Summer is coming, a time when many users are considering acquiring an air conditioning system . The reason is that they choose to do it before the heat tightens, because unpleasant surprises can appear, either in the form of lack of stock , by a rise in prices or even by the absence of available installers. They are the consequences of a high demand when the summer heat tightens.
For these reasons, to avoid these possible problems and if you think to install an air conditioning system, we have prepared a shopping guide before the high temperatures arrive. In it we will see, first of all, the basic aspects that we must take into consideration when buying an air conditioner. The objective is none other than trying to help you choose the most suitable appliance for your home. Then we will focus on climate control equipment that is ready to be part of the smart home, either by means of a complementary accessory or integrated in the device.
General aspects to consider
In the first place and before continuing, there are a series of guidelines and behaviors complementary to the use of an air conditioning system. Ways of proceeding that can make us save a few euros in the monthly energy bill, take better care of our health and the environment:
- Maintain the temperature between 18º and 21º in winter and between 24º and 28º in summer so as not to create abrupt temperature changes.
- Maintain humidity with values between 40% and 60%.
- Periodically check the air conditioning filters and if necessary clean them.
And now, let’s start to determine the most important aspects to assess before we get a new climate control system for our home or business.
Types of air conditioning
Air conditioners Split type
They are the most common and are oriented to the air conditioning of a single room . For this they have an outdoor unit that contains the compressor and an indoor unit that is the one that we place in the room to be heated. This is intended to house the evaporator coil, the air filter and the fan. Both units communicate by means of two copper tubes and cables for the power supply.
Air conditioners type Multi-Split
They use the same system as the individual split with an outdoor unit, but now it is larger and more capable of feeding more indoor units. They are more interesting, because with the same machine you can feed several splits, which can work independently.
Portable air conditioners
Although they are becoming less common, we continue counting in the market with the option of getting a portable air conditioning system. These offer a main advantage and they can be used anywhere in the house , as they do not need a previous installation. The inconveniences? An effectiveness when cooling significantly less.
It is the most widespread system at present and thanks to it, an important energy saving of up to 70% is achieved .
Unlike the “Inverter” system, these devices use 100% of their power to reach the indicated temperature, which translates into a higher energy consumption that is reflected in the monthly electric bill.
Type of refrigerant gas
When installing an air conditioning system it is interesting to know what is the refrigerant gas used , since not all air conditioning systems are the same in this regard. Choosing one or the other can, on the one hand, help to be respectful with the environment and on the other, lighten our electricity consumption.
Gas R410 .
It is to date the gas that has been used to operate the air conditioning systems. Less polluting than the previous gas, the R22, is being increasingly displaced by other options.
The newest is the R32 gas, a coolant gas that is more respectful with the environment , since it requires less gas load than a R410A system and is also more efficient. It is increasingly used.
Before choosing an air conditioning model, we must take into account what cooling capacity we need . They are the famous tons or BTU and we can calculate them by measuring the square meters of the room to be heated and then multiply that number by 100 or 140 BTU, depending on how cold or warm our house is.
It is a fundamental factor when choosing one or the other device. We must look for an air conditioning that is efficient . For this the easiest thing is to check the energy label that we can see in the box by finding some of these possible categories: A +, A ++ and A +++ .
- Class A : they are hardly seen in the market anymore.
- Class A + : consumes up to 10% less than a class A.
- Class A ++ : consumes up to 16% less than a class A.
- Class A +++ : can consume up to 40% less than a class A.
Noise is another level to study. With regard to the indoor unit, a maximum of 24 dB is advisable , while the noise level in the compressor unit (outside) may vary depending on the type of building or community in which we are residing, as a general rule. maximum of 45 dB .
Use of filters
We already saw the importance of the filters in the air conditioning and how to keep them clean and in good condition. They are barriers that eliminate the entry of dust, smoke and other harmful elements that can harm our health and which, incidentally, if they accumulate, can obstruct the functioning ducts of the air conditioning.
Filters are of many types and even some are washable , so we do not need to change them. We thus have the photocatalytic type that is cleaned with sunlight. Those of plasma or neoplasm, indicated for allergic and asthmatic people and that are able to purify and deodorize the air. There are also active carbon filters, designed to absorb odors or tobacco smoke. There are even filters that seek to improve air quality, such as those that emit negative ions to balance the excess of positive ions, which are those emitted by electrical appliances.
Is it interesting to opt for “smart” air conditioning?
Little by little , the concept of an “intelligent” home, or rather, the connected home , is spreading . Even the kitchen , that traditionally isolated niche, has been conquered by permanently connected devices.
And it is more correct to talk about connected appliances than “smart” , which ultimately seems more like a marketing operation to sell more by different firms. Smart are not, they do not perform any function on their own and only being connected or interconnected can offer that extra we seek. But what are the reasons that make it worthwhile to spend a little more on a system of this type for our air conditioning?
Choosing a connected air conditioning system can be interesting, since it offers greater ease of use . It is a method of control that can end up replacing the remote control of our air conditioning, whose management can make a leap to the smartphone or tablet. In both cases these can become the nerve center of air conditioning in the home. And it is that if we think about it, we have the phone close by all day so, what better remote control ?.
On the other hand there is the possibility of controlling it from a distance without necessarily having to be at home. An improvement that offers two edges that we must explore. On the one hand we gain in ease of use: just imagine how we can go on our way home and activate the air conditioning (or heating), so that when we arrive we find the right temperature.
In addition, these systems can prevent us from having the air conditioning system working longer than strictly necessary in the case of being outside the home. Is it worth having the air working until we get home? Perhaps it is not profitable that in a prolonged absence the system is functioning continuously, something that causes an energy and economic expense. The use and adoption of these systems offers an alternative to the user that in certain cases may be interesting.
But the advantages of an “intelligent or connected” air conditioning do not end here, since we also have systems that automate tasks . We can manage the control, in this case the air conditioning, by means of verbal orders if it is compatible with any of the personal assistants present in the market. Just by saying “Hey Siri (or” OK Google “) turn on the air conditioner”, we can make it start working. For this, more and more systems are integrated with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.
The only downside is that Alexa, the Amazon assistant, the most widespread, for now does not have support for Spanish. A handicap that however is about to disappear , because a few days ago we have seen how his arrival in Spain is getting closer. You can start creating applications and Amazon has confirmed that we will have Echo speakers between us before the end of the year.
There are even air conditioning systems that have presence detectors , so they turn off or on when they notice that there is someone in the room. We will also find equipment with geolocation systems, designed to adapt to the temperatures of the geographical area in which we find ourselves and thus carry out a more reasonable consumption.
It is therefore clear that opting for an “intelligent” air conditioner, or better said, connected, may represent an interesting option for some users who value the advantages it offers on a day-to-day basis. The problem, and now we will see, is that it is a typology of apparatus that for now does not have a very broad offer, which can lead us to have to choose a type of intermediate solutions.
Convert any air into an “intelligent” system
The market that we found when buying an air conditioning system is huge, but we will find much more limited if what we are looking for is an air conditioner that we can define how intelligent. And yes, many may think that these functions are already offered by some remote controls or controls to use , with complete programming systems, but these are basic management modes that with remote controls are greatly enhanced.
In this sense and before diving into the few options offered by the market, it is a good idea to review some interesting complements that allow us to make our air another element that is integrated into the connected home.
Intelligent air conditioning v2 de tado
And we started with the intelligent v2 climate control sensor that comes signed by Tado , a company with experience in the segment that already has other similar solutions. It is an accessory that allows the control of air conditioning (or heat pump) even though we are not at home, thanks to the use of a mobile application developed for this purpose. It is one of the cheapest and simplest options to grant remote connectivity to our air conditioning system , as we can find it for a price of 179 euros .
The Intelligent Air Conditioner v2 is a device that connects to the air conditioning by means of infrared , while it connects to the internet through the Wi-Fi signal of the home router. It is also compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT, which allows you to use the option of voice control to control the different options it offers and how to establish different operating routines.
In order to make use of this system it is necessary that the device we want to control makes use of a remote control , something very common today. It also works with split type air conditioners and laptops.
Z-Wave Remotec ZXT-120
Another solution is the Z-Wave Remotec ZXT-120 module . It is a device compatible with the protocol and with Z-Wave controllers, which serves as an intermediary between our air conditioning split and the Z-Wave home automation system.
Once installed and synchronized, the module is responsible for measuring the room temperature in the room as if it were a thermostat, so that acts as a remote control over the split air conditioning. We can program the shutdown, the ignition, raise and lower the temperature, or determine that for example, the air conditioning, is put into operation automatically if the temperature exceeds a certain level, and this even if we are not at home. An affordable starting option that we can find at a price of about 75 euros .
The problem is that for its use requires a switchboard eedomus or fibaro , raising the price another 299 euros in the first case and almost 500 euros in the second. It is domotic controllers to manage the remotec that we have installed at home.
Continuing with the review we will know more options and another example can be this module of IntesisHome , which throws an advantage over the previous model and is that we will not specify the use of a controller to interact with it . It will be enough to have a smartphone or a tablet equipped with iOS or Android nearby and that the module is connected to the home Wi-Fi network.
It is the IntesisHome module, which acts as a bridge between the split of the air conditioning , (by means of an IR control similar to the Tado controller) and at the same time connects with our Wi-Fi network, so that we can control the Climate control system from our smartphone , even if we are not at home. We can regulate the room temperature, turn on and off the split , create scenes and schedules … The price of the IntensisHome is around 150 euros .
The range of options is enormous and next to those already seen, another example is the Somfy connected thermostat . A device that is also compatible with the TaHoma app and with IFTTT services and Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa .
It has a specific application that is available for iOS and Android . It is compatible with most heating and air systems on the market. We can regulate the climatic conditions of the surroundings, the behavior in the house and what is the use that we give it.
The objective is to achieve a fast and effective programming. This thermostat includes two integrated sensors that, depending on the analysis they perform in the environment, seek to establish the appropriate temperature. It is also a device not too expensive, that we can find for about 185 euros on Amazon .
Sensibo Sky Control
Another option is found in Amazon and comes from the hand of a not so well known brand how is Sensibo . With this system we can control both the air conditioning and the heat pump in case the air model has it.
A system that stands out for not requiring a cable connection with the router thanks to the presence of Wi-Fi connectivity. It is the link that allows its control through mobile or tablet thanks to a specific application.
Sensibo offers compatibility with IFTTT , so it is easy to create commands and new automations. But it also works with the range of Amazon Echo and Alexa devices and Google Home with Google Assistant . It therefore allows control of the temperature by means of voice commands without the need to remove the mobile from the pocket. Suffice it to say “Alexa, turn on the living room” or “Ok Google, turn off the bedroom air conditioner”. An affordable device that we can find for 97 euros on Amazon
Melcloud From Mitsubishi
To finish, we find an option like what Mitsubishi provides for some of the air conditioning systems in its catalog. A device that makes them compatible with the MelCloud app, an application that allows you to control the status of each air conditioning unit from any mobile device or PC.
The MelCloud application is available for free on both Google Play and iOS, but for its operation requires the use of a Wi-Fi adapter that we must place in each split we want to control. It is not an accessory too expensive and we can find it for a figure close to 100 euros, although with some offers is about 85 euros .
Connected air conditioners
We have seen systems that allow you to adapt any air conditioner and turn it into “smart”. But are there no air conditioners that can be integrated directly into the connected home without the need to have an independent accessory? The market does not offer many options , everything is said, but we do find some models that can fit into the profile we are looking for.
Daitsu Air R32
As regards the Daitsu Air R32 , it is a split type air conditioner that we saw at the beginning. It stands out for including Wi-Fi connectivity as an optional element, so that it facilitates control from your phone or tablet through the EWPE Smart app, which we can find for both Android and iOS devices .
Through this application we can manage the indoor units of up to four different models and set the desired temperature, as well as the on and off functions. With a price of about 1,200 euros , is the average of all the models that we will find in this review.
Panasonic Etherea KIT-E18-SKEM
The Japanese brand has to its credit with a range of air conditioners such as the Etherea family , which can be integrated into the smart home thanks to the Heat & Cool app available for its compatible air conditioners.
These airs are compatible with the Wi-Fi Kit system of Panasonic PA-AC-WIFI-1 that for about 160 euros , allows the management of the system through our wireless network. By using our smartphone , we can remotely control the home air conditioning. In this way and although we are far from the device, we can manage different parameters, whether they are temperatures or schedules.
In addition, the air conditioners, have a sensor called Econavi, responsible for detecting the presence of people in the room to regulate the air flow. On the other hand, the solar light detection system allows to regulate the temperature depending on the amount of light received by the room in which we are. The price of the Panasonic Etherea KIT-E18-SKEM model is 1,709 euros in El Corte Inglés.
This LG model has a different design compared to what we are used to . Abandons the characteristic white color to adopt a gray metal tone (red, black …), which makes it stand out once placed.
Leaving aside the aesthetics, what interests us most is that, this model of air, is compatible with the Smart ThinQ function with which the Korean firm intends to manage the connected home and that we have already seen in refrigerators and other elements to use in the kitchen .
Through the application we can access the air conditioning anywhere , even if we are not at home. For this, this model has Wi-Fi connectivity, to be always online. We can find it in MediaMarkt for 1.530 euros
Mitsubishi Series MSZ-LN
The most advanced range of the Japanese manufacturer belongs to the MSZ-LN series. A family that integrates Wi-Fi connectivity and therefore allows us to dispense with the Wi-Fi adapter used by other models of the brand . Like the LG model, it differs in appearance, with a finish that is offered in four colors.
But what interests us is that this model has built-in Wi-Fi , which allows remote control from our smartphone without having to use devices that act as a bridge. For this we use the MelCloud application in Andrdoid or in iOS.
By means of it, we can perform programming, modify the temperature as well as know the state of the machine. It is an air we can buy for prices close to 1,288.98 euros .
They also have a system called 3D i-See Sensor, which is responsible for measuring the temperature of the room in 3 dimensions to redirect the air to where it detects imbalances, either by the presence of someone in the room, or by the proximity from some source of cold, or heat.
Through the FGLair app that we can find in iOS and Android , we can control the air conditioners compatible with the LAN connectivity of the brand .
This is the case of the Fujitsu ASY35UI-LT model that for 1,304 euros we find in El Corte Inglés. An air conditioner that also integrates a presence sensor called “Human Sensor” , which is responsible for detecting if there is a user in the room and thus optimize its operation to activate or deactivate the air.
Daikin is one of the best known brands when it comes to air conditioners. It offers the option of “intelligent” control of some of the models in its catalog, as is the case of the Daikin Ururur Sarara and Daikin Emura ranges
In order to enable this option, we have to use the Wifi control Daikin Online Controller and the Daikin Online Controller application that we can find in Android and iOS . In this way we will have access to air conditioning even if we are not at home and so we can regulate the temperature or configure the other parameters necessary to achieve adequate air conditioning.
In the case of the model DAIKIN TXZ35N Ururur Sarara, we also have a device that counts to improve performance with the usual presence sensor that we have seen in other brands . An air conditioner that has a price of 1,706 euros . In addition we would have to add the cost of the controller, which is around 70 euros .
The Samsung F-H7709 air conditioning system also aims to use the Wi-Fi connection. Samsung is one of the firms that is most working on the integration of the different devices of home in the connected home and this is a good example. A model that is included within the Triangle Design range due to the particular design it uses.
The control of the Samsung F-H7709 can be carried out through the Samsung Smart Home application , which is available for iOS and Android. By means of it, we can program the on and off, as well as how to determine operating temperatures or receive any notification about the state of the machine. It is one of the cheapest models and we can find it for 784.97 euros in Worten.
Gree Shiny 9F WiFi
To finalize even in a niche of market what are the portable air conditioners, we find models that also point to the connectivity at a distance. This is the case of the Gree Shiny 9F WiFi . It is a portable air for those who can not perform a complex installation and that has a wireless connection systemthat allows you to connect it with the Wi-Fi home network.
This makes it possible to control the most important functions of the equipment from the smartphone or the tablet and we can manage its remote operation in this way, even when we are away from home. It is a system that we can find in Amazon although at this moment there are no stocks to know the price.