Are you faced with selecting an air conditioner for your living or workspace? It’s not always easy to decide which brand to choose because there are so many similar features. The trick is finding a manufacturer with all the qualities most suitable for your space, budget, and comfort level.
Essentially, you can begin your search by thinking about six significant categories of comparison:
- EE (Energy Efficiency): Keep in mind that you want to find out what the EE is for both heating and cooling. Some manufacturers do a good job with one but not with the other. On a standard five-star scale, only consider models rated four or five.
- Cost: Among the major players in this market segment, cost doesn’t differ by a lot. Think in terms of return-on-investment. It’s wise to be willing to spend a bit more for longevity, durability, and a good warranty.
- Reliability: Note that price and reliability don’t travel together. Some cheaper brands are highly reliable, but pricier ones are not. Do your due diligence by reading lots of online reviews.
- Warranty: Nearly all the big names offer at least a five-year warranty. Be sure to read the fine print and find out exactly what the document includes.
- Noise Factor: In office settings, noise is a key concern. Even some homeowners choose brands based on which one is the quietest.
- Appearance: You might want a model that blends in with your overall decor or one that looks great in a business office. Don’t assume that appearance is unimportant. Air conditioners are a lot like furniture in this regard
Don’t worry if you’re baffled by all the brands available. It’s a competitive marketplace, so you’ll undoubtedly spot famous manufacturers like Panasonic, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Fujitsu, Kaden, and many others.
Even if you prefer a particular brand, try to be objective when making your choice. Air conditioners are an essential investment. For that reason alone, you should see how all the options stack up within each of the six categories listed above.
A lot depends on what you want and what’s best for your space. For instance, if you value quiet over all other factors, you’ll likely end up choosing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Or, if you are primarily concerned about spending as little as possible, Kaden and Kelvinator models will probably be on your short-list.
Office or Home?
It makes a big difference whether you’re buying for an office or a home. Homeowners typically choose from a wall-mounted split, multi-split, ducted, bulkhead, and floor-standing units. On the other hand, offices tend to do well with multi-split, VRV (variable refrigerant volume), ceiling-suspended, and ceiling-cassette systems.
Both homes and offices need models that resist corrosion and are energy efficient, but those are relative factors and depend on your personal preference in most cases. The point is that all the top brands stand out in one or more categories, so shop carefully and know what features are most important to you.
For example, if you reside in a harsh climate, consider opting for a model that features a protected circuit board. Some of the top names in the industry cover all their circuit boards with a special kind of protective coating. That makes them last longer in cold weather.