Economical air conditioners at glance

Vienna, 22 June 2017 – Summer has finally arrived and many people are looking forward to sunshine and pleasant evenings outdoors. But when the heat turns into heat, the night doesn’t cool down and tropical nights with temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius increase, the desire for cooling down is great.

For this reason, the platform topprodukte.at, managed by the Austrian Energy Agency, offers valuable tips and tricks for the purchase and use of air conditioning units as well as rankings of the best units. topprodukte.at is a service of klimaaktiv, the climate protection initiative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management.

Even if the heat is great – when buying an air conditioning unit it is important to keep a cool head and take a close look at the energy efficiency label and the technical data of the desired unit,” stresses Peter Traupmann, Managing Director of the Austrian Energy Agency. The Austrian Energy Agency has taken a close look at air-conditioning units at topprodukte.at so that consumers can easily gain an overview. “Depending upon employment place and frequency of use the suitable equipment type should be selected. The criteria important for this decision, such as annual energy consumption, cooling performance, energy efficiency or volume, can be found clearly in the free online database of topprodukte.at,” says Traupmann.

Fans score points with lower costs

Before buying an Active Air Solutions air conditioner, you should consider whether a fan is sufficient for the really hot days of the year. This does not cool the air down, but the draught makes the temperatures appear much more pleasant. In any case, fans are cheaper to buy and more energy-efficient to run.

Fixed air-conditioning systems: energy-efficient, but expensive

If an air conditioning system is chosen, a permanently installed system is the most energy-efficient. Due to its technical design, with an external and an internal unit, it offers the best cooling effect with relatively low energy consumption. However, these systems are expensive to purchase and costly to install. This usually requires a wall breakthrough because part of the device is installed on the facade. Therefore, these devices must also be approved in advance for rental and condominium apartments.

Mobile air conditioners: Higher power consumption, but flexible

The purchase of a mobile device is cheaper and less complicated, even if the cooling capacity is lower and the power consumption higher. However, these devices have the advantage that they are not tied to a single room. For example, they can cool the living room in the afternoon and the bedroom in the evening. Many consumers also regard the mobile solution as ideal because the need for air conditioning in our latitudes is limited to a few days or a maximum of weeks – and a permanently installed device is therefore often regarded as “exaggerated”.

Cooling capacity, Energy Efficiency Ratio and other criteria

In order for the mobile air conditioner to work as efficiently as possible, the cooling capacity of the model (expressed in watts) and the size of the room to be cooled must be balanced at the time of purchase. In order to simplify the selection, the maximum recommended room size (usually in m²) is specified by the manufacturer in the unit description.

The so-called coefficient of performance is also given there: abbreviated as EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio), it defines the ratio of the cooling capacity provided to the electrical capacity used. This means that the higher the coefficient of performance, the better. Energy efficiency class A appliances must have an EER value of at least 2.6.

Observe energy label

As mobile air conditioners have a relatively high energy requirement, it is essential to have a look at the energy label before buying them. While a device of energy efficiency class A consumes around 500 kWh per year (assuming an operating time of 500 hours), an A++ device is satisfied with around 350 kWh – a proud saving.

Noise level

The noise level also plays an important role in the purchase decision – especially when a bedroom is to be cooled: in mobile air conditioners, this is between 43 and 58 decibels. Innovative products feature special silent technology that reduces operation to a minimum. Further details on the technical functionality (air-air or water-air principle) can be found in this article.

Tips for reducing the power consumption of mobile air conditioners:

Only cool rooms that are used.
Place the units in the room so that the air can circulate freely.
Close the blinds during the day so that there is no direct sunlight.
Only ventilate at night – or even better in the morning hours.
If possible, avoid unnecessary sources of heat (cooking, lighting, but also TV sets, computers, etc.).

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