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Aircon Buying Tips: 6 Things You Need to Consider


Living in a tropical country has many upsides, however, it can’t be denied that the weather can get unbearably hot during summer seasons. As such, most see air conditioning as not merely a luxury item, but necessary equipment to combat excessive heat. It’s due to this reason that more Filipinos are buying an air conditioner than ever before.

When purchasing a new air conditioner, there are several considerations to mull over. Given how expensive they are compared to other appliances, it is important to go through each of these important factors to ensure you’ll purchase the most suitable air conditioner unit for your household.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of aircon buying tips below.

What Should I Look For When Buying an Air Conditioner?

Relaxing inside a chilled room after subjecting yourself to the scorching sun outside is one of the best feelings there is. AC technology is only getting better as time progresses, and most recent models include a variety of high-end settings aside from their cooling comforts such as digital displays and remote Wifi control. Aircon buyers have more options now, with recent models coming out with more energy-efficient and fast cooling features.

If you’re wondering what particular model to look for when purchasing an air conditioner, carefully consider the following:

1. Determine the Type of Air Conditioner You Need

Before buying an air conditioner, you should take a step back and determine your household needs. There are several types of air conditioners available on the market, each with its own set of functions and settings that can elevate your home’s air quality.

Types of Air Conditioners

Window-Mounted / Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners

Wall-mounted or window AC units are the most common and comparably cheaper option of all AC models. These types of ACs have the compressor and cooling unit in one body, with the former placed outside so heat doesn’t return back to the room. Window ACs require a specific type of windows or a customized hole in the wall for them to function properly.

Split-Type Air Conditioners

A split type aircon unit, as the name indicates, is divided into an interior and an outdoor component. The indoor unit is responsible for cooling and dehumidifying the room. This interior unit is linked to the outside unit, which contains the compressor and condenser. Central air conditioners can be considered split-type because they also have the compressor separated from the cooling unit.

Split-type aircon units are often quieter than window types since the compressor is placed outside. They are also more efficient at cooling since the split type’s large build allows for wider coverage of airflow, though there are also mini split air conditioners available. Their major downside is their installation. To have one in your home, you’ll need professional technicians.

Portable Air Conditioner

If you’re not able to have a window AC or split AC installed due to building restrictions, then a portable aircon is worth a look. Like window units, a portable AC has both compressor and cooling components in one unit. However, this aircon type is housed fully indoors.

Since the whole unit is located inside your house, the heat load released by the compressor and condenser will be picked up by the AC’s thermostat, causing the unit to work harder than necessary. This makes it less energy efficient than a split AC or window AC.

Inverter Vs Non Inverter Aircon

The primary distinction between an inverter and a non-inverter aircon is that the former can control the speed of the compressor motor. When the temperature in the room has reached the desired temperature level, the compressor motor of an inverter unit will automatically reduce its speed just enough to keep the temperature stable. This feature allows inverter units to be more efficient in terms of power consumption.

Meanwhile, non-inverter air conditioners lack the capacity to regulate speed, with their motor only capable of operating at full power. When the air conditioner reaches the specified temperature, the motor shuts down and starts back up once the temperature rises again, consuming more power in the process.

In terms of price, a non-inverter costs less than an inverter unit. However, if you look at energy efficiency, inverter units are the best option and well worth the investment.

2. Check Your Room Size

The second most important factor to consider before buying an air conditioning unit is determining the room size or room dimension of the space you’re placing the unit in. Small rooms would require a unit with less cooling power than a room with a larger floor area.

In general, most models specify their capacity to cool air right in the packaging. This is to help you choose the best unit for the amount of space you have. In general, the more British Thermal Units (BTUs), the larger the room the AC can cool.

Before you make a purchase, it’s ideal to know how many square feet your room is so you can have a general idea of how much BTU your air conditioning unit is going to need.

3. Choose the Appropriate Cooling Capacity

This is related to the tip above. When you’ve finally determined the size of your room, it’s time to figure out how much BTU power your AC has to have to cool that space. Too little BTU power and you’ll hardly feel the temperature change, and too much can make your house too cold for comfort.

To choose the right size air conditioner, calculate the area of your chosen room and select the right AC BTU according to its size.

  • 100 to 150sq ft – 5,000 BTU/h
  • 150 to 250sq ft – 6,000 BTU/h
  • 250 to 300sq ft – 7,000 BTU/h
  • 300 to 350sq ft – 8,000 BTU/h
  • 350 to 400sq ft – 9,000 BTU/h
  • 400 to 450sq ft – 10,000 BTU/h
  • 550 to 700sq ft – 14,000 BTU/h
  • 700 to 1,000sq ft – 18,000 BTU/h
  • 1,000 to 1,200 sq ft – 21,000 BTU/h

Aside from your prospective Ac’s cooling capacity, it’s also ideal to determine the amount of hot air or heat load of your room. Poorly insulated rooms, open windows with direct sunlight, a large household, and other factors can add heat to your room and can compromise an AC’s ability to cool air. If there’s too much heat input, you’ll need a unit with a bigger BTU.

4. Aim For a High Energy Efficiency Rating

Because an air conditioner is a notoriously expensive electric appliance to have, its energy efficiency ratio is one of the most critical elements to consider when purchasing. The higher the energy efficiency ratio an aircon unit has, the better it’ll be for your electricity bill.

The energy efficiency ratio (EER) is the quickest and easiest way to determine an AC’s energy efficiency. This rating is most often shown on the packaging or on the unit itself and is an indication of how well an air conditioner utilizes its power to cool a small or large room.

A high EER score indicates that the model is more energy-efficient and so has a reduced running cost.

5. Consider the Aircon Noise

Your air conditioner is composed of parts that make noise once you turn the unit on. If you’re not particularly noise-sensitive, a window-type AC and a portable AC should be enough. If you prefer a quieter model, aim for a split-type AC.

6. Determine the Additional Features You Want

Now that you’ve got the unit with the right cooling capacity, it’s time to move to other functions. While not necessarily important, features like carbon filters for better air quality, a programmable thermostat, variable speeds, and other features are a nice addition when buying an air conditioner.

Some high-end models have apps that allow you to control your AC using your mobile device instead of its remote control. Other models can set the temperature according to the heat load of the room and can even save this desired temperature after restarting.


One major factor why people get disappointed after buying an AC unit is their lack of research beforehand. Aircon units may look like they’re the same thing when you’re particularly unknowledgeable about them, therefore it’s important to do intensive research before you commit to a specific model.

For more AC reviews and guides, you can check out our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right aircon for a room in the Philippines?

This depends on your living conditions. Do you live in a rented dorm or do you own your own home? Are there any limitations to the changes you can do to your house or do you have free reign? It is simply impractical to have a wall-mounted unit when you don’t have the proper wall space for it, and it’s a waste of money to buy a portable aircon for a large living room.

How do I calculate electricity cost of an air conditioning unit?

To calculate the monthly power cost for air conditioners, you can use the formula below:

(Power Consumption/1000) x Hours of use x Power Rate = Daily Electricity Cost

After solving the above equation, divide the answer by 100 to get the kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Is window air conditioner better than portable air conditioner?

Portable air conditioners are transportable devices with easy-to-install exhaust pipes, while window air conditioners are less expensive than portable air conditioners in general. Window-type ACs are energy efficient, but they are more difficult to install and can only fit in standard-sized windows.

If you’re looking for more cooling power and greater energy efficiency, a window or wall-mounted type AC is the best choice, while portable ACs are great for people with small rooms.

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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