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What to Look Out for When Choosing an Air-Con

Step 1: Choose the right BTU (British Thermal Units)

The size of your home will determine the air-con BTU required. The higher the BTU value, the higher the cooling power. Choosing the right BTU is important as oversized ones will waste energy, while undersized ones will not cool the room sufficiently.

Use the following formula to determine the optimum BTU for your space:

  1. Total area (in sqft) of HDB,4-room, master bedroom
    Example: 10ft x 16ft=160sqft
  2. Total area (in sqft) to be cooled x 65 = Correct cooling capacity (BTU)
    Example: 160 sqft x 65 =10,400 BTU


So ideally, a fan coil unit of at least 12,000 BTU is recommended.

Do take note the above formula serves as basic guideline, results may vary due to other factors, e.g. geographical position of rooms.


Step 2: Choose your preferred type of air-con

Types of Air-Con Inverter Split System Inverter Multi Split System Portable Air-Con Casement Air-Con
Features Comprises of 2 parts: the outdoor unit (condenser) and indoor unit (fan coil) 1 outdoor unit that can connect up to 4 indoor units simultaneously A simple solution if you are on a budget or living in a rental property A self-contained unit installed on the window
  • Does not have the limitation of being installed near a window
  • Quiet
    Quiet & energy efficient
  • Cost-saving in the long run
  • Has the ability to vary the speed of the compressor to keep rooms in the right temperature
  • Each room can be individually controlled
  • Easy to set-up
  • Doesn’t require permanent installation
  • Easily movable from one room to another
  • Allows extra floor space
  • Quick fix, as no further piping is required
  • Needs professional installation
  • May cost more, though you save more in the long run
  • Needs professional installation
  • May not cool down larger rooms adequately
  • Heavy/bulky and takes up floor space
  • Limited for use in 1 room
  • Takes up 1 window space
  • Needs professional Installation


Step 3: Consider the extra features that are important to you

Some common air-con features include:

  • Programme Timer
  • Quietness
  • Slide-Out Filter for Easy Maintenance
  • Air Purifying Function


Step 4: Check the air-con’s energy efficiency

A room’s air-con efficiency is measured by energy efficiency ratio (EER), which is indicative of the amount of BTU produced by the air-con using 1 watt of electricity per hour. EER is used to classify the different models of air-con.

For easy comparison on EER, air-cons are given Energy Label Ticks ranging from 1 to 5. The more ticks there are, the more energy efficient the air-con is.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s better to choose a 5-Tick energy efficient air-con:

  • Reduces energy wastage
  • Reduces power consumption
  • Saves on electricity bill
  • Comes with advanced control features
  • Comes with easy-to-clean features

How to Read the Energy Label