The saying goes that we only remember Santa Bárbara when it thunders and it is now, with the first serious heat of the year, it is precisely when people consider buy an air conditioner. Once you make the decision, a world of possibilities opens up depending on your needs and budget. One of the first choices has to do with the type of air conditioner: portable or standard? In this article we review its main characteristics and compare them so that you can analyze which one is better for your home.
Buying an air conditioner: fundamental aspects to get it right
Whichever type of air conditioner you choose, there are several common elements to consider:
The frigories They measure the cooling capacity of a piece of equipment and serve to dimension it to achieve a pleasant environment. Factors such as the square meters of the room, the insulation and orientation of the room, the outside climate or even the people who are going to be in the room, among others, are involved in its calculation. A good approximation to simplify the calculation is about 100 – 140 frigories per square meter.
An air conditioner with good energy efficiency it is essential so that our electricity bill does not skyrocket. Currently, for air conditioning equipment, the new energy efficiency labeling of the European Union is used, which offers noise data, SEER (if it has a heat pump, also from SCOP) and classifies it from A+++ to D. and colors from green to red, where A+++ corresponds to the most efficient team and D the least. The initial investment may be higher in more efficient models, but it is worth it.
Noise. Especially important if we are going to have it on for a long time and/or it is going to be in “sensitive” rooms such as the bedroom or our workplace. The quieter the better. Special attention to models with night mode.
The filters air conditioning trap and retain the particles present in the air, so sooner or later we will have to carry out maintenance, cleaning or periodic replacement. Those filters that are especially easy to remove, clean and replace are of interest. Special attention to plasma or neoplasm, ionic and activated carbon and their properties to improve the quality of the exhaust air.
Air cooling occurs thanks to heat exchange through hot-cold circuits of a refrigerant gas. The properties of this gas influence their energy efficiency and what they pollute the environment. The most widely used today are R290 (propane) and R32, although there are also models with R410, the substitute for the veteran R22.
Split type air conditioner
Although in the past there were window air conditioners, today the most widespread is of the split type. These equipments are designed for the air conditioning of a single room.
Its installation includes an indoor unit that integrates evaporator, air filter, control system and fan; and another outside where the compressor and condenser are housed. That is there are at least two elements located at a certain distance and connected.
This is important because it makes installation difficult to the point of requiring a specialized technician to carry it out. So when buying an air conditioner of this type, consider that The initial investment includes both the cost of the equipment and the assembly.
The good thing is that visually at home the air conditioner turns out quite inconspicuous and compact, although you will have to place the outdoor unit on the façade, which is more voluminous and noisy. In fact, you will have to have permission from the community to place it on the façade.
However, there are also the Multi-Split type, based on the previous ones but larger in size and capacity, designed to feed more indoor units and therefore, suitable for air conditioning several rooms. Or what is the same, that you can also choose a scalable solution to cool multiple rooms.
It is interesting that this type of air conditioners have inverter technology, which maximizes and improves the operation of cooling systems, enhancing their cooling capacity to keep it constant. The consequence is lower energy consumption.
Another interesting aspect is that this type of model offer more advanced control and customization systemseven with “intelligent” models to optimize consumption or control it remotely from the mobile or with routines from our smart home.
This Daitsu ASD 9 Ki-DC air conditioner (379 euros) is a good example of discreet model, relatively affordable and quite efficient, with inverter technology and energy efficiency A++**. Its minimum emission in night mode is 28dB and it has a heat pump.
With functions such as Turbo or timer, you have an option to control it through your mobile by acquiring the Daitsu 3NDA9030 Wifi interface (42 euros). This version offers 2,150 frigories/hour.
Split 1×1 Inverter Daitsu ASD 9 Ki-DC air conditioner with 2,150 frig/h and 2,408 kcal/h
The LG 32PLUSEG12.SET (399 euros) has a significantly higher cooling capacity than the previous one, suitable for rooms of up to 30 square meters. Another of its strengths is its very low noise in night mode, of only 19 dB. With inverter function and heat pump, its energy efficiency is A++.
Air Conditioner – LG 32PLUSEG12.SET, 3010 fg/h, 3440 kcal/h, Inverter, R32, White
Similar in terms of cooling capacity to the previous one, the Fujitsu ASY35UI-KP (549 euros) is an air conditioner with energy efficiency A++ with heat pump, inverter technology and minimum noise of 22 dB. It comes with a remote, but if you want you can buy the wireless LAN adapter separately to control it with your mobile (75 euros)
Split 1×1 Inverter Fujitsu ASY 35 UI-KP air conditioner with 2,923 frig/h and 3,267 kcal/h
Portable air conditioning
Before starting with this type, an aside: important do not confuse a portable air conditioner with an evaporative cooler which is essentially a fan with a cold zone with ice and water to stir and cool the air. In this case, they cool the air, although their cooling capacity is less, but in return they are completely portable from one place to another.
Portable air conditioners allow use in any part of the house as they do not require a fixed and permanent installation. In fact, it is common for them to have wheels so that you can move them from one place to another. Although yes, you will need a window for the exhaust pipe and a plug nearby. The installation is so simple that you can do it yourself, which lowers the initial costs.
Keep in mind therefore that all the equipment in charge of cooling a portable air conditioning system is integrated into a single element. This is important because the compressor (which in the splits is on the outside) makes noise.
This type of air conditioner is especially recommended for situations where we cannot or do not want to install a conventional model: if we are renting, in second homes, if the community of neighbors does not allow us to place one with an exterior unit.
If you are looking for a portable air conditioner with good value for money and a tight investmentthe Cecotec ForceClima 7050 (197 euros) is a good candidate.
With a cooling capacity of 1,800 frigories, it is suitable for rooms of up to 20 square meters. Keep in mind that its maximum noise is less than 65 dB, although you can always put it at the lowest speed if you need silence. It is also three in one, as it cools, ventilates and dehumidifies. With touch panel and remote control.
Cecotec Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control and Timer ForceClima 7050. 3 in 1, Refrigeration, ventilation and dehumidification, 1800 Fridges, 7000 BTU, Flow 300 m³/h
It shares many assets with the elegant Taurus Cold Design (346 euros), a device that also cools, dehumidifies and ventilates the air in rooms of up to 20 square meters and emits a maximum noise of 65 dB. Its energy efficiency is A. With remote control, touch panel, wheels and handle to transport it.
Taurus Cold Design – Portable Air Conditioner. 3 in 1: cold, dehumidifier and fan. Silent. Timer. With remote control. With window kit. Wheels. White. 780W.
If you have to bet on a portable air conditioner and you want it to be as quiet as possibleBeware of this De’Longhi Pac N90 Eco Silent (432 euros) with a minimum of 50 dB and energy label A.
Another of its strengths is that it is a large cooling capacity modelsuitable for spaces up to 85 square meters according to the manufacturer.
De’Longhi Pac N90 Eco Silent Portable Air Conditioner, 9800 BTU Cooling Capacity, Fan and Dehumidifier, Remote Control, Easy Transport, White
air conditioning vs. portable air conditioner: summary of advantages and disadvantages
Portable air conditioning
Split type air conditioner
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism