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Aircon Buying Guide: What to Know When Buying an AC in the Philippines


The weather in the Philippines can be hot and humid, making air conditioning a necessity rather than a luxury. Whether setting up a new home or upgrading your current cooling system, buying an air conditioner requires careful consideration.

With a multitude of options available on the market, it’s important to be well-informed before buying an aircon.

This guide will walk you through the essential factors to consider when buying an aircon unit in the Philippines, ensuring that you get the right air conditioner that caters to all your needs. 

How Do I Know What Air Conditioning Unit to Buy?

Many air conditioners might seem the perfect one for you, but buying an aircon is no easy task. Consider these factors to ensure your new air conditioner suits your needs:

Cooling Capacity

The size of the room matters. An air conditioner’s cooling capacity is measured in Horsepower (HP) or British Thermal Units (BTUs). BTU measures the ability to remove and replace hot air with cold air. 

For a small room, a 1.0 HP air conditioner should suffice. Medium-sized rooms might require 1.5 HP, while larger spaces could benefit from 2.0 HP or more. 

Oversized units waste energy, while undersized ones won’t effectively cool the room. Keep in mind that larger air conditioners with higher incoming electrical current may trip the circuit breaker.

Energy Efficiency Ratio

Energy bills can spike during the hot season. Look for the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) rating on the air conditioner. Higher energy efficiency ratio ratings mean it’s energy efficient and has lower operating costs, thus lowering your electricity bill.  

Inverter-type air conditioners have energy-saving technology and are energy-efficient. They adjust their cooling output based on the room’s needs. You can gauge the air conditioner’s efficiency by looking at its ‘star rating,’ which is usually indicated on the AC’s sticker. 

Type of Air Conditioners

There are several types of air conditioners to choose from:

Window-Type Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners are typically installed within a window frame, but it’s worth noting that certain window-type AC units can also be set up through a hole in the wall, allowing for versatility in installation

A window unit can be converted into a mini-split, portable, and wall air conditioner. 

Split Type Air Conditioners

Consisting of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit, a split-type aircon is more efficient and quieter. This type of aircon unit is ideal for larger rooms and offers better aesthetics, especially if you don’t want a noticeable outdoor component. However, the split-type system can be pricey.

Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner is a mobile AC unit that doesn’t require permanent installation. A portable air conditioner is suitable for a renter or for cooling a specific area temporarily.

Central Air Conditioning Systems 

A central air conditioner is designed to provide cooling for an entire area. Central ACs are particularly well-suited for spacious environments, including office spaces and homes with multiple rooms. These centralized air conditioning systems are available in two main variations: split and packaged.

In the split-type aircon, centralized air conditioning consists of two distinct parts: the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. Conversely, the packaged central air conditioning system incorporates all necessary components within a single unit, which is then positioned outside the building, whether it’s a residence or an office.

Window units or wall air conditioners are affordable and ideal for smaller spaces. Split systems offer better aesthetics and efficiency with separate indoor and outdoor units. Portable aircon units are versatile but might be less efficient for larger rooms. While central ACs are suited for larger establishments.


When considering an air conditioner purchase, it’s wise to explore models with added convenience-enhancing features. Particularly advantageous features for individuals in the Philippines encompass an adjustable louver, a HEPA air filter, a dehumidifier, turbo cooling, and a smart remote control.

 Although these features may seem minor, their practical advantages are outlined below:

  • Adjustable louvers in an air conditioner provide personalized airflow direction, allowing you to target cool air where it’s needed most and create a more comfortable environment.
  • Air filters typically enhance indoor air quality, especially in humid environments like the Philippines. Certain filters, known as HEPA filters, excel in this regard by effectively capturing up to 99% of airborne particles.
  • While not all AC units come equipped with dehumidifiers, these devices are valuable for managing excess moisture. Dehumidifiers play a pivotal role in preventing issues like mold growth and musty odors. 
  • Turbo cooling accelerates the cooling process by maximizing the compressor’s efficiency and rapidly lowering the room temperature. This feature is especially useful during sweltering periods or when you need quick relief from the heat.
  • A smart remote control enables remote operation and energy management. This convenient feature allows you to automate functions, control temperatures across your home, and more.

Brand Reputation and Warranty

Aircon buyers should choose trusted aircon brands with a history of reliable performance. Also, check the warranty terms – a good aircon brand has warranty terms that ensure peace of mind in case of unexpected issues.

Opt for a reputable appliance store to ensure the quality of your products and to secure warranty coverage.

What Should I Consider Before Buying an AC?

Does an Airconditioner Cool or heat up our bodies

From selecting the right size of the appliance to considering airflow in your home, here’s a breakdown of essential factors to keep in mind before purchasing an air conditioner in the Philippines:

Set Your Budget

Air conditioners are significant investments. In the Philippines, prices range from ₱20,000 to ₱60,000 or even higher. Given this range, aligning your budget with your needs is crucial. While it may seem a hefty expense, various appliance shops offer exclusive discounts. 

For potential price reductions, check out well-known online retailers such as Anson’s, Abenson, and Robinsons Appliances.

Inverter and Non-Inverter Aircon

Air conditioners fall into two primary categories: inverter and non-inverter. Understanding these two types’ distinctions is essential, particularly if you aim to minimize electricity costs. 

An inverter-type aircon slows down once the desired temperature is reached, and it utilizes the aircon’s compressor that controls the electrical current, thus helping in lowering the electricity cost and power consumption.   

On the other hand, non-inverter units employ a fixed-speed compressor that switches off when the target temperature is attained, only to restart when the room warms up. The frequent on-off cycle of non-inverter ACs results in higher power usage despite their affordability and ease of maintenance.

Consider Air Conditioner Size

A vital aspect of purchasing an air conditioner in the Philippines is selecting the right size. Even if you opt for the best inverter aircon unit, its efficiency would be wasted if it doesn’t fit your space properly.

Before heading to the store, measure the area where you intend to install the air conditioning unit.

Evaluate Your Space

Matching your air conditioner’s capacity to your floor space is equally important. You should check how much horsepower is needed before buying an air conditioner.

The ideal horsepower (HP) depends on the room size you intend to cool. Buying an undersized unit for a large room can increase electricity consumption. 

For instance, a 0.5HP inverter window-type unit can efficiently cool a ten sqm room. Conversely, a 2.5HP unit can handle up to 42 sqm of space. A 2.5HP unit works well for split-type systems for areas up to 43 sqm. 

Other considerations include room usage, heat load, sun exposure, the number of occupants, window count, and insulation.

Assess Airflow

Alongside measurements, pay attention to airflow within your space and check if the cool air reaches all the spaces. Factors like wall count and furniture arrangement can affect airflow efficiency.

Adjustments like rearranging furniture or placing an electric fan might be necessary.

Noise Level

Air conditioners generate noise while operating, which could disrupt relaxation or sleep. Inquire about the noise level of the unit you’re considering. An ideal air conditioner noise level should be around 50 decibels (dB).


Installation is a frequently overlooked aspect. Poor installation can lead to inefficient performance.

To ensure a smooth installation process, work with installation services endorsed by the retailer where you purchased the unit.

After-Sales Service

Before completing your purchase, take the time to explore the warranty terms of the unit. Discuss critical topics such as maintenance, cleaning, and after-sales service. Additionally, inquire about sources for replacement parts for indoor units, including remote controls and air filters.

Ask about the recommended maintenance frequency to ensure the air conditioner’s longevity. Some appliance stores have a trusted technician that you can contact anytime. 

Is 1.5 HP Aircon Suitable for My Room Size?

The rule of thumb is that a 1.5 HP aircon is suitable for a medium-sized room of around 18 to 25 square meters. If your room falls within this range, a 1.5 HP air conditioner should provide efficient cooling.

However, factors like room orientation, insulation, and warm air climate can influence this, so it’s best to consult with professionals or use online calculators for precise recommendations.

What is the Best Aircon in the Philippines?

Determining the best aircon depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Brands like Panasonic, Carrier, LG, and Daikin are popular in the Philippines for their reliable performance and energy efficiency. However, the best aircon for you might not be the same for someone else.

To find the best fit, consider factors such as cooling capacity, energy efficiency, features, brand reputation, and warranty. Researching the unit, reading customer experience, and asking recommendations from friends or family can also provide valuable insights.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right aircon for your Philippine home involves a mix of science and personal preference. With heat and humidity in mind, prioritize energy efficiency and cooling capacity.

Remember, the goal is to create a comfortable living space while keeping your energy bills manageable. By carefully assessing your needs and understanding the available options, you’ll be well on your way to making a smart aircon purchase.

Stay cool and enjoy the comfort of your well-chosen air conditioner!

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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