Here we thought we’d share some of the most common misconceptions about ACs that we’ve heard.
- Only inverter air conditioners are good for heating.
No, that’s wrong. All modern air-conditioners with general functions can work for both heating and cooling. Inverter air conditioners are simply more sophisticated systems with precise controls that operate with low power consumption. If they are to be used year-round, then using them for their energy efficiency is obviously advised. It should be remembered that despite their higher price than conventional air conditioners, after a period of operation the difference in price is compensated by savings. But even ordinary heat pump air conditioners successfully cope with heating a home.
- Multi-split systems are preferable when we want to heat and cool several rooms at once.
Wrong again. Multi-split systems save space but not necessarily money. Systems with one external and multiple indoor units are suitable for places where it is not possible to deploy several outdoor units on the facade of the building. It also needs to be possible to attach them to the wall and the access for emergency service to be easy. But we should be under no illusions – configurations are almost always more expensive: installation always requires compromise with the length of the pipe routes, leading to lower energy efficiency. Longer pipe routes mean higher cost for installation. With a multi-split system we also loose the energy independence of each room and hence we are unable to save electricity by managing the temperatures in different rooms. Not to mention that in an emergency we lose the entire configuration and remain without air conditioning for all rooms.
By definition, the more powerful an AC is, the lower its energy efficiency is. Another significant problem is the noise and vibration of large aggregates.
- The outside unit should NOT be installed higher than the inside one.
No, not true. When the installation is done by the rules, i.e. when we have prevented leakage of compressor oil into the indoor unit, we ensure normal operation of the air conditioner and the AC will serve us faithfully for a long time.
- Heating your home with an air conditioner is much cheaper.
Yes, this IS true. But it’s also of integral importance that the rooms that’ll be heated by the AC are well isolated. Only then can we rest assured that we will save money and will feel comfortable during the coldest winter days. The air conditioner is not the panacea of heating and we shouldn’t delude ourselves that we’ll suddenly stop paying bills at all.
- Chinese air conditioners are bad and are not preferable.
Not true. At least not for all Chinese ACs. It should be kept in mind that the production of air conditioners, as well as of many other modern tech devices, is fully automated. Therefore the reliability of a device is much more dependent on the materials and the elements of which it is made, than on the country of origin. Simply taking a look at the country of origin of an AC will not give you sufficient information about its quality. Instead, thorough research is advised.
- For warranty issues with the air conditioner, turn to where we bought it from.
Not true. Often, it’s a waste of time and nerves to call the stores where you bought the AC with warranty claims. The guarantees are covered by “authorized service groups”. Or more simply put – by the company that mounted the AC. What you should do upon purchasing your AC is to ask for more information about the assembly – who will perform the installation. The best guarantee is to buy your AC from the same company that will install it and put it into operation.
- The air conditioner carries warm and cold fresh air from outside through its pipes and that’s how it works.
Wrong. The pipes of the air conditioner (there are two of them) are filled with liquid refrigerant – Freon, which performs a closed loop (i.e. the Carnot cycle). The reason for a Freon leak can only be an omission from a defective unit or poor connections. At that point, with a reduced amount of refrigerant, the air conditioner stops working. Split systems do not carry air from outside, but instead cool or heat the air available in our rooms. That’s why we need to aerate from time to time.
- When the outdoor unit of the air conditioner is mounted on our closed balcony we solve the problem of freezing at low temperatures and the air conditioner is working perfectly.
No! Air conditioners transfer energy, they don’t create it.
Let’s imagine the simplest case – we have a room with a capacity of 20 square meters and a closed balcony that’s of the same size (a big balcony, we know). Because the room hasn’t been heated and the temperature is 40ºF, when we run the air conditioner we’ll warm the room to, let’s say – 77 ºF. That’s great, we can remove our sweaters and remain almost naked in the room because we increased the temperature by nearly 40 degrees. But what happened to our terrace? Because, as we said at the beginning, the air conditioning system does not create energy, it only brought the temperature on the balcony down with those 37 degrees which it added to the room and now the temperature at the balcony has become 5 degrees. It’s basically colder than it is outside!
What happens to the efficiency of our air conditioner at that point? Will our AC continue to work at these low temperatures?
- High COP inverters heat better.
Not true again. It’s the heating capacity and not theenergy efficiency that is the key feature when we’re selecting a suitable AC. Note that the smaller the AC is, the greater the energy efficiency ratio (COP) is. That’s why “the nine” of High COP inverters of any brand air conditioners is less powerful than a “normal nine” inverter. It is a very important to consult with a specialist before purchasing.
- When selecting an inverter AC, the maximum power is the main criteria.
That’s wrong too. In catalogs of air conditioners you’re given the nominal, the minimal and the maximal power of the AC. This is done so that you are familiar with the capabilities of the machine to cope with the set temperature in the room.
The minimum power activates in maintenance mode when the set temperature’s been reached. The maximum power of an air conditioner is reached upon starting it. If the air conditioner can’t reach the set degrees, it will continue to work, drawing more electricity and there is a great danger of damage.
Or to make an analogy with cars: you can not drive your car constantly with its maximum speed. Therefore, when you’re looking for energy efficiency, the maximum power is not the main criteria.
We hope some of those were helpful!