Beat the init with these top tips for buying an AC
You may have uttered (or screamed at the top of your lungs) this phrase a few times by now as these summer months get even hotter. With many of us staying safely at home to live, work and play, one thing is very clear: we need an air-con in our room, and fast!
For those buying an air-conditioner for the first time (or looking for an additional unit for your other spaces), the decision to buy an AC may have come easy. But the decision on which one to get isn’t as simple, because there are so many options to choose from—window type vs. split type, inverter vs. non-inverter, smart features vs. basic features, not to mention the various sizes and horsepowers available.
If all these considerations are getting you flustered more than the weather does, we’ve got you covered. Here are the top things to keep in mind when buying an AC:
- Size matters
Of your space, that is. The first thing you need to do before even going to the appliance store is measure your room’s dimensions, because the bigger the room, the more horsepower (HP) you need. Choosing the right HP is crucial not just in terms of how cool your room will get, but also how much electricity you consume. An underpowered (low HP) AC will end up working overtime just to cool your space (if it ever does), while too much HP means that your unit turns on and off more frequently to maintain your desired temperature. Either way, you end up spending more on your electricity bill.
Meralco has a handy table in their website that shows exactly how much HP you need depending on your room size. For example, if your room is 18 to 22 square meters, you will need a 1.0 HP unit.
Speaking of capacity, it’s also important to check the overall load capacity of your home, and that it can handle the additional load of your new AC. You can confirm this with your electrician or AC installer prior to installing your unit.
- Let your walls (or windows) do the talking
OK, so now you know that you need a 1.0 HP unit. But should you get a 1.0 HP window-type, or a 1.0 HP split-type? Window-type ACs are named as such because they can usually fit into decent sized windows, and requires very little professional assistance to install, if any. Just make sure to measure your window first and then match the specs with the AC unit you are considering.
A split-type unit, on the other hand, does not require an opening as big as a window, but does require professional installation. This is because you would need to install the indoor unit to your wall, drill a hole big enough for the hose and electrical wiring, and securely attach the outdoor unit to your outdoor wall using brackets—not to mention make sure that the electrical wiring of the unit is done safely. It often costs extra too, but if done right, a split-type can look very clean and non-intrusive in your room.
In some cases, your window might not be big enough for a window-type and you might not want (or not be allowed by your homeowner) to drill holes and attach brackets for a split-type. There is another option you can look at—a portable air-conditioner. It only requires a small opening or slot in your window for the exhaust hose to pass through, plus you have the added benefit of portability.
- Is an inverter better? It depends…
So now you know you need a 1.0 HP split-type, and you’re hearing all these wonderful things about inverters. Without a doubt, inverter technology is amazing and has plenty of benefits, including energy efficiency. So should you bite the bullet and get one? It depends on a few things, especially on your planned usage. Inverters have compressors that can speed up or slow down depending on the room temperature—once the room is cool enough, the compressor will run at very slow speeds, which consumes less energy than full speed, and then speeds up again if more cooling is needed. On the other hand, non-inverters have fixed speed compressors that turn off when the desired temperature is reached, and then turn on again when the room temperature rises. This recurring “on and off” type of operation can consume larger amounts of electricity, especially if used for long periods.
So does that make inverters more economical? If you plan on using your aircon for continuously long periods per day—say eight or more hours straight—go with the inverter to save money on your electric bill. But if you tend to use your AC for short bursts only, say one or two hours at a time just to cool the room, then you’re better off getting a non-inverter. An inverter will consume more or less the same electricity during these bursts as a non-inverter, plus the unit itself will likely cost more than its non-inverter counterpart.
- Decide between short term or long-term savings
Ultimately, if savings are what you are after, you need to decide between short term or long-term savings. An inverter might be relatively more expensive than a non-inverter, but its energy efficiency can translate to more pesos saved in the long run. On the other hand, if your bigger concern right now is the price tag of the unit, then you can opt for a relatively cheaper non-inverter that gives you the best performance possible for its price.
Fortunately, there are different ways to purchase an AC without breaking the bank, allowing you to worry more about the features you want, and worry less about whether you can afford to buy it. There are many 0% interest promos for credit card holders from different brands and shops, while these merchants also offer a wide range of in-store financing options for customers to buy aircons at installments even without a card.
Home Credit, the country’s leading provider of gadget and appliance loans with a fast-growing mobile app user base, offers an exciting range of promos for air-conditioners including 0% interest and gift payment, where you can waive your last installment amount as a “gift” for settling your previous dues on time.
All you have to do is apply for a Home Credit loan from selected Home Credit partner stores. Home Credit partner brands like Mabe and TCL are also offering 0% interest on all its cooling commodities.
Apart from these exciting promos, Home Credit also has an ongoing Tiktok dance promo called “Beat the init” which offers exciting prizes for Tiktokers who can showcase their best moves to cool down this summer. For more information about Home Credit’s air-conditioner offerings and how to join the “Beat the init” contest, visit their website at www.homecredit.ph or follow them on www.facebook.com/homcreditph. You may also follow them on Tiktok at @homecreditph.