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Portable and Split System Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Apr 11, 2008
The best option to beat the summer's heat is to buy an air conditioner. You can get highly efficient,
environment-friendly air conditioners at affordable prices. This buying guide helps you to choose the air conditioner that suits your need. Portable air conditioners are recommended if you need to move them from one room to another. Their greatest advantage is their simple installation process. Split air conditioners, on the other hand, are better for cooling large rooms.

What type of air conditioner is best for you?

Portable Air Conditioners:

Portable air conditioners are priced very low. You can move them from one room to the other. They are portable except for an exhaust tube that needs to be fixed to your window sill. This tube disperses the condensed air outside your home. Some portable air conditioners have an internal bucket or a pan that collects the condensed air instead of an exhaust pipe. Installing a portable air conditioner does not require much work. The portable air conditioners are designed to fit windows. This installation is quite simple and only requires some small modifications.

Determine the size of your room and the amount of area that needs cooling before choosing a portable air conditioner. If you buy a portable air conditioner with a higher BTU (British Thermal Unit) than the room size requires, the air conditioner will keep switching on and off. This prevents the unit from removing the moisture from the air. Contrarily, if you buy one with less BTU, it will run continuously but will not cool your room adequately. Some portable air conditioners come with caster wheels to make them even more portable.

Split System Air conditioners:

Split system air conditioners were initially very expensive, but their prices have come down considerably now. The split system air conditioner looks very sleek and can be mounted anywhere you choose. The size of your room and the number of people occupying the space are the deciding factors when purchasing a split air conditioner. The split air conditioner is steeper in price than the portable model because it costs more to install. A split air conditioner is less noisy and can cool larger areas when compared to portable air conditioners. They also have many extra features like auto timers, remote controls, to name a few.

What are the auto controls in a split system air conditioner?

Auto Timers:

With the auto timer, the system will switch on and off at a specific time you set. This is very convenient if you want the air conditioner on for just a few hours.

Auto Sleep Mode:

The auto sleep mode reduces the cooling effect during the night. Since you do not need as much cooling during the night as you do during the day, this energy saving feature is great for buyers with tight budgets.

Auto Restart:

The auto restart option will restate the system in the same mode after a power failure. This is convenient if you have frequent power cuts.

Remote Controls:

Most split system air conditioners include a remote control. You can access many of the auto settings using the remote. Use the remote control to switch the system on and off or change the temperature from several feet away.

What are the types of split system air conditioners available?

Wall Mounted Air Conditioners:

If you have the wall space for it, you should opt for a wall mounted air conditioner. These conditioners are specially designed for small rooms, which they can cool quickly and uniformly.

Floor Mounted Air Conditioners:

You should buy a floor mounted air conditioner incase the room you want to cool is big and you do not have enough wall space for mounting.

Ceiling Mounted Air Conditioners:

A ceiling mounted air conditioner is best when your walls and floor cannot accommodate an air conditioner. This air conditioner also provides uniform cooling.

What are the key factors that you need to consider before buying an air conditioner?


The size of the air conditioner you need should be based on the dimensions of your room. You will waste a lot of energy if you do not purchase the right sized air conditioner. Also take into consideration how far your room is from the kitchen. The kitchen emits heat during cooking and if your room is near the kitchen, you would require higher cooling capacity.


An air conditioner with a higher price is not necessarily the better one. Look for good product design, quality and performance. Decide what features you need and the size which is most appropriate for your room. Do not forget to factor in the cost of installation when comparing different models.

Cooling Capacity:

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). Air conditioners with a high BTU count will keep you cool even in extreme heat.


Mostly indoor units are preferred because they do not produce much noise. If you are considering an outdoor unit, it should be well packed so that it does not create a racket from loose and vibrating covers.

Energy Efficiency Rating:

The Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) is the ratio of the air conditioners cooling capacity to power consumption. You should choose to buy an air conditioner with a higher EER. The higher the EER, the better the air conditioner is for you and your environment. These models may be more expensive, but they will save you a lot of money in the long run by consuming less energy in the years to come.


Check the warranty of the air conditioners before making any purchasing decisions. Most manufacturers provide a limited warranty of some kind.


A good air conditioner should have filters that can prevent bacteria and allergens from entering back into the room. In order to maintain the air conditioner, you have to clean the air filter every few weeks. Choose a unit with an indicator that tells you when it is time to change the filter.
About the Author
Bob Shanty has been researching and writing articles that help shoppers make more
educated buying decisions on cheap air conditioners for online shopping
mega store BIGshop for years. For more articles by Bob please visit http://www.bigshop.com.au.
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