpose (or size of the cooling area).


Warranty and Maintenance

You should generally avoid buying air conditioners that do not have a service center within the area of your domain. This could lead to multiple, maybe inexperienced hands tampering or handling your air conditioner, which could lead to damage and effectively shorten the useful lifespan of the AC.

Also always remember to check for warranty. The duration of the warranty determines the confidence the manufacturer has in the product. Therefore the longer the warranty, the more confident the manufacturer is that the product is durable. Never buy an appliance with no warranty! Finally, you should buy from an authorized dealer to ensure that the warranty is valid.



There are many air conditioner brands in the market. Always check for the SONCAP and the warranty (as said above). Finally you can tell us your experience with your appliance, or as your questions, in the comments section below.

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