How to choose an air conditioner: recommendations for choosing + TOP-5 of the best brands

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Tatyana Zakharova
Last update: April 2020

Installation of air conditioning in the apartment significantly increases comfort. This is true not only for residents of the southern regions, but also northerners, who are more likely to endure summer heat. Agree, it’s nice to plunge into the home coolness when there is unbearable heat on the street.

A well-chosen air conditioner cools or heats the air in the room, and some models can dry it slightly or make it more humid. The control of the device is so simple that a child can handle it.

It remains to figure out how to choose an air conditioner for your home. In the article we will talk about the types and capabilities of modern models, their functions and technical characteristics. And at the end, we will present the best brands specializing in climate technology.

Classification of air conditioners for home

The variety of cooling equipment in the domestic market is simply huge: you can find a compact device for servicing a small room or a powerful multisystem for a spacious country house.

To make it easier to navigate this selection of models when choosing, first we will introduce you to all the relevant types.

# 1 - by design

According to the design features, all air conditioners are divided into monoblock and two-block. The second is the well-known, most popular for home use split systems.

The difference can be determined by the names of the categories: monoblocks consist of one block, two-block ones - of two, internal and external.

Monoblock home air conditioner
In a monoblock unit, all important units are enclosed in one design. Inside the plastic case there are a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator, filters, a control unit, a fan - elements involved in the process of cooling or heating the air

The advantages of a monoblock include a simple independent installation and a relatively low cost. Cons - loud noise, limited performance and potential difficulties with the installation of the duct.

Monoblock devices are rarely bought for urban apartments or private houses due to the listed minuses, much more often - for offices or small industrial premises.

Schematic representation of a split system
Split systems consist of two parts of equal importance: the outdoor unit, taken outside the home, and the indoor module, which is installed in one of the rooms

The compressor is paired with a condenser located in the outdoor unit, the evaporator in the indoor unit. Both modules are connected by copper tubes to the circulating refrigerant.

There are models with one outdoor unit and several indoor units - these are multisystems. Their attractiveness is that they can serve several rooms at once. Such configurations are often used in the improvement of cottages.

If you have a standard city apartment, then we recommend a compact but productive split system with one internal module. This option works relatively quietly and efficiently in several modes, it saves energy. In the market you can find a model for any budget.

There are also drawbacks - it will be necessary to involve specialists in the installation, it is rather difficult to install both units independently and to connect them together. The second minus the technical - not all models are able to work at very low street temperatures.

# 2 - by installation method

And split systems, and monoblock designs are different in terms of installation.

Monoblocks are divided into 2 types: window and outdoor. The first set in the window opening, adjusting the frame to size. If you have new expensive windows, it is better to abandon such a design.

Floor put on the floor, but with some conditions:

  • location - by the window;
  • a hole is provided in the window for the outlet of the duct;
  • flooring tolerates high humidity.

An important nuance: the corrugated pipe outlet must be airtight. If it is placed in an ajar sash, the efficiency of the air conditioner will be low.

Home monoblock with air duct
Home all-in-ones, unlike stationary systems, are mobile. From at any time you can pack and take to the country or just roll on wheels to the next room

If you often move from place to place and like the cool, floor-mounted monoblock air conditioners are the most suitable option.

There are much more types of split systems:

  • wall mounted;
  • floor and ceiling;
  • channel;
  • cassette tapes.

About 85% of home appliances sold in specialized chain stores wall split systems.

They are distinguished by a simple design, intuitive controls, nice design of the internal module.

The master connects the internal unit of the split system
Wall installation is simple and anyone who owns a drill can do it. But when installing split systems, it is important to properly connect the indoor unit to the external one, therefore we do not recommend installing it yourself

Floor and ceiling units are more powerful and designed to service spacious rooms - shopping centers, offices, halls. They are good for spaces with glass walls, as the blocks can be mounted on the ceiling or on the floor.

Cassette Models for the house are used in very rare cases, but in establishments designed to accommodate a large number of people, they are often found.

Indoor unit cassette split system
Outside, we see only the decorative part of the internal block of the cassette structure - the grill, the rest of the elements are hidden behind the suspended structure, and the external block is taken out to the street

Channel air conditioners also masked by pendant designs. Home systems are characterized by a smaller length and noise, industrial systems - by large sizes, performance and power.

Cassette or channel systems make sense to install in cottages with a large number of spacious rooms. For small city apartments, the best option is a wall split system.

# 3 - according to the principle of action

Another classification is based on the principle of operation of the control system, or more precisely, the compressor or inverter.

All air conditioners are divided into:

  • linear
  • inverter.

First group linear models, always "working" at maximum power. As soon as the set temperature is set in the room, the device simply turns off, and then, by the signal of the temperature sensors, turns on again. This happens all the time.

As a result, temperature differences are observed, and sometimes it is very noticeable.

Linear air conditioning in the living room
Linear models can be recognized by a small price tag. They cannot be determined by their appearance, therefore, to clarify the type of device, you will have to look into the technical passport

Inverter air conditioners switch gradually, smoothly. This is due to the operation of the inverter, which alternately converts alternating current to direct and vice versa. Thanks to this, productivity changes, and after it, energy consumption. As a result, inverter models spend less energy.

Advantages of inverter units:

  • constant maintenance of a certain temperature regime;
  • quick response to changing settings;
  • higher energy efficiency - savings reach 50-60%;
  • low noise.

It will take more money to buy an inverter model or repair it, but such models are ideal for children's rooms and bedrooms with increased requirements for silence and maximum comfort.

Basic and additional operating modes

The next nuance that must be discussed before buying is determining the list of necessary modes. The fact is that in addition to the main function - cooling the air in the room - the air conditioner can perform other tasks.

The most expensive multifunctional units are able to work in 5 modes:

  • cooling;
  • heating;
  • hydration;
  • drainage;
  • ventilation.

Cooling - The main function that is present in all devices without exception. Thanks to it, the temperature in the air decreases to the specified settings, and then is maintained at the same level.

The movement of chilled air in the room
According to the laws of physics, chilled air gradually descends, mixing with warmer, and heated rises. For this reason, wall modules are installed in the upper part of the wall, almost under the ceiling

Heating - An additional function, and for most models it operates only in a certain range.

When the temperature in the street drops below a critical point - from -5 ° C to -15 ° C, depending on the manufacturer's standards - the device turns off the heating of the air.

The outdoor unit of the split system in winter
The shutdown is explained by the features of the compressor device - for example, changes in the properties of the oil. In this regard, it is better to use the heating function in the fall / spring, when it is already cold outside, and the heating has not yet been connected

Functions drainage and moisturizing not available to all models, so we recommend that you ask these features in advance. More often, the air in the living rooms is dry, so it would be much more advisable to buy a special device - a humidifier. It acts on a different principle and is more careful about the human respiratory system.

But the function venting many devices have. It creates circulation, helps to evenly distribute air throughout the room. As a result, warm air mixes with cold air, which is more favorable for the health of residents.

Versatility is good, but experimenting with modes is far from useful for everyone, so consult your doctor before buying a multifunctional device.

Technical Overview

If you already know which type of air conditioner is more suitable for your home, and have decided on the budget, it will not be superfluous to look into the product data sheet to learn more about the technical characteristics. They are no less important than the number of modes or type of compressor.

Consider the parameters on which the power consumption and ease of use of the device depend: power, noise, energy efficiency, control method.

Parameter No. 1 - power and working area

On the power selection directly affects the area of ​​the room. It is customary to carry out the calculation based on the ratio: to cool 1 m² of area, 100 W is required.

Therefore, for a 20-meter living room you need to buy a unit with a power of 2-2.2 kW. But do not forget that powerful devices emit a louder noise.

Air conditioning in a large room
When choosing, do not focus on the exact size of the room area, it is better to add another 15-20% to the actual data. So the device will not experience overload and it is easier to cope with its task

Large rooms require a more detailed calculation.

There are calculators that take into account such accompanying factors as:

  • the presence of windows and the area of ​​glazing;
  • number of storeys, location of the apartment (angular, sunny side), ceiling height;
  • average number of permanent residents;
  • the presence of electric lamps and heaters - radiators, stoves, etc.

But for a standard room of 15-20 m², careful calculations are not required, usually averages are enough. Some manufacturers, in addition to capacity, indicate the recommended maximum floor area.

Parameter 2 - noise level of the indoor unit

The house always has appliances that produce various noises. For example, a refrigerator that turns on periodically and sometimes buzzes quite loudly. It is clear that an additional “loud” device is undesirable, therefore the noise level is one of the important parameters.

In inverter models, it is usually smaller. Some devices in the cooling mode produce a quiet and monotonous noise, not exceeding 20 dB. This is a great indicator, suitable for bedrooms and nurseries.

Indoor unit split system
Linear models “sound” much louder - their noise reaches 35-45 dB. For the living room, in which the residents are in the afternoon, this is normal, but for the bedroom - uncomfortable

Unfortunately, manufacturers do not always provide reliable information. Sometimes in the technical passport you can find only the level that is characteristic for the operation of the device in the "night" mode. Before buying, we recommend looking for reviews of real users.

Parameter No. 3 - energy class

Ignoring the energy efficiency of the unit, you can get into a large amount in hot months when paying utility bills. It is better to immediately choose an economical device - and most likely, it will be inverter.

Energy efficiency is denoted by the letters A ... G. Economical ones are marked by A, and now almost all modern models correspond to this class. But it’s even better if the air conditioner you choose will be in A ++ or A +++ class.

Parameter 4 - availability of additional features

Consider what other useful additions there are in home air conditioners. But, before looking for a model with these features, decide if you need them so much. Each useful option increases the total cost of the device.

Night modeHe's a sleep mode. This is the ability of the air conditioner to operate at low power with minimal noise - ideal for a night's rest.

Air conditioning works at night
The standard temperature for night mode is usually 2–3 ° lower than daytime. It contributes to a longer and healthier sleep.

Timeradjusting the exact on / off time. A great addition, convenient for everyone - when you return home, you don’t have to wait for comfortable conditions; by your arrival the split system will cool the air to the set temperature.

3D stream - the ability to adjust the air flow in all directions.Traditionally designed blinds direct air only up / down, while with the 3D function, they additionally move left / right.

There are premium models directing chilled air to the remote control location. If you are sitting with the remote control on the sofa, the breeze will blow towards the sofa.

Turbo mode necessary for operational cooling. If you forget to set the timer, this function will come in handy - the device will turn on at full power and within a few minutes will change the indoor climate.

Self diagnosis - the ability of the device to independently detect malfunctions and report them to the consumer by displaying alphanumeric characters on a digital display.

Digital display of air conditioner
The self-diagnosis function is available only for modern models with digital displays. Troubleshooting tips are in the instruction manual.

Air cleaning It is made thanks to the filter system installed in the indoor unit. It can consist of one or several filters: the simplest devices are equipped with one that traps dust; in the more expensive, fine filters are installed that prevent even the passage of tiny particles and odors.

Filters require timely replacement, but they are not cheap, and here it is already worth choosing between air quality and economy.

Decide in advance whether you need these functions and do not forget: the more complex and functional the device, the more likely it is that one of the elements will fail.

TOP 5 popular brands

Due to the large number of manufacturers of household appliances, one or the other companies are becoming leaders. This is facilitated by worldwide fame, the popularity of budget lines, the regular appearance of new or improved models.

Our rating includes brands whose products received the most positive reviews from users and experts.

Brand # 1 - Mitsubishi Electric

Japanese company annually producing new series of climate technology.

Much attention is paid to split-systems for home use, not only introducing first-class technical developments, but also implementing great design solutions.

Mitsubishi Electric Design Line
The reduction in energy costs of wall split systems is reduced by 30% thanks to Power Inverter technology, pulse-amplitude modulation with IPM

Appliances for the home, among which you can find all types by installation method, serve areas from 15 m² to 100 m². The noise level of the latest modifications is no higher than 19 dB.

We also recommend that you find out about error codes for Electrolux air conditioners. More details - go link.

Brand # 2 - Electrolux

Swedish manufacturer, constantly supplying the Russian market with new high-tech series. For example, the PROF AIR line is known for creating an ideal microenvironment in the room, as fresh and clean as possible. This is due to Pull & Clean technology.

Indoor unit air conditioner Electrolux
The new technology is also implemented in the LOUNGE line. I Feel technology maintains the set temperature where the remote control is located - for example, at a table or at a window

All models are characterized by a high class of energy efficiency - up to A +++ in both main modes, quiet operation and additional features

Brand # 3 - Haier

The Chinese company, which has won the appreciation of even demanding maximum comfort and reliability of demanding European consumers.

Products are sold in more than 100 countries and are valued for their high performance and bold design.

Haier air conditioning in the interior
The manufacturer produces the whole range of climate technology - from household models to semi-industrial units, chillers and fan coil units. But it’s the inverter-type household split systems that have become popular

The latest developments of the brand are especially attractive - wi-fi control units, models with a built-in ultraviolet lamp or the O2-Fresh option, which provides an influx of fresh air.

Brand # 4 - Ballu

The international concert has considerable capacities in Russia, so the latest developments in the field of climate technology can always be found on the market. Among household solutions are inverter and conventional split systems, multisystems, floor and mobile series.

Wall conditioner
Series such as i Green Pro belong to the middle price segment and are designed to maximize the microclimate in urban apartments and reduce energy consumption

No less popular are the multi-split systems Free Match, specially designed to serve large cottages. Quiet, productive and stylish, they are also suitable for cooling offices or hotels.

Brand # 5 - Samsung

The world famous South Korean company is famous for constantly introducing the latest technologies, which then become a model for other manufacturers.

For example, the latest models of air conditioners are released in a triangular design, which affects increasing efficiency and increasing cooling speed.

Air distribution by Samsung split system
Another innovation is Wind-Free technology. With its help, the temperature in the room remains at a predetermined level all the time, and the air spreads uniformly throughout the space

For people with increased sensitivity to dust, devices with filtration Ultra Wide PM 2.5 are created. The manufacturer claims that within 100 minutes, the air in the room is cleaned by 99%.


Practical tips for choosing an air conditioner:

Some important selection criteria:

As you can see, the range of air conditioners for the home is wide, and for the choice you need to provide for everything from technical nuances to the features of construction and design.

We suggest expanding the topic of the article and discussing various models - from our rating or others. If you use an air conditioner, please unsubscribe in the comments and tell us why your device is remarkable.

Share your stories of choosing a split system or monoblock for an apartment. Or maybe you bought a duct or cassette air conditioner for a country house? Your experience in choosing a model will be very useful to our readers.

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