Thinking about getting an Air Conditioning system for your house? Strategically placed fans, chilled water bottles and ice packs can only do so much to keep a Maltese house cool.
This article is aimed at Maltese homeowners who would like to,
- Get an Air Conditioning system for the first time in their home
- Replace an Air Conditioning system
- Check if there may be something wrong with their Air Conditioning Unit
- Improve the quality of their room, especially if it already has a cooling system
1. Understand why an Air Conditioners’s BTU is important!
‘BTU’ refers to how much heat an Air Conditioner can remove from a room. You may also find the measurement ‘Ton’ on an AC’s detail sheet. Just so you can translate, a total of 12,000 BTU’s of cooling capacity per hour equals 1 ton of refrigeration. So if you see ‘2 tons’, that’s 24,000 BTU’s.
The higher the ‘BTU’ your AC system has, the more powerful your system. Careful! If your Air Conditioning system’s capacity is too high for the area it’s cooling down, you’ll not only be wasting energy, you’ll also be increasing the likelihood of your system having a negative impact on your health.
On the other hand, a unit that’s too weak for your room will skyrocket your electric bill and degrade in quality quickly. No one wants to hire a maintenance agency every couple of months!
Below is a chart that indicates the capacity your AC requires according to room size:
|Floor Area (Room Size)||Capacity Required|
|Up to 14 Sq. m||8000 BTU|
|Up to 28 Sq. m||10000BTU|
|Up to 42 Sq. m||18000 BTU|
|Up to 60 Sq. m||25000 BTU|
2. Prioritise the star rating of your system
The star rating of an AC helps in estimating the cooling efficiency of an air-conditioner. In other words, star rating characterises how much energy your Air Conditioning system will be using in return for cooling your room.
5-star rated AC will consume the least power if compared to 1 or 3 stars rated AC. If your consumption is more than 8 hours per day, we would recommend buying a 5-star AC. A 5-star AC is going to make a deeper dent in your pocket to purchase, but a 2 or 3-star AC will end up being more expensive with time.
If relying on fans is not unbearable yet, consider saving up until you can get a 4 or 5-star.
3. Look at all the factors that will affect your Air Conditioning system’s performance
Roof insulation, colour, material and the direction your house faces can all influence the amount of heat entering your house, as will glass doors and windows and the direction in which they face. Unless these openings can be protected with awnings, blinds, curtains or reflective film, they can become a major source of introduced heat inside your house. Moreover, whether your house building material is limestone or concrete is also significant.
All these factors may change what kind of system you need, what BTU it should have, and where it should be placed.
4. Hire a professional to install your air conditioning system
Gas leakages are one of the biggest (and most costly) problems homeowners with cooling units face. This usually happens due to improperly installed copper lines. Equally important to what kind of AC you get is where and how it is installed. Hire a professional who will spend their time analysing the structure, layout, wiring and composition of the space you want to cool down.
5. Ask for a Site Visit
Only professionals with experience can properly review your building’s needs and ascertain what kind of air conditioning system you should choose, as well as where it should be installed. Always opt for a house visit before you buy an air conditioning system or accept a quotation from an installation team.
How long your air conditioning system lasts before wear and tear sets in, along with other damages, will entirely depend on you getting the right kind of AC and proper, precise installation. Don’t let impatience screw your investment – AC’s aren’t exactly cheap!
6. Understand how an air conditioning system impacts air quality
An air conditioning system can negatively impact both the quality of the air and your health. This is especially true if the unit you have owned is installed incorrectly or is too strong or too weak for the space it’s in. Effects can include a weakened immune system, fatigue, sinusitis, viral infections, and allergies.
Beyond proper installation and choosing the right model, keep in mind that your air conditioning unit should
- Not run for hours and hours
- Should only be a degree or two below room temperature
- Its AC filter should be cleaned regularly
- Be eventually complemented with an air cleaning unit and a humidifier