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Types of Air Conditioners - A Beginner's Guide

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The environment is continually becoming more unpredictable with each passing year. Summers are getting shorter in some parts of the world, and winter is getting longer in others. With the continuous degradation of the seasons, it is more important than ever to install an air conditioner in your home in order to beat the extreme weather changes and stabilize your climate at home.


Different Types of Aircon Units

We provide a detailed breakdown and explanation regarding the various types of air conditioners below. Once you are happy with the variant of your choice, learn about the best shops in Singapore to get it from in our complete buying guide.


Portable or Mobile Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioner units are the most common and famous types of air conditioner units in the market. You do not need to use a special mounting for these units, which is why they remain such a popular choice. 


Instead of the special mounting, it includes the use of a flexible air pipe that’s directed to a nearby window or any opening in the wall. These pipes generally have a diameter of five inches and tend to be two to three meters long. All the hot air is directed through this pipe and out the opening when the air conditioner is in full flow. 


The one major issue with this type of air conditioner has to do with the sound levels generated by a unit. Unlike in the case of split air conditioner units where the air compressor is an external component, mobile aircons have the air compressor located inside the unit. This makes portable aircons noisier in comparison and also less powerful as well.


The upside of picking up portable air conditioners has to do with the pricing as such models tend to be fairly inexpensive. They also do not require any installation and can be up and running in no time. We’d recommend opting for a model that offers more than 10,000 btu to make sure that the aircon is powerful enough to cool your home.


Floor-Mounted Air Conditioners

Floor-mounted air conditioner units are quite similar to storage heater units. Much like the latter, the former is also installed against the wall and they tend to have similar size and dimensions as well.


Such variants of aircons tend to have a heat pump function as well, and they can be powerful heaters as well as coolers based on your requirements. They are also a cost-effective option when compared to storage heaters.


Floor-mounted air conditioner units often have two air pipes that are directed from the rear of the unit to the outside of your home. The tail ends of the pipes are often capped with louvres as well for safety reasons.


Spot Coolers

Spot coolers are a type of monoblock air conditioner units. Monoblock models are one in which the two sets of coils within the unit are combined into a single shell. These models are installed inside the premises of the household and are linked to the outside by an air pipe in order to release heated air.


Spot coolers are larger versions of monoblock aircons. These are also known as industrial mobiles and are often extremely powerful in their abilities. They are often used in aircrafts and ships in order to offer cooling in the internal circulation of these locations.


These aircons are also utilized for various industrial processes as well. They have a large number of ducts in order to pump in cool air into areas that desire it the most. They utilize snout pipes at the front of the unit in order to direct the flow of cool air into specific spots. These pipes are rigid but they can also be adjusted based on requirements.


Window Air Conditioners

Window aircons, or as they are commonly called window rattlers, used to be the most famous configuration of units in the market not too long ago. These are the standard aircons found in most houses, cabins, apartments, and offices across the Middle Eastern region and various Mediterranean nations.


Basic models of the window aircon can only offer cooling to a given space, while the more advanced units also include a remote control and a heat pump.


There are two major disadvantages of this model that need to be considered. For one, these units tend to get noisier with each passing year based on regular wear and tear. Second, you will need to install this model into an opening in the window or a narrow wall.


There are many advantages to picking up this window air conditioners as well. These are reasonably priced aircons that offer a great performance and are also easy to fit.


Although these units are often referred to as “through the wall aircons”, it actually isn’t possible to mount this model on a wall that’s thicker than nine inches because of the design of the side vents.


Most people prefer to purchase window air conditioner units, run them for an extended period of time, and then replace the unit as and when the maintenance becomes too expensive.


Split Air Conditioners

Split air conditioners, much like monoblock aircons, is a major category or type of air conditioner on its own. Under the split air variation, you will find two types of wall mounted aircons, floor mounted aircons, cassette aircons, duct mounted aircons, and portable aircons.


These air conditioning system models typically feature the use of inner and outer elements that are connected with the help of two copper pipes and an electric cable. The refrigerant flows through the copper pipes while connecting the external and internal components. 


One of the major upgrades with regard to a split unit over a monoblock unit is the location of the compressor. The compressor is known to be the loudest part of any aircon, and this component is conveniently located outside the building to keep the noise levels down. Additionally, the internal constituents of the split unit are built to be quieter and lighter as well.


The indoor components of these units also feature a special coarse filter in order to protect the coils from various damaging particles. This includes fine dust, smoke, pollen, and all types of  chemical pollutants.


Most of the modern split aircons include a remote in the purchase, along with other handy features such as a heat pump. This means that it is possible to have “climate control” over your surroundings and have absolute control over the temperatures in your home.


Many modern models also include advanced pre programming features that allow you to have greater control over the operation of your aircon than ever before. 


Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners

There are three major types of wall-mounted air conditioners available in the market. We discuss all three versions below.


1. Monoblock Wall-Mounted Air Conditioners


Monoblock wall-mounted aircons are also known as high wall air conditioners. These are the ideal option for older buildings that do not have the option of installing an external condenser aircon. 


These units can be fixed at a high point on the wall of your home, and they have two air pipes running from the back of the aircon to a point outside your home via a window or hole.


Wall-mounted air conditioning system units also have a powerful heat pump, and this allows you to stay warm through the winter months as well.


The only downside of this variation of air conditioners is the fact that these units tend to have a noticeably larger in-depth when placed against a modern split aircon. Other than the size of the product, however, there are no other major points of concern with this type.


2. Split Air Wall Mounted Air Conditioner (Engineer Fitted)


Under the split air category of aircons, there are two major wall mounted versions to consider. This influences the capacity, functionality, and style of the aircon you intend to purchase (learn about how to choose the right aircon size and capacity for your space here).


Engineer fit wall mounted aircons are the ones that do not have an interconnecting pipe offered with the air conditioner. This means that installing this aircon and its external condenser will have to be done specifically based on the building.


This method of installation is known to be quite pricey, but the major benefit is that the installation looks extremely neat and precise. Thanks to this, the resale value of the building is appreciated substantially as well.


In comparison to the easy fit version of split air wall mounted aircons, the engineer fit models are available in greater variants and capacities. This model is usually mounted at a level that’s above the head height of the occupants. 


They also offer a wide range of operating options that include air purification abilities and a heat pump.


3. Split Air Wall Mounted Air Conditioner (Easy Fit)


The final variant of split system air wall mounted aircons are known as easy fit models. These units include the pipework and cables along with a quick connect fitting that makes installation an absolute breeze.


The pipes of the easy fit models are pre-charged with refrigerants, and the design of this model is such that any electrician or competent DIY-enthusiast will be able to install the unit. Recent changes in regulations, however, have changed the dynamics of this model in a negative way.


According to the new regulations, the easy fit units will also have to be installed by a refrigeration specialist. These types of engineers charge more than the ones who install the engineer-fit models, and this has negatively affected the pricing of these units. Due to these changes, it is likely that the easy fit models will be eliminated from the market in the coming years.


Another major drawback of the easy fit aircon is the fixed length of the cords and cables. This is why it is important to check if the pipe length of the model you’re looking to purchase will match the dimensions of your home.


Ceiling Cassette Air Conditioners

Ceiling cassette aircons are the most common types found in office spaces. These are often fitted within a space of just one or two ceiling tiles.


Most of the body of this model remains unseen as it’s placed above the ceiling line, making only the inlet grille visible to the users.


Apart from improving the aesthetics of a space, this model can also be centrally fitted to offer even cooling to large spaces.


Duct-Mounted Air Conditioners or Central Air Conditioners

Duct-mounted aircons are the ideal choice for buildings that utilize a ducted air system. This means that these units are not visible to users as they are hidden in the voids of the ceiling. These units are sometimes also referred to as central or channel aircons.


Thanks to the design of this model, they can offer capable cooling to a large number of rooms via the air duct of a building. You can use these units to either offer cooling fresh air, or you can also offer a blend of recirculated air and fresh air to the occupants.


Geothermal Heating and Cooling Air Conditioners

This is a new type of cooling system that makes full use of the geothermal power of our planet. These units make full use of the ground temperatures of a region to heat and cool your home as per requirement.


A unique piping system referred to as the earth loop is used in this model to circulate water between the earth, a heat pump, and your home. 


During the winter season, the water that runs through the pipes manages to absorb the heat from the ground. This heat is then compressed by the aircon, allowing it to raise the temperatures, after which it is directed to your home. During the summer season, this process is reversed to provide a cooling effect.


Keep Cool and Carry On: Choosing the Best Air Conditioning Type

Now that you have a better idea of the different types of air conditioner units available in the market, we hope that you can now make an informed decision of what air conditioning system to get for your living space.


For more information about aircons, make sure to visit our blog right away.

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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