Which Air Conditioner should I buy? - Air Conditioning Buying Guide

Published: 28 Apr 2023 ・ Read time: 6 mins
Air conditioning is becoming increasingly popular in UK homes, thanks to our longer and more intense heat waves. Approximately 213-thousand units have sold within the last decade alone. They're a great way to keep us cool during the increasingly hot summer months.
This guide will help you choose the best unit for your property, and take you through key considerations when buying an air con - such as size, power, features, and more.

What are the benefits of Air Conditioning?

Besides staying cool, there are a number of reasons why UK homeowners are opting to install air conditioning in their homes. 
Increased comfort - Having an air conditioning unit will make you feel more comfortable in hot weather, and help to reduce the high humidity in your property. 
Reduced health risks - Air conditioning will help against heat-related illnesses such as heat strokes, and reduce the risk of asthma attacks and other respiratory problems.
Increased energy efficiency - Air conditioners can help save you money and lead to lower energy bills and carbon footprint.
Increased productivity - Having an air conditioner can help you be more productive at work or school, and can help you get a better night’s sleep during those scorching summer nights.
Reduced risk of property damage - Air conditioners are ideal for lowering the humidity in your room. They can lower the risk of mould buildup and prevent damage to electronics, furniture and other belongings.
Lady sleeping in a bed with the air conditioner switch one city plumbing

 Types of Air Conditioning

The first step when purchasing a new air conditioner is to identify the different types available. There are three main types of air conditioners: central air conditioners, window air conditioners, and mini-split air conditioners.
Central air conditioners are very powerful, and are able to cool a larger room more efficiently. They work by having a central unit, which can regulate cool air throughout the house via ducts in the wall or ceiling.  In most cases, these types of air conditioners are installed in the loft or the crawlspace of the house.
Window air conditioners are the most common type of air conditioner in the UK, as they’re inexpensive and straightforward to install. Sadly, this type of air conditioner can be noisy and may not be able to cool a room as effectively.
Mini-split air conditioners are relatively new to the market, but are becoming more popular in recent years. Mini-split units are more energy efficient than central and window air conditioners, and can be installed in individual rooms or zones. Additionally, these units are ductless, meaning they're not as noisy and are more aesthetically pleasing. As they don’t require ducts, mini-split air cons are easy to retrofit and don’t require extensive (and expensive) home alteration.
In addition to finding the correct type of air conditioner for your property, there are several  other factors to consider before making your purchase. 
1. Efficiency rating - checking the efficiency rating is crucial. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner will be, saving you money on energy bills. 
2. Noise - the noise level of the air conditioner can play a vital part in making your decision, the lower the dB rating is the quieter the air conditioner will be. 
3. Warranty - all air conditioners will come with a warranty as standard, however there are some air conditioners that will come with an extended warranty - providing peace of mind should anything go wrong.

Which air conditioner will I need for my room?

Finding a suitable air conditioning unit will vary on the size of the room as not all air conditioners will work as effectively. It's paramount to identify how many extra appliances there are in the room that will create additional heat. 
Keep in mind: a room with high heat-loss (such as a conservatory) will require a more powerful unit compared to a room of the same size with smaller windows.

How powerful should my air conditioner be?

Many different air conditioners provide separate BTU (British Thermal Unit) ratings. The BTU rating will give you an idea of how capable the air conditioning unit will be able to cool down your room effectively and efficiently. 
Essentially, the higher the BTU rating is, the bigger the room the air conditioning unit will be able to cool. It's worth bearing in mind that the higher the BTUs rating is, the more the air conditioning will cost to run. 
We stock a great range of air conditioners with high BTU outputs such as the Bosch Climate range. These are a single split system, ideal for cooling homes and small office spaces thanks to its high density and cold catalyst filter that can purify up to 95% of dust particles in the air.
We also stock the Masterkool range, which is a freestanding evaporative cooler that can be maneuvered around with ease, ideal for warm summer months thanks to its powerful airflow and automatic louvres for better air distribution.

How much does it cost to install air conditioning?

The estimated cost of installing an air conditioning unit will come down to two main factors. First will be the type of air conditioner you will want to install in your room. Secondly, the estimated time for installation to take. For example:
  • A single or multi-split system on average will cost between £1000 - £1600+ per unit for installation.
  • Ducted and ceiling cassettes can take between 3 - 10 days for installation and can cost from £2500 to £4000+ per unit.
  • An Evaporative Air Cooler is straightforward to install and won't take long. They will cost anywhere between £90 - £500 per unit for installation.
Installation of an air-con

Extra features with air conditioning

Air conditioners will also provide a great variety of features, so it's essential to identify what would benefit you the most.
  • Mode settings - Many air conditioners will include different mode settings, allowing you to change the fan and heat as well as change the ability to cool or dehumidify. 
  • Timers - Timers will allow you to programme your air conditioner, which is perfect as it can help reduce energy costs if you set an automatic shut-off. You can also program your air conditioner to automatically switch on, to cool your room before you get home.
  • Sleep mode - Some air conditioners will come with an added sleep mode feature. Sleep mode can reduce the noise and temperature level of your air conditioner, allowing you to help you get a better night's sleep.

Where can I buy an air conditioner?

At City Plumbing, we stock a diverse range of Air Conditioners. Their sleek design is perfect for any contemporary setting, with competitive prices and fast delivery.
Over the years, City Plumbing has helped professional installers by providing technical know-how for installing air conditioners.
If you have any more questions, get in touch with our skilled team of experts.

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